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How To Save a Life

author: Clare Swatman (2022)
date read: 7 September 2023
rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

This book really didn’t land with me.

It’s a romance between two people, Ted and Marianne, after she stops him from committing suicide by jumping off a bridge. This one event is the entire basis of their connection and attraction towards each other in the book.

We then flip back and forth between their perspectives, seeing how intertwined their lives have become and how they repeatedly almost run into each other – but never quite do. They build up this fantasy version of the other in their heads, much to the disapproval of their friends, and it destroys two marriages and several other relationships.

Normally in a romance I want to root for the couple, but I couldn’t do that here – their friends are right, they are pining over an imaginary person and not somebody who really exists. I felt more for Sam and Andy, two loving spouses who get kicked to the curb, than I do for the core couple.

(And we never actually see any romance between them – the book cuts off before we have any time with them as a couple.)

Normally I read romance books as something light-hearted, easy, to improve my mood. This didn’t fill that gap for me.

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