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Publisher's Summary

In this moving love story, three friends find out what it really means to save someone.

“A heart-stopping, heart-wrenching, and heartwarming story that kept me reading well into the night.”—Clare Pooley, New York Times bestselling author of The Authenticity Project

Kerry Smith is going to save lives—and so is her best friend, Tim Palmer. After years of working toward medical school, they are about to take their entrance exams. But on the eve of the new millennium, a classmate goes into cardiac arrest, changing everything.

For nearly eighteen minutes, rising soccer star Joel Greenaway is dead. For nearly eighteen minutes, Kerry performs CPR on her longtime crush. And for nearly eighteen minutes, Tim is too shocked to help. Though they don’t yet know it, those eighteen minutes will change the next eighteen years of their lives.

Because, as it turns out, saving a life doesn’t always guarantee a happy ending.

With his soccer career cut short, Joel lashes out and breaks Kerry’s heart by ending their burgeoning relationship with a cruelty that derails her future, while Tim struggles to reconcile his dream of becoming a doctor with the reality of failing to act. As each struggles to move on from the events of that fateful New Year’s Eve, their lives can’t seem to stop colliding year after year. Ensnared by their shared histories and her big heart, Kerry soon finds herself picking up the pieces after both broken men. But when Kerry is the one who needs saving, will anyone be there for her?

As Kerry, Tim, and Joel discover what it means to love, to forgive, and to find your calling, How to Save a Life shows us that there is more than one way to save a life—and more than one path to finding meaning in your own.

©2021 Eva Carter (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"How to Save a Life is so rich and fully rounded - a sweeping, brave, epic love story. I was hooked from the very first page! I loved it. All the stars!” (Josie Silver, New York Times best-selling author of One Day in December and The Two Lives of Lydia Bird)

Grey’s Anatomy meets The Light We Lost in this page-turning drama about three friends whose lives are irrevocably changed by a split-second decision. This sweeping saga illuminates the heartbreak of unfortunate romantic timing, the steadfast sacrifices we make for the ones we love, and the strength it takes to overcome the impossible.” (Hannah Orenstein, author of Head Over Heels

“A gripping love story that doesn’t shy away from the mess and complexity of real life. I couldn’t put it down until I reached the final page.” (Beth O’Leary, author of The Flatshare and The Switch

What listeners say about How to Save a Life

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  • 05-26-21

Awful, depressing melodrama - skip it

The premise sounded interesting, but this was a big miss. It follows 18 years in the lives of 3 horrible, selfish characters making endless terrible life choices. Ugh, no thanks! The writing was somewhat heavy handed, too much telling and not enough showing. The dialogue is clunky and awkward. The 3 narrators are all awful. I couldn't find anything to like in this one. Save your time and credits, and skip this one.