Book review for To Save a Life by Jim and Rachel Britts
Jake and Roger were inseparable. Best buds. They did everything together. Roger even saved Jake from certain death once, paying for the cost. But high school was a whole different ball game. Jake climbed to the top of the social ladder, but Roger stayed several rungs beneath him. Their friendship deteriorated to nothing- it was like they didn’t even know each other. One day Roger brings a gun to school, and ends his life right in front of Jake. Jake had no idea what Roger had been going through. Jake’s life had been perfect- wealth, popularity, a hot girlfriend, and a college scholarship. He had been blind to the pain he had caused Roger in rejecting him. Until it was too late.
To Save a Life is honestly one of the most awakening and touching stories I’ve ever read. The book was based on the movie, which I plan on seeing soon. I loved seeing Jake evolve from a heartless jerk to a caring and loving person. The tragedy that happened to Roger seemed so dramatic and surreal, but I know it’s quite prevalent in schools today. Something that also surprised me was the fakeness of Jake’s youth group. I’ve gone to church every Sunday my whole life, and I’ve always thought that the church was filled with kind, loving Christian people. But this story opened my eyes to the lie I’ve believed. I look around now, in my youth group, and wonder how sincere these people are. Who puts on a façade each Sunday? How many of these teens are “Dannys?”
This book is definitely worth reading, for both teens and adults. But since Jake and his friends don’t really have any morals, there are some words. Also, Jake’s relationship with his girlfriend, Amy, is not exactly pure. But I know that the authors only put that in to make it all seem real. Just be aware that this book deals with very gritty issues when deciding if younger tweens (middle school age) should read To Save a Life. Personally, I think kids should be a little older (like in high school), but it’s your call. J To sum it all up, I loved this book, and I’m sure it’s lessons will never leave me. It shouts a message that the world is desperate to hear. Before it’s too late.
Quick Content Review:
Profanity- Mild (Jake cusses out the fakers in his youth group, but nothing too heavy. A few words scattered elsewhere, but God’s name is not abused.)
Violence- Minor- (When they are young boys, Roger pushes Jake out of the way of a car and takes the hit himself. Roger commits suicide. Johnny is a cutter, and Andrea admits she once was, too. Jake jumps in front of a police car, but only gets scratched. Nothing is described at all.)
Sexual- Mild (Amy flirts seductively with Jake; the two kiss frequently and have sex at a party; Amy becomes pregnant, but Jake persuades her to keep the baby. Jake’s friends act like high school guys, whistling at girls and making some comments. Nothing heavy or over the top…all negative language/bad content was added to make the story seem real. Jake’s behavior is not glorify in the least, but rather used as a warning of how consequences can affect your life.)
Other negative content- Jake goes to a couple parties where there is under-age drinking. It’s discovered that his dad has cheated on his mom. Danny, the pastor’s son, smokes pot with a group of other church-going kids.