When a stranger saves Luke’s life, he knows he’s been given a second chance. He’s going to make it count – and, determined to live each day to its fullest, he starts by saying yes to everything life has to offer.
Slowly but surely, Luke learns that a little bit of blue-sky thinking can go a long way, and things start to look up.
But when Luke’s new resolve is tested, will he return to his old ways? Or can one fateful moment truly save a life?
If any of S.D. Robertson’s previous novels are anything to go by, I knew that How To Save a Life was going to be an emotional rollercoaster before I even began. And yes, it was.
Oh Luke. He’s such a complex and compelling character. On the first few pages, he’s not the most likeable of characters. He reminded me a little of Scrooge in that he is cynical, a loner and has no interest in the world around him.
The author throws the reader straight into Luke’s life and the more I got into the story, the more empathy I felt for him. As you start to get to know his history, you begin to understand his choices and his demeanour. Also, as a character, he really does develop and evolve over the course of the novel.
The supporting characters are also strong, Meg and Nora especially. I felt so sorry for Rita. Grief presents itself in so many different ways and I had nothing but sympathy for her. There were moments I could empathise with and parts I could relate to.
This book tackles some heavy themes including grief, loss, mental health and homelessness and it is done with sensitivity and tact. There were proper heartbreaking moments, but there were others where I was laughing out loud, especially the conversations between Meg and Luke. The plot is well paced and I became engrossed very quickly. The author really has a talent of creating believable, realistic stories that create such a book hangover once I am done.
How To Save a Life is a compelling, enthralling tale of second chances and redemption. I loved this novel. It’s one of the best ones I’ve read this year.
About S.D. Robertson…
An English graduate from the University of Manchester, he’s also worked as a holiday rep, door-to-door salesman, train cleaner, kitchen porter and mobile phone network engineer.
Stuart lives in a village in North West England with his wife and daughter. There’s also his cat, Bernard, who likes to distract him from writing – usually by breaking things.
How To Save a Life was released by Avon on 11th June. Click to view on Amazon UK.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.