Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review ~ Save Me by Lisa Scottoline

Save MeSave Me
Author ~ Lisa Scottoline
Publisher ~ St. Martin's Press
Pages ~ 384
Release date ~ April 12, 2011

About the book ~ 

Rose McKenna volunteers as a lunch mom in her daughter Melly’s school in order to keep an eye on Amanda, a mean girl who’s been bullying her daughter. Her fears come true when the bullying begins, sending Melly to the bathroom in tears. Just as Rose is about to follow after her daughter, a massive explosion goes off in the kitchen, sending the room into chaos. Rose finds herself faced with the horrifying decision of whether or not to run to the bathroom to rescue her daughter or usher Amanda to safety. She believes she has accomplished both, only to discover that Amanda, for an unknown reason, ran back into the school once out of Rose's sight. In an instance, Rose goes from hero to villain as the small community blames Amanda’s injuries on her. In the days that follow, Rose's life starts to fall to pieces, Amanda’s mother decides to sue, her marriage is put to the test, and worse, when her daughter returns to school, the bullying only intensifies. Rose must take matters into her own hands and get down to the truth of what really happened that fateful day in order to save herself, her marriage and her family.

In the way that Look Again had readers questioning everything they thought they knew about family, Save Me will have readers wondering just how far they would go to save the ones they love. Lisa Scottoline is writing about real issues that resonate with real women, and the results are emotional, heartbreaking and honest.

My thoughts ~ 

As a mother, your first instinct is to protect your child – no matter the cost. But what if, in a split second, you are faced with having to make a horrifying choice? Save your child or save three other children. Rose McKenna has to do just that. 

Rose, her husband, Leo, daughter, Melly, and baby son, John, have just moved to Reeseburgh to give Melly a fresh start. Born with a nevus (birth mark) on her face, Melly, a gifted child, was constantly teased by her peers. They were hoping that a new town, new school, and new friends would put an end to all of that. Unfortunately the torment followed them. Melly became the target of Amanda Gigot, the apparent leader of the bully brigade.

Rose wants to see first-hand the anguish her daughter is experiencing at school, so she volunteers to be the “lunch mom.” After a brutal joke is played on Melly, she runs to the bathroom and locks herself in. Rose holds the three girls responsible behind while the other children go out to recess. While trying to explain to them how much their bullying/teasing hurts Melly, an explosion rocks the cafeteria sending them all reeling. When Rose comes to she is faced with a choice no one, never mind a mother, should have to make. Save the three girls she can see or leave them to find their own way out while going to rescue her daughter. Acting on pure adrenaline she leads the girls to the door of the school and races back to save her child.

With the determination of a mother saving her cub, Rose makes her way through the destruction and pulls Melly from the fire. Rose runs out of the building, with an unconscious Melly in her arms, praying she has reached her in time. While there are three fatalities that day, Rose becomes the “Hero Mom”, the mom that raced back into a burning building to save her child. 

The adulations soon turn to harsh accusations when it turns out that one of the bullies, Amanda, is found among the carnage, clinging to life. Rose doesn’t understand what Amanda was doing inside the building. She knows she brought her and the other two girls to the door of the building, hurrying them out with a teacher and her class. So how did Amanda end up trapped back inside? Now no one believes that she helped these girls before her own child. They condemn her for saving her child first. She goes from hero to villain in 2.2 seconds.

The explosion at the school starts a series of events that will permanently alter the lives of everyone involved. Faced with both civil and criminal charges, Rose realizes that the truth won’t be told unless she finds something that proves her version of the events. From the classroom, to an old factory, to the Senate, the road to the truth is a long one. But filled with fierce determination, Rose will stop at nothing to save herself, her reputation, and her family. The raw emotions in Save Me are so intense, so vivid, so palpable, that you’ll be physically aching the same way as everyone involved in this story does. You will find it hard-pressed to put this book down. You’ll find yourself praying that you never find yourself in the position of having to make the choice that Rose is forced to make.


About the author ~

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of 18 novels, including her latest, SAVE ME, and she is President of Mystery Writers of America. She writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled "Chick Wit" which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman's perspective. The columns have been collected in, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, which has been optioned for TV, and My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space." Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. In her spare time, she teaches a course she developed, "Justice and Fiction" at The University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. Lisa is a regular and much sought after speaker at library and corporate events. Lisa has over 25 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 32 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn't have it any other way. 

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Click HERE to read the first chapter of Save Me

Her other books ~ 

FTC Full Disclosure ~ I received this book in exchange for my honest review.