Review: Save Me by Lisa Scottoline

Save Me
Save Me by Lisa Scottoline
Release Date:  February 14, 2012
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin
Page Count:  416 pages
Source: SheKnows Book Club

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline’s Save Me will touch the heart of every woman, as its heroine, the unforgettable Rose McKenna, makes a split-second decision that alters the course of her life—and makes you wonder what you would do in her shoes.

Nobody could have foreseen what would happen the day that Rose McKenna volunteers as a lunch mom in the cafeteria of her daughter’s elementary school. Rose does it to keep a discreet eye on her third-grader, Melly, a sweet, if shy, child who was born with a facial birthmark that has become her own personal bull’s-eye. Melly has been targeted by the mean girl at their new school and gets bullied every day, placing Rose in a no-win position familiar to parents everywhere. Do we step in to protect our children when they need us, or does that make things worse?

When the bully starts to tease Melly yet again. Rose is about to leap into action—but right then, the unthinkable happens. Rose finds herself in a nightmare, faced with an emergency decision that no mother should ever have to make. What she decides in that split second derails Rose’s life and jeopardizes everyone she holds dear, until she takes matters into her own hands and lays her life on the line to save her child, her family, her marriage—and herself.

Lisa Scottoline has thrilled millions with her inspiring female characters and her exploration of emotional justice, writing about real issues that resonate with real women. In Save Me, she returns with her most stirring and thought-provoking novel yet.

Review:  Save Me by Lisa Scottoline is a novel that will make you stop and rethink all of the ideas you may have ever had about volunteering and helping out at your child’s school or an extra-curricular activity.  Not to mention it will make your heart bleed with the realization of where we are as a society.

I am not really sure how to go about my review on this one.  There are so many aspects that I would love to touch on and comment about, however I do not want to give anything away.  I have read and enjoyed a few of Ms. Scottoline’s novels in the past and have always enjoyed her style of writing, this is no different. The first half of the story reminded me a lot of Jodi Picoult’s writing – the gripping and heart-wrenching issues that we face in society today, as a whole.  The decisions that we are forced to make in an instant, only to have the result come back and slap us in the face in the end.  If faced with the decision of saving the life of your own child or the life of someone else’s child, what would you do?  This is a thought no one wants to ever think about, however it is a decision that the main character in Save Me, Rose McKenna, is faced with and the story that follows is the result of her decision.

I found Rose to be a very likable and strong character.  In the beginning she is timid and does not take an overly aggressive stance in life.  As the story progresses, however, it is an amazing treat to see this change and to see Rose become a very strong, resourceful and brave person.  The love that she has for her family shines through and her fear of what she may face in the future rolls from the page.  Rose’s husband, Leo is not overly present in the story and with what Rose faces, this seems a bit of a stretch.  Granted, Leo is a lawyer and working on a big case, but if I were looking at what Rose was looking at/going through, I would expect my husband to be there for support.  So for that reason, I wasn’t overly enamored with Leo.  Rose’s daughter, Melly, is an absolute joy.  She is the perfect representation of a young girl around the age of 8 – 10.  She is in love with Harry Potter, is smart, sweet and I just wanted to wrap her in my arms and hug her.  Sadly, Melly also has to face bullying and being incredibly self-conscience because of a rather large birthmark on her face.  Everyone knows how mean other kids can be and this is portrayed heartbreakingly realistically within Save Me.

The fact that bullying is such a sad issue today, makes this story a perfect one for our time in society.  It also touches on how people can reach out and slap anyone with just a few clicks of a keyboard, through the internet in the way of Facebook and email.

In addition to family dynamics, bullying and the issues that are faced when taking on the responsibility of helping out with a group of children, Save Me is full of twists, turns, surprises and suspense.  I actually found out quite a few things that I had not known about the legalities of volunteering and assisting during school activities, field trips, etc.  Honestly, it scared the crude out of me since I am always helping out with the kids on fieldtrips, etc.  Scary and very sad to see what we have come to as a society.

I really enjoyed Lisa Scottoline’s writing voice and her storytelling techniques.  I did find a couple of inconsistencies within the story – one being near the beginning, a beloved teacher comes to visit Melly in the hospital and on one page says that she cannot hug or come to close to Melly because she is sick.  However on the following page when the teacher is getting ready to leave it says that she (the teacher) once again reaches over to give Melly a hug.  Nothing major, but it broke the flow of the story for me at that time.  Save Me surprised me in the aspect that it went way beyond what I thought the storyline was going to be.  This, I say, in a good way.  Conspiracies, cover-ups, politics and so much more came to light the further I read, making this a much more complex story than I thought it would be.  So that was a delightful and added treat.

I truly recommend Save Me by Lisa Scottoline for anyone looking for a great, fairly intense and gripping story.

Favorite Quote:  “That’s what I like about Googie.  We both have a spot.”…. (page 127)

“I told her she shouldn’t worry about any of her spots.”
“What does she say?”
“She says she doesn’t.  Other people do.”  Melly kept petting the dog, whose eyes stayed closed, fringed with red eyelashes.  “When I see her, I don’t see the spots, I just see her.  And she’s beautiful.” (page 128)

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