Salvation by Anne Osterlund
Release Date: January 10th, 2013
Date Read: 2012, December 31st- January 1st, 2013
Received: ARC via author
Rating: 4/5 stars
Recommended to: 15+
SUMMARY -Salva Resendez has his life together - or so it seems to everyone else. He's student body president, smarter than most, and popular among all. But what people don't know are this struggles: his hardships with his father, arguments with his siblings, and his broken heart because of his mother's death.
And then there's Beth, a girl he's known since 8th grade, and someone who he now finds himself drawn to during their studying sessions. He would never expect "the walking disaster area", as he named her years ago, to be so open, so willing to listen and understand.... When feelings between each other grow stronger - and tragedy strikes, will Beth be the one to save Salva from the things that make him fear?
MY THOUGHTS -I truly and absolutely love Anne and her books. I will be a die-hard fan until the very end, no matter what. I will read every book without fail.
As I have read and loved three of her previous novels, I knew one day, the time would come when one didn't quite measure up. That day has come.
If I'm being entirely honest, Salvation wasn't the 5-star, out-of-this-world novel that Anne normally writes. BUT, since she's Anne, it is totally still worth reading and buying and loving. Because this book still delivered and promised more goodness in the future.
CHARACTER NOTES -Anne's characters are always relatable. I find them all tugging at my heartstrings, one by one, making me fall in love. While Salva and Beth were slightly less "real" to me than Aurelia or Robert or any of the others, I still loved them. The literature/writing geek in me looooved Beth; and Salva was such a hard worker and so great at speaking up that I couldn't help but learn from him. On top of that, I loved both family dynamics, Beth's mom and Salva's immigrant family.
Most of the supporting cast was awesome. Char, Pepe, and Tosa especially. Nalani was hard to grasp; I know she doesn't have a huge role, but as Beth's best friend, I wish he'd been more...there.
I think the thing that bugged me most about this cast...the dialogue... I dunno, maybe I was just missing it, but I don't think it was totally in tune to how teens talk. It felt forced half the time.
But overall, this cast of characters will stick with me for a long time - especially because of that ENDING! GOSH!
STORY NOTES -Speaking of which... By golly! This story builds so well, in the are of intensity. It starts out...and then all of a sudden Salva and Beth are studying together...and BAM! You're flying through those pages to reach - THE CLIMAX! Holy crap. That was unexpected until right before it happened, and then I was like, "Oh no, there's no way..." And oh yes, way.
Basically, Anne has the "master-of-suspense" thing down like a pro. What I thought needed improvement... Oh, I hate saying this.... Was the love story. Until the play Salva and Beth do together, I just wasn't feeling the chemistry. It was best friend worthy, but not romance worthy. Then, after the play, it felt a bit rushed. There wasn't really that tormenting transition period I was hoping for....and that I genuinely felt it needed. But in the end, as always, the love story was grandly topped off with awesomeness.
Salvation really explores some touchy subjects, particularly immigration, rights, speaking up for the right thing in tough subjects (something I think our society desperately needs to do more often), and family hardships. It blew me away how seamless this was and how Anne really presented both sides of all these issues well. I wanted to read more just about these things, because they were discussed so well!
SUMMING IT UP -Well-done! Even though it wasn't a 5 star, I was absolutely enthralled with Salvation and highly recommend it!
Some kissing; mention of a teenage boy making "rude sexual gestures". Some faux cussing ("What the H" and "F-you"). One middle finger shown (as a joke, if I remember correctly). Teens talk of not wanting to "screw up". Other teens sleeping together, only mentioned. An intense scene during which 3 teens are involved in an accident, some detail of blood and...well, grossness. Recommended 15+
Now who's ready for a giveaway?! :D