Release Day: How To Save A Life (Emerald Cove #1) By Lauren K. McKellar - Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

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Life is not a love song …

I learnt the hard way that labels stick. Laura took “lovely”, and the teacher branded me “lady-like”.
It stuck with me, even through my high school years. It felt like that was all I’d ever be.

Until everything changed.

Lonely Lia.
Little Lia.
Lia the liar.
Lia the lost …

Now the choices are endless. But I don’t want to be any of those either.

My name is Lia Stanton. And this is my story.


*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

How To Save A Life was a heartbreakingly beautiful read. This was so much more than I thought it would be. I really commend the author for dealing with this story in such a beautiful way. I loved it. I couldn't stop reading it. It was so so good.

Lia has a lot going on. Something happened 18 months ago, maybe a few things that compounded to lead to where we are when this book opens. Lia is in a new town, new school, new everything from 18 months ago. She doesn't want anyone to know who she really is. Not her best friend, not her boyfriend, no one. She has issues and she thinks if she can just make it till she runs away to college everything will be fine. If she can just hold on that long, if she can just get a scholarship, everything will be okay.

Because Lia won't talk to anyone about what happened, won't let anyone in to help her, she shoulders a lot of it herself. She is so young and she doesn't always make the right choices. You see her try and help people who don't want to help themselves. You see just how much she needs someone or something to help her. Oh I felt so much for Lia. I wanted everything to work out for her. I really wanted her to actually be happy.

This book is really intense at times. About halfway through I had to put it aside for a moment as it just got really real. It is definitely not sunshine and roses, it is hard to read at times, but it is such an amazing read. Lia has music as the only really great thing in her life. Yes she has a best friend and a boyfriend whom she is not really real with, but music never leaves her. She gets a few days where she can just let it all out on the piano. I loved that that was her outlet. Her music sounds amazing and beautiful.

Through letting her feelings out through her music she finds Jase. Jase who has a dark past of his own, but who is changing and trying to be better. Jase who pushes Lia when she needs it, is there for her, who falls in love with her. Lia is frightened of Jase. She doesn't want any ties to this town, to this area. She needs to get out, to forget the past, to start over and Jase would be a distraction from her plans. Her feelings for him frighten her. She finds someone that she might be able to actually open up to, but what then? What will happen if he finds out? How could he still want her? Oh Lia has issues, but you can't help but love her. Jase is so wonderful with her, everything she never knew she needed, and I just loved them together.

The best part of this book though? How until it was told to you you don't really know what happened to lead us to where the characters are now. You keep getting hints here and there, someone who shows up or someone says something, but I never would have guessed everything that happened. It was so heartbreaking seeing everything that lead up to the present. Some of those scenes...I just wanted to scoop Lia up and get her help. I wanted to just make everything better for her, for her family. At times I just wanted to talk to her, to tell her this isn't the way, to help her. It was lovely.

I really loved this book. Emotional, heartbreaking, but oh so well written it was a privilege to read. I'm definitely going to have to look for more from this author as this was just fantastic.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2


She walks up the stairs, and straight away my heart leaps from my chest, beating a staccato that raps into my throat, the pulse point at my wrist, all throughout my body. I go from steady to strung-out in the blink of an eye.

"Mum," I call, and this time on the staircase, she spins around.

"Yes?" She frowns.

Don't go up there,

I try to say the words, but my stupid voice won't work. My mouth moves, but no sound comes out, and Mum tilts her head to the side. "Lia ..."


I try to scream so loud my lungs hurt, and still, nothing.

Don't go into your bedroom.

You can't see that.

It will ruin you.

"Lia, you're normally such a sensible girl." She sighs and turns her back, then walks up the stairs again.

My voice mightn't work but my feet do, and I charge after her, leaping up those stairs two at a time. She floats down the hall toward their room, and I run, run as fast as I can, and grab onto her shoulder just as she tightens her grip on the door.

"Lia, will you drop it?" She turns to face me. "I'm just going to see if your father is home. What harm could I possibly do?"

My stupid voice is without once again, and as I try to yell at her, to tell her that no, she shouldn't go in there, that seeing what's behind that door will destroy her—

She twists the handle.

She opens the door.

And she screams.

And straight away I'm back on the couch, hearing that blood-curdling noise that chills me to my very bones, that signifies the start of the end of life as I know it. I race up the stairs to try help her, to try and make it stop, but when I get there she has collapsed in the hall.

She's broken. And nothing I try to do will fix that.

About the Author:

Lauren K. McKellar is the author of romance reads that make you feel. She lives by the beach in Australia with her husband and their two dogs. Most of the time, all three of them are well behaved.

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