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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel

Publication Date: 9/4/2007
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Source: Friend :)

Goodreads Summary:
In Alyson Noël's newest teen novel, one sister's secrets save the other's life--in more ways than one. Meet fifteen-year-old Echo, a typical teen trying to survive high school without being totally traumatized by boy trouble, friend drama, and school issues.  As if she didn't have enough on her plate, Echo is also still dealing with the murder of her sister Zoë.  Although it's been over a year, Echo is still reeling from tragedy that changed everything.  Beautiful and full of life, Zoë was the glue that held her family together, and although the two sisters were as different as night and day, they still had a bond that Echo can't let go of.  When Zoë's old boyfriend Marc shows up one day with Zoë's diary, Echo doesn't think there's anything in there she doesn't already know.  But as she gives in to curiosity and starts reading, she learns that her sister led a secret life that no one could have guessed--not even Echo.

Echo is a 15-year-old girl trying to find her way through high school.  Echo had an older sister named Zoe who probably could have helped her navigate her way around and had some pointers. Unfortunately, that older sister was murdered while Echo was in middle school.  She is still experiencing grief from this tragic event, but her two best friends, Abby and Jenay are there for her.  

Echo learns from Zoe's boyfriend Marc that she wrote a journal, and while Echo didn't think there would be anything in it she ends up learning more than she bargained for.  There are traumatic events in Zoe's life that Echo never knew about.  There are drugs, alcohol, and men that Echo wouldn't have guessed.  There are events leading up to her death that make Echo think twice about the "friends" she has made now in high school and help her realize how much she misses her sister.  Zoe's journal is a healing mechanism for Echo.  She feels closer to her sister and eventually finds rest for herself and her sister through the journal and other new information.

I admit that I was slightly skeptical of reading this novel.  I loved the Immortal series by Alyson Noel, but I have never read any of her other novels.  I didn't want to be disappointed because it wasn't the same writing style.  Thankfully, I didn't have to worry about that!  Noel writes with an intensity present in all of her novels. She helps you understand and relate to the characters.  You become in tune with their emotions and connected to them throughout the book.  Noel kept me interested in this novel because I couldn't believe the situations that Zoe went through.  Poor Echo had to find out through a diary, when she should have been finding out through her sister.  There were choices made by Zoe that could have prevented how the events led to her murder, but of course we can't change the past.  Echo has learned from her sister's mistakes and grown into a better person by the knowledge she obtained from the journal.  This was a great novel and I for sure plan on reading other novels like this from Noel.

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