Cherie Reads

Save Me

Save Me - Lisa Scottoline I really wanted to like this book. I finished it in hopes that it would get better but I was disappointed. The premise - that a mother has to make a split second decision about whether to save her own child or someone else's and the consequences of that decision - was interesting and had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, that potential is never realized. The problems? 1 - The dialogue is many times cheesy and unrealistic. I found myself rolling my eyes quite often throughout the entire book. Especially the scenes between Rose and Leo. 2 - The chapters are very short which irritated me. I suppose the author used this style to try and ramp up the suspense but in reality it just irritated me. Just when things were getting good the chapter would end. It made for some choppy reading instead of a smooth buildup of suspense. 3 - The characters were not believable. Many of them were very one dimensional - Leo (the husband), Melly (the daughter), Eileen (the other girl's mother), the lawyer and others. They all played a very specific role in the advancement of the plot - and that's all. They were never developed enough to be believable people to me and much of their personalities seemed cliched to me. Rose herself was a little ridiculous. She was very wishy washy. At first she's the assertive mother lion, then she becomes this jellyfish and then she becomes a superhero. If there had been good character development that showed the character's personal progression through these stages it would have been ok, but as written she seems to almost have multiple personalities. 4 - The story starts out as one thing and then turns into something different altogether. The first half of the book is about Rose's dilemma (as described in the book's description) and how she must deal with the fallout - other people's perceptions of her, the media, legal issues, etc. This part of the book was interesting despite the flaws above. And then, the second half of the book is something completely different. We no longer hear about the lawsuits or criminal aspects of the story. We no longer see anything about how she deals with the new public perception of her. Instead, this turns into a bad mystery novel where the main character goes off on her own to solve a completely unbelievable mystery - why the fire happened in the first place. The circumstances that are revealed are ridiculous to say the least. This book is trying too hard to be too many things: a commentary on bullying, an emotional drama about an impossible decision, a Nancy Drew style mystery. It succeeds at none of them. I give it 2 stars because there were some parts (the first few chapters in particular) that held my interest and it was not bad enough for me to stop reading. Some entertainment can be had with this book if you are aware of its failings and are able to overlook them and suspend your belief for a little while. If you are looking for a real drama, look to Jodi Picoult or others. If you are looking for a serious mystery, look elsewhere. If you want a somewhat cheesy but maybe entertaining read continue with this one.