How to Save a Life by Eva Carter | Book Review

I interviewed a guru about positivity for a show last month, and he said that we often only realize we were happy in retrospect, when things go wrong. That part of the key to contentment is to take the time to notice, to be grateful.
So I say it in my head: This is happiness.

Sometimes saving a life is only the start of the story…

It’s nearly midnight on the eve of the millennium when eighteen-year-old Joel’s heart stops. A school friend, Kerry, performs CPR for eighteen exhausting minutes, ultimately saving Joel’s life, while her best friend Tim freezes, unable to help.

That moment of life and death changes the course of all three lives over the next two decades: each time Kerry, Joel and Tim believe they’ve found love, discovered their vocation, or simply moved on, their lives collide again.

. . . Because bravery isn’t just about life or death decisions; it’s also about how to keep on living afterwards.

29. How to Save a Life

How to Save a Life is not a self-help medical instruction manual as the title may suggest. It is, in fact a story of three teenagers who, caught in the time-space of eighteen life-changing minutes, find themselves tied to it for the next twenty years.

At the centre of this complicated puzzle stands Kerry Smith – an aspiring doctor with big dreams. Beside her is Tim Palmer – Kerry’s childhood friend and neighbour, and fellow medical aspirant. Finally, there is Joel Greenaway – the newest recruit for a football apprenticeship with the Dolphins F.C. who finds the course of his professional career derailed when he is forced to come to terms with an irreversible heart condition.

I was deeply engrossed in how the story began and the events folded into one another. Kerry, Tim and Joel are in the same school but don’t run in the same circles. Kerry nurses a secret crush on Joel while unsure of her feelings for Tim.

The book is narrated by these three key characters and gradually peels away the accumulated layers of feelings buried underneath. Kerry is stuck between two people and allows her life to take shape around them, disregarding her own dreams. I found the naivety and haste in making decisions on the part of all three troubling. Then again, not all decisions are perfect and it is their path towards growth that is the heart of this novel.

An interesting addition to the book is the ‘Guide to the Chain of Survival’, broken down into four parts and woven into the narrative. This guide lists the signs for recognising cardiac distress and the steps one should take to save the patient’s life. While it may appear to be both educational and instructional, it eventually leads to being an inherent part of the story. I thought the author’s idea of imparting this valuable piece of information in such a way ensures the lay person will retain the knowledge and hopefully be able to use in case of an emergency.

A sweeping coming-of-age romance, this is replete with drama, reality, and plenty of heart-stopping moments to keep the pages turning.

How to Save a Life by Eva Carter. Published in May 2021 by Mantle, an imprint of Pan Macmillan. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Pan Macmillan.

Book 29 of 2021.

Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟1/2.

Available on Amazon*.

About Photo: The white bells of Lily of the Valley remind Joel of Kerry.
This small bunch of Lily of the Valley flowers is made with paper quilling using 5mm strips.
29. How to Save a Life
About the Author: Eva Carter was inspired to write How to Save a Life by her own experience of giving CPR to her partner, who was successfully resuscitated, as well as her mother’s stories of work as a trauma nurse. Eva Carter is a pseudonym for internationally bestselling nonfiction and rom-com writer Kate Harrison, who worked as a BBC reporter before becoming an author.
She lives in Brighton on the south coast of England and loves Grey’s Anatomy, walking her dog, and running very slowly on the seafront.
You can connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.
Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Note: This blogpost is a top post on and has appeared on their homepage.


*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.



One thought on “How to Save a Life by Eva Carter | Book Review

  1. Pingback: 2021 and Changing Plans | #BrunchBookChallenge – Aquamarine Flavours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s