Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{October 13, 2011}   {Review} Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel

From Goodreads: It’s been one year since the brutal murder of her older sister, Zoë, and fifteen-year-old Echo is still reeling from the aftermath. Her parents are numb, her friends are moving on, and the awkward start to her freshman year proves she’ll never live up to her sister’s memory. Until Zoë’s former boyfriend Marc shows up with Zoë’s diary.

At first Echo’s not interested, doubting there’s anything in there she doesn’t already know. But when curiosity prevails, she starts reading, becoming so immersed in her sister’s secret world, their lives begin to blur, forcing Echo to uncover the truth behind Zoë’s life so that she can start to rebuild her own.

Prepare to laugh your heart out and cry your eyes out in this highly addictive tale as Alyson Noël tackles the complicated relationship between two sisters and shows how the bond can endure long after one of them is gone.


This novel is one of the gems that I found at a Borders closing sale!  I apparently really wanted to read this novel since I somehow ended up with two copies, instead of one, but hey, it’s such a great novel that I think a giveaway is definitely in order. But first, the review:

This is a captivating novel.  I started reading it late one evening, and though it’s a little gut wrenching at times and I had to put it aside, I finished it fairly quickly.  It’s a short read, only 230 pages, but it’s packed full of emotion.  Noel has created a vivid portrayal of life and loss entailing the repercussions following the murder of Zoe, Echo’s popular older sister.  What I found intriguing, though some may not, was the way Noel decided to tell the story.  The reader follows Echo as she attempts to deal with both her family, which has all but fallen apart, and her friends, who are tiptoeing around her and just don’t understand what she’s going through.  Echo is a very down to earth young woman, but she is still struggling with the death of her sister. 

This is not a murder mystery, the man behind the murder has been caught, and Echo barely talks about it, leaving the reader to piece together what really transpired.  Although some readers may find this a little annoying, especially as we want answers, I really enjoyed the way Noel decided to tell this story.  Instead of focusing on the murder itself, Noel focuses on Echo as she attempts to fill her sister’s shoes, “saving” Zoe’s journal and reading small pieces of it at a time in order to savor her sister, while finding out who she really was, how she really felt, and what really happened to her in the end.  It is a very powerful, cautionary tale, and though some of the depictions are vulgar, I believe this is a great story for everyone, especially teens.  You’ll see why when you read it.  Five stars.

et cetera
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