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I Will Save You Library Binding – October 12, 2010


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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385907192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385907194
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,530,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—Unexpectedly orphaned, 17-year-old Kidd Ellison finds himself at Horizons, a group home to help rehabilitate kids who have experienced trauma. Alone and lonely, except for a new friend, Devon, a dangerous young man with a death wish, Kidd decides to flee Horizons and his therapy program. He hitchhikes to Cardiff-by-the-Sea where the beach campsite manager, Mr. Red, who's still grieving the loss of his own son, takes Kidd under his wing and offers him a summer job. Kidd's life begins to brighten when he meets beautiful Olivia and a sweet summer romance blossoms. Then Devon appears unannounced and begins to make the moves on Olivia. Kidd instinctively knows he must save her-even if it means killing his best friend. Wisdom says keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but what if the enemy is you? Told in short chapters through journal entries, flashbacks, and real time, de la Peña skillfully captures the slippery sides of a schizophrenic personality in this heartwarming, root-for-the-underdog novel (Delacorte, 2010). Henry Leyva's narration is spot on, especially for confused and trouble Kidd. A great listen!—Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City Schools, OH --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

After running away from a group home, 17-year-old Kidd Ellison sets up camp at a beach, where he is put to work by Mr. Red, an aging surfer who runs a maintenance shop. Hardworking and handsome, if somewhat slow, Kidd begins to make friends with some of the camp’s teens, especially Olivia, a blond beauty who wears a ski cap that covers part of her face regardless of the weather. Then Devon, Kidd’s former best friend and nemesis, finds Kidd and threatens to destroy the peaceful life that he has fallen into. De la Peña has crafted a taut psychological novel that will both frustrate and fascinate readers. Narrated by Kidd, it moves from the immediate past and a possible murder to the present, then to the far past, constantly offering clues to the mysteries of Kidd’s sad and violent life. The intriguing, well-developed characters introduce themes of class and gender friction, creating a puzzling and sobering yet strangely hopeful book that will stay with readers. Grades 8-11. --Frances Bradburn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Matt de la Peña's debut novel, Ball Don't Lie, was an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults and an ALA-YALSA Quick Pick and was made into a major motion picture. His second novel, Mexican WhiteBoy, was an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adult (Top Ten Pick), a Notable Book for a Global Society, a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book. His third novel, We Were Here, was an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Readers, an ALA-YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and a Junior Library Guild Selection. His fourth book, I Will Save You, was an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Readers, an ALA-YALSA Quick Pick, a Junior Library Guild Selection and finalist for the 2011 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. De la Peña's fifth book, The Living, was a Junior Library Guild Selection, a 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults and a Pura Belpré Author Honor Book.

His short fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, NPR.org and various literary journals, including Pacific Review, The Vincent Brothers Review, Chiricú, Two Girls' Review, The George Mason Review, and The Allegheny Review. De la Peña received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific, where he attended school on a full athletic scholarship for basketball. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he teaches creative writing. You can visit Matt and find out more about his books at mattdelapena.com and follow him on Twitter at @mattdelapena.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
By far my favorite ending of any book that I have ever read.
MG167
I loved this book so much that once I finished and found out what was going on I started over and re-read the book.
Denise V. Martin
I wondered if I'd make the same decisions and admired his strength of character.
rlwn1

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bookish Brooklynite on October 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge fan of de la Pena's writing and was eagerly anticipating the release of his fourth book, I WILL SAVE YOU. In a word, it is phenomenal. Deftly crafted and impeccably executed, this complex novel moves briskly, almost desperately, through the building mystery and psychological complexity of its main character, Kidd -- perhaps my favorite of de la Pena's protagonists thus far. Kidd is so heartbreakingly real, so incredibly vulnerable, and so absolutely lost, that you can't help but root for him and hope that in the end things work out. Without giving much away, I'll simply say that I WILL SAVE YOU will take you to some of the darkest and saddest places you'll ever dare to visit, but in the end, the intense emotion this book evokes will ultimately prove to be cathartic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brandi on January 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
I fell in love with Kidd, his imperfections and all. I love how the author presents the story: Starts with the end and looking backwards, bringing you back around where the book begins. Most of the characters presented in the book all have some type of flaw, which makes the book more real for me. I am not considered the target audience for this book, but I enjoyed it none the less and the emotions of the main character took me back to that place in time. The subject matter isn't all warm and fuzzy and can be difficult to read. I still very much enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading more of author's work.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Anthony de la Fuente on October 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a thoroughly unpredictable and heartbreaking story. I don't normally read teen lit, but I think everyone will enjoy this book, no matter what age. The main character, Kidd, will stay with you long after you've finished, and de la Pena's prose is a true delight. I couldn't put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Orchid511 on November 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
i think it's important when writing about YA novels to remember that teenagers don't need to have stuff watered down for them. This book is as full, emotional, and complex as any regular psychological thriller I've read. The only difference is the language is appropriate and the pages capture and flow. I am a 28 year old woman, and this is the second Matt de la Pena book I've read. We Were Here was the first one, and the book that originally sold me on de la Pena. The most wonderful thing about his writing is that he doesn't cater to the reader and every chapter's beginning and end feel naturally envisioned. It's more like being inside of Kidd's head rather than reading a story about him.

Anybody with a disability or mental illness, or even just someone who has felt like they didn't "fit in" will adore this novel. In the first few pages we find ourselves judging Kidd and wondering how he could possibly do what he did. But as you read along, you see that he's just someone struggling with mental illness who wants desperately to fit in. You see the real Kidd. Not the one with the illness, but Kidd he might be be without the illness. Which is something everyone who has gone through psychological trauma must wish for every day. It's impossible to separate the two, but there's always hope for the future. And that is what Kidd wants. And what you hope he finds before you reach the last page.

I've never met a character as charming as Kidd, and appropriately, the end slayed me. It's a twist you may or may not see coming, but somehow de la Pena has managed to write a story that has an ending that is both happy and sad. I've never read a book with this kind of pacing before, and the reveal at the end is worth all the wondering and meandering on the beach under the stars with Peanut.

Don't hesitate to buy this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rita Arens on November 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
I realized what was happening about 3/4 of the way through the book and wanted to go back to the beginning and start all over. I was too sucked into the story, though, so I barreled on to the end. I definitely want to read this book again to better appreciate the way de la Pena wove the past and present together. Teens and adults together will appreciate this book, and it'd be a great read for a parent and teen to talk through together.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MG167 on November 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
When I first picked out this book I was unsure about whether or not I would like how the plot turns out. I started reading and was soon enveloped in the enthralling life of Kidd Ellison and his life at the campsite. At parts I was shocked by how clever Matt De La Pena is in using the character's personality to make the story much more exciting. The ending has such a twist that I was not even expecting! By far my favorite ending of any book that I have ever read. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read a good book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Playwright on August 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Matt De La Pena explores mental illness in this well-crafted novel, which is full of twists. One of the best books I've read this year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rlwn1 on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
While at the library I judged this book totally by it's cover and am I glad it did! I'd never heard of Matt de la Pena or his work, but after reading this I would be honored to find more.

I Will Save You is about a confused 17 year old boy named Kidd that's dealt some hard knocks and who tries to make sense out of them while building a life for himself. On a journey to discover his self worth he develops a few life changing relationships.

The material is dark and real which I found attractive. To me, this is what life is like. Many colorful characters are introduced that could easily be the lead of their own stories. When thinking about them the island of misfit toys pops into my head. Not too misfit-y though, just right. Broken and struggling in their own particular ways.

I worried for Kidd and found myself wondering what would happen to him. I wondered if I'd make the same decisions and admired his strength of character. The author does a wonderful job of unfolding the story and I was shocked when I got to the end and discovered exactly what kind of ride I was on. Great book.
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