Growing up with his immigrant Mexican father who just got his U.S. Citizenship, Salva has grown up with the thought of succeeding at everything that he does. And he has been very successful.
Salva has taken the football team to state and won. He has the highest GPA in his class, making him valedictorian. He's taken the hardest classes and has passed every single one of them. He will go to a college and get a degree, from the persistence of his parents.
He will prove to his father that he was successful and will get an education that will mean something.
Senior year should be easy. But with a schedule mishap, he now has to take AP English - a class that is taught by a teacher nicknamed "the Mercenary". That name is not to be taken lightly. Salva has found himself getting an F for the first time in his life and he must do everything to make sure this class won't ruin everything he's worked so hard for.
And that's where Beth - the walking disaster - comes in. For some reason, she's able to get A's in the Mercenary's class. She may be a disaster who can't keep anything in the right spot, can't walk into a room without spilling papers everywhere, or losing things left and right, but she is very smart.
Smart enough to want to go to Stanford and might have a chance at getting in.
And now Salva is going to have to ask someone for the first time to help him.
Since Beth was 13 years old, she has had a crush on Salva. Too bad he has never looked at her before, or since, she obtained her crush.
Over the years, she's gotten used to it. Sure, she still gets twinges when he's around, but it's not as bad as it used to be when she was younger.
The moment Salva came to talk to her about the AP English course, Beth thought a joke was being played with her. The most popular guy at school is now talking to her. Not just talking to her - asking her for help in their class. She wants to say no, but after he says please and seems so depressed, Beth couldn't say no to him again.
So now Beth is working with Salva. And she's having a great time just hanging out with Salva. He's a great guy, smart, kind and is very protective of his family and friends.
Life at home isn't the greatest for Beth, so getting to know Salva has been a blessing. And since she is working her tail off to hopefully get into Sanford because she doesn't have all of the money in the world, she's a little leery on letting him in to hurt her again - even if he didn't know about the first one.
But their lives are very different from one another and not everyone likes the idea of the two of them hanging out. The thing is, though, Beth becomes more open around Salva and Salva starts to wonder about what he really wants - because Beth makes him question everything.
Can things work out for the two of them, or are they destined to follow the paths that their peers vision for them? Read Salvation by Anne Osterlund to find out!
Wow. I really, really enjoyed this novel! I've read one other novel by Osterlund and enjoyed that as well, but this one was really amazing for me!
The characters are minorities in a school that makes them the majority. Salva is a Mexican American and Beth lives in a trailer, hoping that there would be something to eat when she gets home. I think this alone is amazing because it shows a different lifestyle that people live through everyday and isn't really depicted well throughout YA fiction.
Also, both students are determined to get out of their town and make a name for themselves by going to college and getting the degree they need to have a life outside of the little town. Neither of them slack and are very dedicated.
The home lives for both of the characters made my heart wrench for them. To be around people who either judge them too harshly or ignore them completely is hard and doing that for years can really effect a teenager.
So yes, I absolutely loved this novel and I think that all teens should read this! It would really show the reader how the "other side of the tracks" looks and how life goes for people in these situations. Also, both Salva and Beth are narrating the book, so I think guys could like reading this book as well.
I just ordered the other two YA novels from Osterlund that I haven't read yet because I really like her as an author and I'm looking forward to see what the other series is about.
Another great thing about this book? It's a standalone! No sequel :) Everything is in this novel and I think Osterlund wrapped it up very nicely.
So go read this! I think you'll really enjoy it!