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Saving Zoe

Review

Saving Zoe

Echo is getting ready to enter high school on the eve of her 15th birthday. Her friends are talking about upcoming social events to which they are looking forward. But Echo is not too excited. It’s been one year since her sister Zoe was murdered, and Echo is still finding it difficult to envision any kind of a future. Her father stays at his job, and her mother takes pills that make her flat and emotionless. Things start to change, however, when Zoe’s boyfriend Marc gives Echo Zoe’s diary as a birthday present. Now she has a chance to get to know more intimately the sister she misses so much.

An Internet predator was arrested for Zoe’s murder, but there are so many unanswered questions. Will the diary help Echo find the answers she seeks? Echo recalls that Zoe used to sneak through her room at night and down the tree outside her window to spend time with boyfriends. She’s not sure who Zoe was meeting or why.

Echo is also curious about Marc. The entire town suspected him of the crime before the police nabbed the online predator. Marc said only that he was waiting for Zoe in a park when she was killed. Why did he hold the notebook back from police? Was he afraid there would be something incriminating about him in there? Echo was two years younger than Zoe and sees Marc as a handsome and exciting guy, too. For a while she tries to be Zoe and connect with him. But it isn’t the same.

Zoe was beautiful and had lots of friends. However, things appeared to cool off with her best girlfriend Carly in the months before her death, and she also seemed to be fighting with Marc frequently. Were these the reasons she died? The diary begins to unravel clues to these problems for Echo as she reads.

Soon Echo loses interest in going out with her friends, in dates with her cute new boyfriend Parker, and in her emotionally struggling parents as she delves back into Zoe’s world. She wants only to stay in, away from the pitying looks and pointing fingers as other students talk about what happened to her family. She is determined to find out who Zoe really was and what led up to her murder.

Echo learns that Tessa, a girl she knew from junior high as a preppy popular type, has a secret life of borderline friends and drinking. She hangs out with a creepy guy named Tom, who says he knew Zoe. Marc warns her to stay away from Tom. Was this loser involved in Zoe’s demise?

No one seems to know why Zoe would come into contact with an Internet predator, either. From the diary Echo learns that Zoe aspired to be a model or an actress and move away from their small town. She wanted to fulfill this dream so badly that she did not realize the increasing danger she was facing.

Zoe’s diary will reach the emotions of readers of Alyson Noel’s moving and compelling novel while bringing peace and understanding to Echo. As she faces the reality of life without her sister, the diary gives her extra time with Zoe and the answers she so desperately needs.

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Reviewed by Amy Alessio on October 18, 2011

Saving Zoe
by Alyson Noël

  • Publication Date: September 4, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • ISBN-10: 0312355106
  • ISBN-13: 9780312355104