As a fan of contemporaries and Kailin Gow alike, I was thrilled when I received a review copy of this book, and Saving You Saving Me did not disappoint. I think above being a romance, this book is about trust, trusting that special person in your life enough to let go of all that baggage we bring with us into relationships. Sam is a high school student who just turned 18, top of her class, and doing anything she can to get a scholarship to the college of her dreams. She is also a pastor's daughter and a very caring individual who struggles with always having to do what people think she should do, so as not to disappoint her very strict father. As part of her counselor's plan to improve her chances of getting into Stanford, Sam begins to volunteer at a teen helpline where she is to give advice to troubled anonymous callers.
Circumstances bring Sam and Collins McGregor, a 24 year old entrepreneur who built a fortune out of nothing, together. The chemistry between them is undeniable from the moment they meet. Collins becomes smitten with Sam and does anything he can to get her to go out with him, in spite of their age difference. As their friendship grows and a romance develops, Sam finds out some disturbing things about Collins that she is not sure she can live with, but because of how much she cares for him, she might be willing to try. Meanwhile, she starts talking to an anonymous caller at the teen hotline who calls himself "Daggers". Daggers and Collins are very much alike in that they both have deep dark secrets that are crippling their love lives, and Sam starts to develop feelings for him in spite of also having feelings for Collins.
There were moments while reading the book that I became frustrated and literally yelled "come on! It's so obvious!" at the book, but I'd like to think it's because I got so invested in the story. I found that I identified quite a bit with Sam, in that I was also a Psych major in college and was always preoccupied with proving my achievements to my father. I felt for her as she suffered through her father's indifference and her mother's alcoholism, not to mention the mess she was in romantically. I also loved the character of Derek, Sam's co-volunteer at the teen hotline, who also had romantic feelings for Sam. I want a friend like that too.
I enjoyed this book and I found that I was able to get through it very quickly. The story is compelling and will warm your heart. It tackles very real issues for teens nowadays (such as weight, self-esteem, cutting, depression) and through Sam's advice on the phone, you get to read some very good advice on how to handle it. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series which I believe will be called Finding You Finding Me. 4-stars.
(Originally reviewed at JJiReads.blogspot.com)