My favorite thing about the novel was that the ending came out of nowhere. It was not at all what I was expecting and just as I was getting to know the characters and what to expect Osterlund changed the game and made me reevaluate everything. It is writing like this that takes me completely by surprise that I fall in love with and I think that is why I loved Salvation so much, it took me by surprise.
The book centers around Beth described as the “walking disaster area” and Salvador “Salva” who is class president, captain of the football team, and has a perfect GPA. He really is Mr. Right, and I was nervous beginning this novel that he might be too perfect. Salva though definitely has his faults, and that made him all the more likable.
One of the main themes of this novel is the pressure to do better then your parents did and to go to college. It was told through Salva’s perspective, so the perspective of a first generation Mexican-American, but a lot of it rang true for me. I remember how much pressure my parents put on me to do better then they did and to excel in school. Although, they were supportive when I was in high school and undergrad, I never really felt like they were truly proud of me until I began Law School. Despite Salva and I being from very different backgrounds I could relate him in a lot of ways.
I also enjoyed the relationship between Beth and Salva. It was a little bit formulaic in the fact that they are paired for a school project and then come to realize they have feelings for each other but this didn’t stop me from rooting for the two of them. Beth and Salva have both been through so much that above all I wanted them both to be happy and they were happy together.
Overall, I really enjoyed Salvation. The novel took me by surprise and had me rooting for the characters. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys contemporary novels and liked Pushing the Limits, or Perfect Chemistry.