Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (1st December 2011)
Source: Secret Santa
If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.
Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.
When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going, California.
Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.
Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.
Rating: **** (4 stars)
This was one of the books I got from my Secret Santa this Christmas. My Secret Santa got this book spot on, because I have been wanting to read this book for a while though for some reason I never did. I thought the premise of this book sounded like it could be an interesting read. I wasn’t disappointed.
I knew going in that this book was going to be sad. It couldn’t not be. Mixed in with this sadness were moments of laughter and happiness, of anger; moments that were profound, and moments that were mundane. It was a really beautiful read, and I was a little surprised to be honest to learn that this was Harrington’s debut novel – I really think she has a way with words. There were several passages throughout the novel that my family had to deal with me reading out to them for various reasons.
I found Harper a really relatable character, and I liked her too. Grief is hard, and Harrington did a good job at showing this throughout Saving June. June never appears in the book, but she is a ghost haunting the pages and the characters. I have to admit that I admired Harper’s courage in stealing June’s ashes and taking them on a road trip to California. I really enjoyed the best friend dynamic between Harper and Laney; it felt real, and believable. I also liked the banter between Harper and Jake.
Saving June is about dealing with grief, but it is also in many ways a fun road trip novel. Harper, Laney, and Jake Tolan go on one heck of a road trip to California. I really enjoyed the way that Harrington mixed these two themes together to create a cohesive whole. Saving June was a brilliant read. If you are a fan of contemporary fiction you should definitely check it out!