Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Publication date: May 1st 2011
Pub: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 336 (paperback)
Genre: YA fiction
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Everyone’s sorry. But no one can explain why.
Harper Scott’s older sister, June, took her own life a week before high school graduation, leaving Harper devastated. So when her divorcing parents decide to split up June’s ashes, Harper steals the urn and takes off cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going—California.
Enter Jake Tolan, a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession…and an unknown connection to June. When he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanor and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what Harper needs. Except…Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn her life upside down—again.
Hannah Harrington’s story has completely and utterly left me speechless in every possible way. With its loveable and easily relatable characters and gripping plot, Saving June is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on every reader.
With her elegant and captivating style, Harrington makes sure to get the readers’ attention from the very first page. In addition to the fact that I enjoyed the story itself most of the time, what made this book as good as it is was the writing style. The story is told by 16-year-old Harper, June’s younger sister who -for me – made this book worth reading.
It turns out soon enough that Harper is just a failure for the family, who’s always the second best, no matter what she does. She knew she’d never live up to her sister so she says, why should I even try? She’s fed up with always being compared to her sister, with living in her shadow so she turns into someone who has problems with showing her emotions and who’s angry all the time. For me Harper’s vulnerability was something that made her even more relatable. Another thing I really liked about her and her best friend Laney is their sarcastic and witty humour. If there’s one thing they have in common it’s definitely their sense of humour, which was right up my street because I’m quite sarcastic myself.
The plot itself is good – I wouldn’t say it’s the best story I’ve read this year but it’s certainly entertaining. What I found quite strange is that it’s supposed to be an emotional read -a girl making her dead sister’s last wish come true and all that. Still, this element didn’t really come through for me. I found myself thinking, they’re going on a road trip, how fun! And I thoroughly enjoyed everything they’ve been trough on their way to California, for all the wrong reasons. So to put it simply, except for the last 20-30 pages, the emotional aspect of the story didn’t really work for me – it was a fun read that leaves you wanting more, and there were times when I even forgot why they’re going to California and kept thinking, I don’t want them to go home yet!
If there’s one thing Harper taught me, however, it’s that we can’t live our lives in a shell forever. We need to experience things and push beyond our comfort zone even if we don’t want to or if we make a fool out of ourselves in the process.
If you’re looking for an exciting and entertaining read, I would definitely recommend Saving June. Whether or not you connect with the emotional side of the story, I’m sure you’ll have fun reading it. I certainly did.