Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Publication date: June 1st 2012
Source: Received an ARC from publisher via NetGalley.
‘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.
This story is just … beautiful. Yep, I think that about covers it. From the opening scene, to the very end, Harper captivated me, and swept me along with the pain she tried so hard to keep contained, along with her developments with Jake, along with her amazing friendship with Laney.
Admittedly, I wondered over the sanity of her plan. To feel so strongly—so compelled to do something like that is a powerful emotion to have to deal with, and I thought the author did a great job of portraying it. Though, honestly? The author did a great job of portraying pretty much every moment of the story.
I loved Harper’s character. Loved the ‘voice’ of the book and the fact it sounded so authentic to Harper’s age. Loved how she was allowed to cope at entirely her own pace.
I loved Jake. Loved how his character was made hard to get a handle on in the beginning, and came to love the almost subtle and understated way in which he and Harper ended up communicating. Loved watching their development, for sure.
Loved Laney. She’s exactly the kind of best friend every teenage girl should have, because those are the kinds of friends you’re still calling when you’re an adult and have tales of your own children to woe over—the kind of friend who’s never too busy to listen.
Then there was ‘the journey’. It was amazing—and though this was merely fictional, I felt almost … privileged to have been permitted to tag along. Every single moment of it unravelled the mystery of these three young adults’ personalities and backgrounds a little more. And I loved how roller-coaster-y it was, as far as the highs and the lows, which meant when the highs hit and Harper forgot everything just long enough to laugh, the uplift of the moment seemed all the more potent.
And let us not forget the ending. *sigh* I knew it was coming. Fully expected it. Though, I’ll admit that the red herring of all those tracks on the CD did a good job of fooling me for a moment, until that little intro popped up and I knew everything was going to work out just right.
Which it did.
Which left me one happy bunny when I read that final line.
This one’s a definite keeper. The kind of book a person should buy and save, just so they can pull it out when they want to contemplate the meaning of life. Because it has so much to teach.
That is all.
Have you read this title? What’d you think?