AUTHOR: Hannah Harrington
RATING: 4 STARS
PUBLISHED: May 2011 - Harlequin Teen
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"‘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."
**I received Saving June through NetGalley for an honest review**
Saving June will be released November 22nd, 2011. Circle this date on your calendar, add it to your “Days Until” app (that’s what I do), or mark in down however you need to remember it because you're not going to want to miss this novel. Saving June by Hannah Harrington was absolutely positively phenomenal. I thoroughly enjoyed this emotional tale about life, death and suicide.
Harper is a strong, but wounded character. Her sister, June, recently committed suicide, and Harper is trying to cope with her sister’s death. She is also trying to adjust to her parent’s divorce, her fathers’ new girlfriend, her fathers’ physical absence, and her mothers’ mental absence. On top of everything, Harper still can’t measure up to June, even after her death. June was the “perfect” child. She always stayed out of trouble, made good grades and helped around the house. Harper is considered “selfish” compared to her sister. (I found this ironic.)
Harper’s parents plan to split June’s remains amongst themselves, but Harper has a better idea: she wants to bring June’s ashes to the one place June always dreamed of going, California. Harper, Laney (Harper’s best friend), and Jake (a mysterious, good-looking boy with an unknown link to June) set off for California in a van named Joplin (Named after Janis Joplin, of course.) Throughout their journey, music, friendships, romance and spontaneous adventures help the characters cope with their grief, loss and other problems.
Saving June stands out from all of the other novels I’ve read based on road trips, suicide and loss. It’s one of the best I’ve read. This story pulls you in from the very beginning and stays with you long after you put it down. It’s an emotional novel with a touch of romance, humor and spice.
I gave Saving June by Hannah Harrington 4 STARS. I strongly recommend this novel to young adults, especially anyone who has been left in the wake of a suicide or experienced the aftermath of a terrible tragedy. Music fanatics will also go crazy over this novel.
I am not sure if Jake would approve of this song or not (probably not- he is sort of a music snob), but this novel really reminded me of the song “A Lifetime” by Better Than Ezra. I am not a music enthusiast, at least not compared to Jake. I enjoy a wide array of music, but I cannot give you the Behind the Music breakdown of every song. Therefore, I don’t have any expertise in this area, and this song isn’t an exact match for this story. However, from this day forward I will remember this novel every time I hear “A Lifetime” by Better Than Ezra.