Saturday, August 18, 2012

REVIEW: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Title: Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Pages: 322
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publication Date: 22nd November, 2011
Format: eGalley
Source: Publisher (for review, via Netgalley)

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.

 --Goodreads summary

Harper's seeimgly perfect older sister, June, takes her own life just a week before her graduation from high school. She doesn't leave a note. So Harper decides to steal the urn that contain her sisters ashes, that her separated parents want to split. And along with best friend Laney and Jake, a guy who used to know June, she begins a journey to California. A place June dreamed of visiting. A dream that will now, never come true.

I love road-trip novels. Love them, love them. There's just something about a journey, y'know. It made me want to go on a journey myself. Get on a bus and go somewhere I've never been before and meet new people. But getting there is the most exciting part. The road-trip in SAVING JUNE, to me felt like the heart of the story. There was challenges on the way to California, after all, nobody said taking your dead sister's ashes so far was easy, and I felt like Harper came such a long way. Literally, and metaphorically. Her story, and everything she learnt, was what you'd call inspirational. Heartbreaking, but inspirational. 

Yeah, while it was very selfish of Harper to just take off like that, I think it was the best choice she made in the story. I heard the phrase "Grief can make people to stupid things" all the time, but June's 'stupid thing' helped a lot of people. 

I thought it was really awesome how big of a part of the book music was. As well as road-trip novels, I love music too, and the playlists and musical references in the book are so awesome. And seeing how Jake responding to the music, and how he explained it to Harper? So beautiful. I love hearing about the way music can affect a person. It's so...I don't know. Warm. 

There were also philosophical references that I have to mention because philosophy is awesome. I think it's really fantastic how Harrington weaved all these realistic 'teen things', without sounding fake and unbelievable. It really means a lot when you're a teenager and people can understand that you're not stupid, and I felt like the author really believed in not only the people she was creating, but the people who would be reading about them, too.

Another thing I loved: the idea of a secret friend. You'll know when you read it.

SAVING JUNE was so full of emotions, just thinking about it makes me want to go sit in a quiet place and cry. Harper's voice is so raw and interesting and I look forward to hearing another voice like that from Hannah Harrington. Her writing was exquisite. So quotable, I wish I could post the whole book*. SAVING JUNE is something special. Gah, so many feels.

AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I LOVE CONTEMPORARY YA. *bursts into tears of happiness*

Also, "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum" is my new catchphrase.

*but that is pirating (BAD) and i will not do it. lol.

“He took his pain and turned it into something beautiful. Into something that people connect to. And that's what good music does. It speaks to you. It changes you.”



  1. I totally agree about road trips. I want to road trip across the US so bad!!

  2. I really loved this even though contemporary isn't normally my thing. The music worked its way in so well! Glad you liked this.


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