Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Title:Saving June
Author:Hannah Harrington
Imprint:Harlequin Teen
Pub. Date:11/22/2011
ISBN:0373210248 (ISBN13: 9780373210244)

When her older sister commits suicide and her divorcing parents decide to divide the ashes, Harper Scott takes her sister's urn to the one place June always wanted to go: California. On the road with her best friend, plus an intriguing guy with a mysterious connection to June, Harper discovers truths about her sister, herself and life.

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


Harper was always jealous of her older sister June. June had the perfect life- great grades, great looks, great boyfriend. When June suddenly commits suicide, Harper is sent into a bit of a tailspin. Harper desperately wants to know why June did it or if anything could have stopped her. While going through June's room, Harper discovers a mix CD that was unlike anything June ever listened to. Harper decides that June's ashes need to go to the one place June always wanted to escape to- California. The mix tape leads Harper to Jake, someone so unlike anyone June ever associated with that Harper can't figure out his connection to June. Harper, her best friend Laney, and Jake soon embark on the road trip of a lifetime to see that June gets to California.

This book turned out much different than I ever imagined it would. For me, the most marvelous part was how tightly things were tied in to music. I love music so much, and I think it really helped heighten the emotional response I had as a reader. Harper, Laney, and Jake were all kind of misfits in different ways. They came together to make a wonderful trio though. The road trip vibe was alive and well, and it made me remember so many random journeys I made when I was younger. There's a certain feel of freedom from the real world that you get while road tripping, and you could feel that throughout the book. This disassociation from real life allowed Harper to really search through her feelings on everything, and you get the feeling this trip was as much for her as it was to deliver June to where she always wanted to be.

Like any good book, there are secrets and conflicts and all kinds of interesting plot points. They never take away from the real plot though-Harper discovering how she feels about life. At first I thought Harper was a trying a bit too hard to be a rebel, but as I got to know her through the plot and the music associated I saw where she was coming from. By the end of the book I loved Harper, Laney, and Jake so much. I read this book so fast because I was just drawn into the story, and I really wanted to know how everything was resolved. A little bit rock and roll, a little bit therapy, I thought this was an amazing book that I would highly recommend to everyone.

Galley provided for review.

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