Harper Scott's older sister has always been the perfect one- so when June takes her own life a week before high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone's sorry, but no one can explain why.
When her divorcing parents decided to split her sister's ashes into his-and her urns, Harper taken 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 demeanor 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.
summary from book
My Rating: 5/5
This book is incredible. Plain and simple. Saving June is the type of novel that resonates with the reader and lingers, long after the final words have been read and the book has been shut. I only wish I had picked this one up sooner yet I am extremely happy that I decided to give it a shot when I did. I really don't even know where to begin with Saving June as there's just so much to say. Hopefully this review will be thorough and coherent, and will encapsulate all of my thoughts and feelings.
The premise of this novel is what struck me in the first place. I think I've mentioned this a million times before but I'll keep saying it because it's just so true. I love contemporary YA and I love all of the YA authors that are dedicated to writing, and commit themselves to such a fantastic genre. If you're a lover of contemporary YA, this novel has everything you need, and I mean everything. There's a captivating plot, characters that are so real you can almost feel them breathing next to you, there's drama and angst which keeps the story interesting and fluid, there's a road trip, there's music, there's the touching upon of important teen issues. In short: this book is real. It's one of the most realistic YA novels of read in a long time, as well as one of the most touching.
The characters. Seriously, the characters are perfect in such an imperfect way. I've commenced reading Hannah Harrington's second novel, Speechless, and already I miss Harper and Jake and Laney. These three have now been added to the list of YA characters that I love and favor. They are complex and layered, full of emotion and opinions. I loved following them through their journey, both literal and emotional.
This leads me to the road trip. I don't think I've ever read a novel where there's a road trip present. There are a ton of books I want to read where road trips are a main element but I've yet to read those. All I can say is that this incorporation was fabulous. The thought of writing such a thing seems daunting to me just because you have to be exact. People will know if you're faking or don't have the details right. Plus the possibilities are endless. There's so much you can cover with a road trip, so much to see and write about. It can seem cumbersome. Harrington however writes the road trip aspect of Saving June seamlessly and perfectly. There is just the right amount to keep the reader satisfied and interested. It's also woven so well with the complex stories of Harper, Jake, and Laney. The pacing is great. Everything really, is great.
Another aspect I wasn't really expecting so much of in this novel was the complex and profound role of music. Mind you, it's mentioned in the summary but I didn't give it much thought until I'd begun reading. It's phenomenal though and really helps set the mood not to mention, helps usher the story along in an interesting way. Again, the element of music was woven perfectly into Saving June and it's plot. It made perfect sense and I'm glad it was incorporated and utilized.
Just a quick note at the end of this review. I know a lot of people are often up in arms over endings. Some people like everything to be wrapped up perfectly while others prefer a sort of incomplete conclusion, which is an oxymoron but you know what I'm getting at. For me personally, I do like some closure but I don't need everything to be perfect or explained. I'm only mentioning this really because I read a review on a booksellers website that stated how Saving June didn't provide enough closure. I think this is so completely far from the truth. Without giving too much away, everything that is mentioned and dealt with in this novel is addressed in the end. Nothing is left unmentioned or untouched. Harrington provides just the perfect amount of closure. But hey, that's just my opinion. :)
Overall: I really don't think I need to persuade you to pick up Saving June but just in case you for some reason need that extra push...YOU NEED TO READ THIS NOVEL. I promise you won't regret it. I've already gone out and purchased Speechless, Hannah Harrington's second novel which I can't wait to get into!