Saving June is a young adult novel by Hannah Harrington. The book was published by Mira Ink on 1st June 2012 and the book is 336 pages long.
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com)
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.
What I thought
Sometimes I get in a bit of a rut when it comes to reading, like many people. I read some good books in a row and then the bad ones come along and ruin my reading mood. Saving June was the book that got me out of my most recent rut.
Harper Scott’s sister has just killed herself, not leaving a note or any kind of clue to why. Although Harper wasn’t exactly close to June, she’s devastated and extremely confused. The basis of this book is that June had always wanted to go to California but never got the chance. Harper believes that California is the place where her ashes should be and decides with the help of best friend to run away there to do it. The idea behind this book was fantastic. Hannah Harrington took a really sad situation and put a sense of adventure and excitement next to it.
I really liked Harper, the main character. Although she was dealing with her grief and a tough situation at home with her mother not coping at all, she knew there wasn’t something right about her sister’s suicide. I admired Harper for being so brave and carrying out something which she knew would mean a lot to her sister, even though it went against what her mother and father wanted. Harper was a really spunky character, which was something else I liked about her. She was never afraid to say what she was thinking, was loud and quite outspoken but was fun at the same time.
There are really only 2 other characters who are in this book quite a lot. Best friend Laney and Jake, a random guy driving them to California. Laney was a great character because she was the opposite to Harper. Laney was extremely outgoing and had a bigger sense of fun and doing things just for the sake of it. She let go at every opportunity and made the most out of the situation they were in. I liked the friendship dynamic between the two because although they were different, they really were the best of friends and you could tell they had been for a long time.
Then there’s Jake. Oh how I loved him. Alternative music loving boy stuck in a van with 2 teenage girls for hundreds of miles was obviously never going to be straightforward. Jake was snarky, a bit defensive but really sexy. His love of music and passion about the words behind it comes through extremely clear and it makes it possible to really understand him as a character. Due to Jake’s love of music, the book has a fantastic soundtrack full of a range of songs ranging from punk to pop. It was nice to see such a mix of music so as to not exclude anyone reading.
Jake is obviously also the love interest for Harper although there are secrets between the two of them. Jake had something to do with her sister before she died but he isn’t giving away anything regarding this. I enjoyed watching Harper and Jake’s friendship progress as the road trip went on and surprisingly, Laney didn’t come across as the third wheel. There was a real sense of fun between the three characters which was only made better by a bit of tension between Harper and Jake.
Saving June is a wonderful read with some real, deep issues along with a story about finding yourself during a road trip. I loved every page of this book.