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Monday, November 21, 2011

Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Saving June
by Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Harlquin Teen
Release Date: November 22, 2011

Format: Paperback, 336 pages

Source: Received for Review through Netgalley

"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
    - Summary from Goodreads 

My Thoughts 
 
Saving June hit me hard. It made me think. It made my cry. This book is about so many things: death, hope, love, friendship, MUSIC, learning to trust. While reading Saving June, I lost a member of my family in a similar way that Harper lost June. It was gutwerenching and tragic, and you're probably thinking that I'd never want to pick up this book again. The opposite actually happened though. I liked and related to Harper, the main character of the book, from the very beginning. She appears cold and distant to outsiders, yet she is really insecure and unsure of how to express her emotions. After losing my own family member last week, I was able to relate to Harper on such a deeper level. I understood the breathtaking pain she was going through, the questions of "why did this happen? How could this happen?", the anger and the sadness. Being able to relate to Harper on such a deep level really helped to amplify the power of this book for me. Even without the personal connection I felt, the book is amazing. While the book is tinged with sadness, it also offers many moments of humor and hope. Because I have little faith in my ability to write a coherent review of this wonderful book, I present you with the top 18 things I adored about Saving June.

Top 18 Things I Adored about Saving June

1. Harper was a three dimensional character. She's someone that I could imagine meeting and being friends with in real life.

2. Harper's best friend, Laney. This girl has some self-esteem problems and needs a great big hug, but I loved that she was always there for Harper, and her sense of humor made me smile.

3. Jake. He came off as an asshat at the beginning of the book, but I loved him more and more as I read. He has a dry sense of humor, knows way more about music than most people will ever know, and he showed great tenderness towards Harper and Laney at the end of the novel. He's not one of those love interests who fades into the background. He has a voice of his own.

4. The fact that it made me cry. A book has to be powerful to manage that. 
 
5. Saving June helped my remember why I love music so much.  
 
6. Along those same lines, after reading this book I have a new understanding of Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. After reading that particular passage in the book, I immediately downloaded the song from Itunes and listened to it twice in a row.

7. The roadtrip aspect. Who doesn't love a road trip?
 
8. Reading about Harper pushing and showing her way through a true mosh pit. I doubt I'll ever be brave enough to do that, but Harper held her own. 
 
9. The snarky, flirtatious banter between Harper and Jake. By the end, I was thinking "OMG. PLEASE just get together already!"

10. a mountain of refrigerators. That is all.

11. Harper's tenderness towards Laney was touching, especially since Harper is not a touchy feely person

12. Saving June is FUNNY. Yes, it is about suicide. Yes, it deals with grielf. The story goes way beyond that though.

13. I loved that Harper was able to capture people's emotions through spontaneous photography. (Although if she did it to me, we'd probably have issues)

14. The author captured a true sense of what grief really is

15. Best. Makout Scene. Ever.

16. Jake's van is named Joplin

17. Saving June made me happy to be alive.

18. The author included playlists at the end of the book. I will download these as soon as possible.

Do you see why I love Saving June so much? I do think the story would have been even better if some of Harper's polaroid pictures were included, as was done in Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. That's just personal preference though. Overall, Saving June was an amazing read. This book touched me in so many ways. It helped me cope with my own loss, it renewed my love of music, and it gave me a character that I was truly able to connect with. I am definitely going to purchase a finished copy of Saving June. It deserves a spot on my shelf. I hope you will give it a spot on yours as well
 
I'll leave you with two of my favorite quotes from the advance reader copy.  

"June is gone. For the first time, the enormity of that hits me. Every muscle aches, my heart most of all. I am throbbing with how much I miss her. It hurts worse than anything. I don't know how I'm supposed to be expected to live day by day carrying this kind of pain. I don't know how I'm supposed to go out there, spread her ashes and let her go."

"It hurts, but it's supposed to, because that's what it means to be alive. And that's comforting, actually. The realization that I'm not some robot devoid of emotions. That I still have the ability to feel things this brutally, this immediate and sharp."
 
5/5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. This looks really good Steph..thanks for sharing it :)

    ReplyDelete

 
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