29 November 2011

(ARC) YA Book Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Release Date: 22 November 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: NetGalley

Buy It! Amazon | B&N

Goodreads description:
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.
My Thoughts...

Saving June was a heart-wrenching, beautiful read.  Once I started reading, I was so drawn into the story that I couldn't put the book down.  Trust me--I was SO wishing that I hadn't volunteered to work on Black Friday because I could have been reading this instead!
If she's waited less than two weeks, she would be June who died in June, but I guess she never took that into account.
-p7, eARC
When the story opens, June is dead and her younger sister, Harper, is dealing with the aftermath--the funeral and wake, the pitying glances, the endless casseroles, and the unwanted affectionate embraces of old women wearing too much perfume.  Harper was always very different from her sister, but now she is forced to see the world around her differently.  Did she really know her sister?
But I wasn't interested in being like June, and I definitely didn't want to live in June's shadow. Even if mine was less impressive, at least it was my own.
 -p34, eARC
I connected with Harper early on in this book.  She's a unique person who's never been afraid to stand up for herself and do her own thing, but at her deepest points, she has more in common with each and every one of us than she ever imagined.  She is so heartbroken over her sister's death that my heart broke right alongside hers.  I thought that her grieving process was handled immensely well, including her "wild" idea to drive June's ashes across the country to scatter them in California.  It seemed like such a fitting tribute that coincided with what we knew of June and what we're learning about Harper.
"Without music, life would be a mistake."
-Jake, p175, eARC
Jake is a character who pops into Harper's life out of nowhere, and I felt from the first moment that I "met" him that he was going to be significant.  Throughout the story I loved getting to see Harper and Jake interact and get to know each other and themselves in the process. Jake is so not the person I expected him to be from initial interactions and I seriously grew to like him a lot.  The only thing that irked me just a little were his mood swings. I mean, this boy SERIOUSLY suffers from male PMS.  His bickering with Harper would kind of pop up out of nowhere and make me want to smack the boy! But don't worry, he more than makes up for it later (despite a minor major f-up toward the end).

My very minor gripe aside, this book was phenomenal.  Ms. Harrington has taken a story of teenage grief and turned it into a beautiful story.  I think fans of contemporary YA fiction will fall deeply, madly in love with this story.


Alexandralanc said...

Thought this looked like a cute book. Thanks for the review!


Molli said...

Aww YAY you liked it.  Jake WAS very mood swing-y.  Sometimes I couldn't keep up with him!  But he ended up being great for Harper, and oh man,  I loved Harper so much!  Glad you enjoyed the book. 

Book Light Graveyard said...

Great review! I REALLY want to read this book. Even if Jake has male PMS :)

Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

This sounds like it might  be too sad for me, but I'm not sure.  It might work since the book starts after her sister has already died.

Jessi said...

OMG he totally has male PMS...but you have to overlook it for his sweet moments. :)

Jessi said...

Harper definitely stole my heart from page one, both in her moments of pain and glimmers of happiness and healing.

Jessi said...

It's sad at points, but it's so much about healing and moving on that the grief doesn't overshadow the happy moments.

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