Thursday, January 19, 2012

Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Release Date: May 1, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

‘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. - Goodreads.com

This book and its characters were raw and realistic.  This story was a little bit more gritty than I was expecting, but it was a good thing.  It didn't detract from the story but added to it.  The main character, Harper, was unusual in the sense that she's strong, kind of goth in a way (at least from my viewpoint.)  She's devastated by her sister's death, but at the same time, she's focused solely on making sure her sister gets to see California, in any way that Harper can make it happen.  And in that, she never breaks down, even though it was something I could sense would happen.

Laney, as her friend, was an interesting character, but I almost felt like I could have taken her or left her.  She didn't detract from the story, but I also didn't feel like she really added anything either.  Although there was one part in the story where she acted as somewhat of a catalyst for some truths to come out.  Otherwise, even though I liked her, I felt that Harper and Jake could have taken this journey alone.

Jake was a great complement to Harper, and even though it's not revealed until much later whether or not Jake and June had been romatically involved, when the answer came, I wasn't surprised by it.  The development of this relationship between Harper and Jake was the most interesting part of the book.  It was a slow progression, and therefore all the more rewarding when it finally happened. 

The writing was beautiful but simple, the ideas poignantly expressed, and I really enjoyed it.

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