‘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.
Paperback, UK, 336 pagesPublished June 1st 2012 by Mira Ink
This is a hard review for me to write because I loved the book so much it's hard to get my jumble of thoughts in order to even make a coherent sentence, but I will give it my best shot. Saving June is a truly wonderful read, I immediately fell in love with Harper's character and I think she has one of the most raw, honest and true voices in fiction. Hannah Harrington is a fearless writer, which I am over the moon about. It is great to see an author taking a YA book and making it real, this was raw, full of emotion and also full of things that teenagers actually do. This is a very down-to-earth, honest book that I think will be relate-able in some shape or form to millions of teenagers out there. I loved the heart felt storyline, intriguing characters and the authors writing style, I cannot even think of one negative about Saving June. I really cannot urge everyone enough to read this fabulous book.
16 year old Harper's older sister June was always the one who was better at everything, she was popular and perfect but she commits suicide just before graduation. Harper's world starts to unravel and nothing makes sense anymore. June always wanted to pack up and move to California, it was her dream that will never come true.
So Harper decides to steal June's ashes, take a very long road trip to California and bring June to rest in the place that she always dreamt of going. Laney (Harper's best-friend), Jake (A guy who knew June) and Harper jump in Jake's van and make the journey.
The road trip is full of adventure and Harper finds herself falling for the mysterious Jake. But Jake seems to be holding something back about June. Harper just wants to find some peace for her sister, but when she finally gets to California things take a bit of a wrong turn. The book is called Saving June but I think Saving Harper would work too.
Jake loves music and I really loved how the author made music a big part of the storyline. I love music myself and I have a song for every emotion and occasion, so I was thrilled that I knew all the music talked about throughout the book. The playlists are amazing and it made a really different, fun way to end a book.
I will now be looking out for more works from this very talented author. Saving June really stands out as a novel for me and I really will remember it for a long time to come. Don't ya just love it when a book ticks all your boxes?
A big 5 Stars
*with special thanks to Mira Ink for the review copy & for letting me take part in this tour*
The song I have picked from the Saving June playlist as my road trip song is:
Start Me Up - Rolling Stones
What song would you pick as your favourite road trip song?
Mini Interview with Hannah Harrington
You can find Hannah on:
Where did the inspiration come from to start writing Saving June?
I had the idea for Saving June while I was in high school. Part of the inspiration came from personal experiences when I was in high school, and part of it was inspired by the music I loved. A family member of mine did pass away when I was a teenager, and though the circumstances were different, that experience did inform some of the story. I kept thinking about the idea over the next few years and finally decided to sit down and write it!
Who is your favourite character in Saving June? Why?
I love all of the characters! I'll say Jake may have been my favorite to write, just because he is so unfiltered and snarky all of the time.
If there was one thing you could change in the book, would you? What would it be?
I don't think there is anything I would change, to be honest. The only thing I would say I really have wavered on was whether or not to include what June's note actually said. Originally I did not include the note's text, but my editor suggested that I add it to give the reader more closure. I think it was a good call in the end, and I have had some people single out that part of the story as something that impacted them, so I suppose that means it was the right thing to do!
Tell us about some of your all time favourite reads?
I reread The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee about once a year; I love those books dearly. More recent books I've really enjoyed are Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers, Where She Went by Gayle Forman, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, Game Change by
John Heilemannand, and Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz.
Who is your favourite fictional character? (not your own) Why?
I love so many fictional characters as if they were real people; it's hard to narrow down. If we're including television, I'll go with Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation (as played by Amy Poehler). She's my favorite fictional character at the moment. She is just such a strong character in every way-- intelligent, funny, sweet, kind, ambitious, and I deeply admire her unflagging optimism. I just love watching her journey on that show, and I wish there were more female characters as well-rounded as she is on tv!