‘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.
As soon as I saw the cover and synopsis for Saving June, I knew right away that I wanted to pick up this book. I found myself just as enamored once I started reading an ARC, courtesy of Teen Book Scene. I couldn’t sleep until I knew what happened. Although Saving June isn’t one of my top ranked contemporaries, it certainly did not disappoint.
At the very beginning of the book, Harrington throws several questions straight at Harper and at the reader, which hooked me right away. Even though I was initially unsure about Harper’s idea to go on road trip, I think Harrington executed her ideas nicely, making sure that the parents weren’t invisible and that her characters had to think through practicalities. Plus, she also went on to address all of the questions which she presented later in the novel, and I liked the way the plot tied up.
What I wasn’t so fond of in this book were the characters. I actually really liked Harper. I thought that her character was nicely developed and well fleshed. I didn’t find Jake to be the most original character. I thought that he and Laney were both impulsive, and at times they got on my nerves.
Even if I didn’t find Saving June flawless, it was a readable, emotional, and enjoyable story. Harrington has a knack for character development. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from her in the future.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Teen Book Scene.