Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Saving June by Hannah Harrington [REVIEW]

TITLE: Saving June
AUTHOR: Hannah Harrington
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
PUB DATE: May 1 2011
Summary from Goodreads:

"‘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."


Saving June was a gift from Maria for my birthday. To be honest, I was sceptical about reading it, but since I was looking for some contemporary books to read, I thought to give Saving June a shot. It’s rare to find myself reading books such as this. Realistic fiction has never been up my alley. I guess I get so much of real life everyday that fantasy and other otherworldly books were a great way to take a break from reality.

When I started to read Saving June, I didn’t really think much of it. The first chapters showed me an angst Harper grieving over her sister, June’s death, who committed suicide. In their family, June is the prodigy while Harper’s the black sheep. I didn’t find Harper to be a character I’d let myself be influenced by. All the smoking and bad seed persona doesn’t win my affection, but that doesn’t mean she’s not a strong character. Over the course of Harper’s journey to California made see what kind of strength she brings into the life of the people she’s with. It may not be as noticeable as everyone else’s, but the subtlety of it makes it all the more awe inspiring.

Jake was one other character I didn’t really think I’d like either. One of the biggest turn offs for me in a guy is a smoking habit. So no matter how cute or hot he was, I was icky about the whole smoking thing. But when he talks about music... man is he a killer. I’m not as fanatical about music as he is, but the passion he puts out whenever he talks about music was fascinating to see. I like that this guy isn’t afraid to be honest about what he likes, even though some would tend to laugh at it or make fun of him because of it.

At the beginning of Jake, Harper and Laney’s trip, I was doubtful about the idea of it. I didn’t get the purpose behind them joining the activists – there’s nothing wrong with fighting for what you believe in, I just didn’t get the essence of it for their agenda. But as soon as I saw the change in Harper’s character, I began to understand the importance of this journey to happen, and whatever spots they stopped at to either rest or just live. How it helped Harper find closure over what June did and, to hopefully move on.

My reading experience with Saving June was pretty short. And to be honest, I don’t exactly have the right words to say what I feel about this book. It was nice and yet it was deep and emotional. I still haven’t figured out why June killed herself though. Her reasons and her story weren’t really cleared out in the end... but for some reason, I feel like it is better left that way.

Books like these make you feel grateful for all the things you have and experience in life... No matter how shallow they may seem...


  1. This was one of my favorite reads last year. I'm so glad that you loved it as much as I did! The amount of passion Jake had about music played a huge factor in how much I enjoyed it.

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

    1. Glad to know that, Ellie! I actually ended up checking out the playlist for myself after reading this. Jake sure did make such a huge impact on me. :)


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