Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review: Saving June, by Hannah Harrington

Saving June is a worthy addition to the substantial list of contemporary teen novels dealing with grief after losing a loved one.

In this case, Harper’s older sister, June, has committed suicide just before her high school graduation. This has been a shock to everyone, since June was popular and appeared to be happy. At June’s memorial, Harper meets Jake, who has a mysterious connection to June. Harper soon discovers there’s a side to June she was unaware of.

June’s dream was to go to college in California, so Harper, along with her best friend Laney and Jake decide to steal June’s ashes and take them to California. Harper’s parents, who are recently divorced, had decided to split the ashes among the two of them. (I really can’t believe that. I can’t imagine anyone thinking that is a good solution….) This is unacceptable to Harper as well, and the fact that her aunt has decided to move in with Harper and her mom also sends her reeling. Harper really can’t stand her aunt.

So, this is a road trip story with several interesting side trips—one to St. Louis, where I am from, so that has a special appeal to me. The characters are great, even the side characters that they meet along the way. I believed Harper’s grief, and really thought Harrington did a great job of getting us inside her head.  Laney was a great, although unlikely, best friend, and the addition of the mysterious Jake kept me easily turning the pages. I thought Harper’s dealing with her unhappiness by running away with June was a realistic scenario, given the situation.

The only part that left me a little disappointed was the secret that Jake is keeping, which is revealed towards the end of the book. I didn’t buy it. I don’t think he would have kept this secret—it didn’t make sense to me. It makes for a dramatic ending, though.

And…I will still recommend this to my contemp fans. I think they will really like this, especially if they enjoyed 13 Reasons Why, Fall for Anything, Hold Still,  or Before I Die.

Published by Harlequin, November 22, 2011
eBook obtained for review from NetGalley
336 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. Sounds like a pretty good read!

  2. I keep seeing this book all over! I need to check it out. I've been really into contemporary lately.

  3. I love contemporary books (yes, I'm biased :-). But I really enjoyed this review and the details you provided. Will have to check this one out!

  4. I've been watching and excited for this book for a LONG time. Glad to see that, even though it wasn't perfect, that you liked it!

  5. Nice review! I really liked Saving June and the realstic story. It was so worth ordering it from an Australian book store!

  6. I've heard great things about this book so I want to put it on my wishlist since my library doesn't have it. --Haha, agree with you about splitting the ashes ..it's like splitting a body ..you take the one from the waist down and I take the top ..yikes!!!


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