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Harper Scott's older sister, June, commits suicide two weeks shy of her high school graduation. So Harper, at sixteen, defiantly finds herself an only child while mourning her sister's death and is not kind to her divorced and grief-stricken parents. To make matters worse, Harper is the one who finds her deceased sister. But a huge unanswered question for Harper is why? June does not even leave behind a goodbye note. Meanwhile, Tyler hangs around during the wake at Harper's house. Harper ponders his connection to her late sister and investigates clues regarding June's unfulfilled dreams. This takes her on a road trip to California with her best friend, Laney, and Tyler to scatter her sister's ashes into the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, they encounter adventure among their far-flung friends and acquaintances. Just when you discover Tyler's connection to Harper's sister, the climax takes the reader on a gigantic twist. This is a work of realistic fiction. The author portrays the life of wayward teens who seek independence. Although the language may be a bit salty, it is realistic. The story also includes the theme of budding romance, with some sexual expression. SAVING JUNE should become a movie some day – it even includes a soundtrack. -- VOYA
Posted December 18, 2011
WOW This book blew me away. I have been digesting it for two weeks trying to decide how to review it. Every time I think about it again I honestly get all teary eyed. I am usually not a fan of realistic fiction because I never find it realistic. So when I read this and completely connected to and understood the main character I was surprised. Harper was so much like me which is always amazing to find in a book.
This book dealt with death in such an honest and relatable way to me. Whether you have lost someone as close to you as a sister or not, most of us have lost someone or have a friend that has lost someone. Harper lost her sister. With no previous signs of depression, her sister took her own life and Harper was the one to find her. Harper is left trying to take care of her mother while still holding herself together. Also having a nosy and obtrusive aunt trying to tell her how to deal with her loss and trying to make her attend church. Harper is not religious and this does not help her with the loss. Everyone deals with loss in a different way but forcing what worked for her aunt on her was not helpful. She has a caring best friend, Laney but you can only stand to hear "Are you okay?" so many times. Of course she is not okay and never will be again.
Then she meets Jake Tolan. A secret friend of June's that seems to hate her. He over hears her plans to take June's ashes to California and he wants to come. Since Harper needs a car she agrees. June always dreamed of California and Harper feels this will grant one of June's greatest wishes. Harper is very curious to know what Jake and June's relationship was like. Laney tags along for the journey and they sneak off stealing June's urn.
Harper thinks Jake is infuriating but he seems to be exactly what she needs. He is understanding and she is beginning to see a softer side to him as they travel. They play road games and he helps her when she has had too much to drink. The pain of her loss continues to hit her and Jake is there for her. He is helpful and sweet when Laney faces some devastating news as well. She can't help but begin to think about what it would be like to kiss him. Jake is definitely a deep character that I slowly began to understand and love.
Laney is trying her best to help Harper but sometimes Harper lashes out. It is understandable. There is no right thing to say when someone close to you loses someone. You just have to be there and Laney is there every step of the way to be what Harper needs. She wants Harper to be okay but it will take time. I could relate to Laney's struggle to say the right thing and to deal with a friends loss along with what the loss means to you and also have to continue to deal with your own life and problems. It is an overwhelming struggle.
Jake has a few secrets. When they come out Harper is devastated but she realizes in life there will always be pain. There will always be mistakes and risks but she wants to live. She wants to feel it all. She will never be the same but she will continue to live. June's choice changed her forever but she will try to understand it and remember her. Such an emotional and beautiful story. I really understood Harper and her journey through her loss. I felt like she
7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 10, 2012
This book was amazing. Incredibly relatable and touching. I completly fell in love with all the charactors. A cute romance with unexpected twists is wat really put this book overthe top for me. One of the best books ive read in a long time. Highly recommend!!!
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2011
This book was...okay. Though I really wanted to like this book (main character named after an awesome author! Protagonist deals with loss in a positive way! Road trip with decent music!), I never felt like I really connected with Harper's character. I didn't really get a sense of her as a real person at all. It felt a lot more like she was 'telling' us everything instead of showing us much of, well, anything. Other than a massive single act against her parents and wearing a lot of black, I didn't really 'get' her rebelliousness. She told us about her issues with her sister, but they just didn't seem to be something she felt deeply. For the most part, she just came off as overly dramatic, whiny, self-absorbed, and shallow. I'm not sure why Laney and Jake put up with her most of the time, because quite often she just didn't seem to be worth the trouble. Her love/hate relationship with Jake especially didn't make sense to me--she hated him. She found him attractive. She was nice to him, but then remembered she hated him so she was nasty. Ugh. I just didn't find their relationship, such as it was, believable.
I liked the premise of the book--dealing with the suicide of an older sister (and divorced parents' completely inappropriate idea to split said sister's ashes between them) by road tripping to California, the place that the sister had dreamed of going one day, to sprinkle her ashes in the Pacific Ocean. It had a lot of promise. Parts of the road trip were fun--Fridgehedge, for example--and at times the camaraderie between the three teens was heartfelt and realistic. At other times, though, the trip began to feel like a disjointed group of scenes thrown together for no real reason--there wasn't a whole lot of plot development there, and most the the characters they met were there and then gone without really having done much to move the story along.
I've read much better books dealing with grieving characters--The Beginning of After in particular is a real standout. Next to that one, Saving June just pales. We don't really see Harper grow and change much, and her mother's issues are all magically solved while Harper was away. I guess the biggest change is that the two get along in the end, but really, it was so superficial a difference that it really didn't do much for me at all.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 4, 2011
It's a soul searching and peace finding adventure that brings two best friends, and a boy with a van, incredibly close.
June Scott, the dependable daughter, couldn't take the pain she was feeling hidden any longer and she did what was best for her knowing it would devastate her family and friends. Her aunt Helen would probably call her selfish (and probably did), but I found something so human and relatable in the frail character, having never even been introduced to her except in memories provided by the other characters of the story.
With their mother breaking apart, and their father not around, June's sister Harper is left to pick up all the broken pieces of her life. Unable to deal with the drama pulling her in every direction at home, Harper decides to do what she needs to do for herself and her sister. Along with Jake and Laney, Harper takes June's ashes to California and has an unforgettable summer while sorting through all of her feelings.
The mysterious Jake Tolan is a man full of secrets that Harper is determined to figure out, like how close was he to June? I loved his character, he can be charming when he wants to, and sweet at times but he puts up this bad boy front that may not be much more than an act. I picture his voice like Jarrod Gorbel's of The Honorary Title, sexy and heartbreaking. Jake and Harper's banter back and forth made me think of Remy and Dexter of Sarah Dessen's This Lullaby. Hannah Harrington did a fantastic job creating a book that tore me to pieces on every page and still managed to keep me hopeful.
Harper doesn't take crap from anyone, but she also doesn't try new things. She's outspoken, yet enjoys being comfortable. Someone I think a lot of girls can relate to. And, she's not perfect, who is? She has become my favorite character in a book, especially after the part at the concert (you have to read it to find out why). She's as lost as any other character I've read about, but she manages to make it through this hard time little by little, and from beginning to end it's like a new character. Never wavering from her side is Laney, and on her other side is Jake. Together, the three make an unstoppable force.
Music defines moments in life, and Hannah Harrington's use and taste of exceptional songs and artists adds so much to this cross country road trip. What would a road trip be without great music? She found the perfect songs for parts of the book, and this book makes me want to make a playlist right now.
Bonus: all of the mixes and track lists found in the book were in the back of the e-book! I'm assuming the paperback would have the same.
I have no complaints about this one, none. I loved and adored it. I loved the writing, characters, story, all of it! I laughed, cried, and cried some more. One of the best contemporary novels I've ever read and I look forward to reading more of Hannah's work.
I recommend it to everyone looking to get their socks rocked by a story about loss, first love, heartbreak, and moving on.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 8, 2014
Posted March 26, 2012
Wow this.book.blew me out of the water who ever is thinking about buying this do it is amazing one of the best books ive read it is sooo not a waste of your money the title isnt.much about the book but at the same time it is i cant even explain in words how much.i love this book i was never able to put it down buynthe book and once you read it tell people about it i really hope they make a movie for it!!! :))
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 26, 2013
I have read over eighty books and this book has to be on my top five favorites. I cried not because the book was sad, but because I understood Harper so well. I love that she changed throughout the whole book so much. At first she was someone that had as much feeling as a brick and at towards the end she cried almost in every chapter. I loved her romance with Jake and how it developed slowly. The music Hannah mentioned was great. I especially loved Laney, and found her to be hilarious. This is the first book I read from Hannah Harrington, but definetly will not be my last.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 26, 2013
This book was exceptional, it blew me away. There were many parts to this book where I actually had goosebumps. It is not really what you expect it to be. When hearing the circumstances of Harper's "perfect" older sister June committing suicide only a week before her graduation you would expect Harper to be depressed and turning every situation into a pity party. Harper is not like that at all. She is strong and does not crumble under adversity. Harper does not even grieve in the traditional sense, in her words: she never cries. Harper takes June's ashes away without her families' knowledge on a whim. It is what she believes June would have wanted. That journey is meant to save June, or her essence in a way, but really it is a journey that saves Harper. Harper grows from the experience and learns that she is not truly alone as she initially thought she was. This book is worth the read and is one you will not forget. It is a story of romance, death, grieving, friendship, and forgiveness.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2013
I liked it. That's it though - didn't love it. Well developed characters though and I could picture everything happening in detail. Great author, just wasn't crazy about the story. I still liked it though and don't regret buying it. :)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 2, 2013
Posted November 28, 2012
Saving June revolves around Harper Scott and her life in the aftermath of her sister June’s suicide. Harper is the daughter that is forgotten about. She’d been living in June’s shadow her whole life, and now that June is dead, she’s unsure of her place in the world.
June was the golden girl, who seemingly didn’t have any problems or worries. When Harper finds her dead sister, the entire Scott family is thrown off axis. Harper blames herself and when no suicide note is found, she begins to search frantically through her sister’s belongings, trying to find some clue as to why June did it.
Her search results in finding a postcard of California, where her sister longed to go. This discovery results in Harper deciding to take her sister’s ashes on a road trip to California to scatter them in the Pacific Ocean where hopefully June will finally be at peace.
The majority of the story takes place during the road trip that also includes Harper’s best friend, Laney and a mysterious guy from June’s past, Jacob Tolan. Initially Harper can’t stand Jacob, he’s evasive about his relationship with June and he often waffles between being an insensitive ass to the guy you want to swoon over. His dichotomy is interesting to read about and I loved how his relationship with Harper grows during their week long road trip from Michigan to California.
I really enjoyed this story. Harper’s narrative at times feels really immature, yet it fits with her persona and age group. So while it annoyed me a little bit, I can’t blame the author’s usage of it, because it was accurate for the character.
I also liked how the author weaved the secondary characters into the story in a modest, yet complimentary way.
This story probably would have gotten three stars, but I particularly enjoyed the ending between Harper and Jacob.
Posted October 24, 2012
Posted August 25, 2012
I first read this book around a year ago, and it has been on my
nightstand ever since. I re-read it almost once a month, and to this day
it is still my all time favorite book. The way it deals with June's
death was exceptional, making you grieve along with Harper. Harper is
a whole different story though, and you connect with her on an emotional
level. There was one line near the begining if the book, when she
thought somthing about a lake that still stickswith me to this day...
"It was so big, bigger then me, bigger then my pain." I don't
know if I got those words exactly right, but it just makes you realise
just exactly how much pain she is in. It's truly touching and
beautifully written. All the characters in this book, especially Jake,
are amazing well written. Music also plays a large part in this book,
and Hannah Harrington has wonderful taste. From Janis Joplin, to The
Beatles, and The Doors. It truly is exceptional.
Posted August 2, 2012
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimers: I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I was really excited to read this one. I had heard amazing things about it and couldn't wait to get my hands on it.
I love this type of book. A book involving travel a "bad boy" who really isn't as bad as you think and a girl who just feels lost, usually from feeling like she's living in her perfect sister's shadows until suddenly that sister isn't so perfect anymore. Plus, this book was highly centered on music and for some reason books about music just seem to always be incredible.
It was set up to be an incredible novel and I couldn't wait to see if Harrington met my expectations.
She exceeded them. This novel blew me away. It's been three weeks since I read this one and I still am absolutely in love with Harrington's characters and her writing style. Her prose was beautiful and drew me in from the first page.
This novel is easily one of my favorites of the entire year. I know I've already touched upon the plot, the characters, and the writing style, but now I'm going to go in to more detail.
I loved Harper Scott. Yes, she was rough around the edges but I couldn't help but root for her. And then there was Jake, how could you not like Jake. He was just incredible.
This book left me feeling nearly every emotion possible; it made me want to laugh, cry, and at times left me absolutely furious. Any book that elicits such an emotional response is easily one I love.
In Summary: Hannah Harrington's debut novel is beautifully addicting and is bound to leave readers breathless. I adored everything about this book and definitely it recommend it to everybody. Definitely one worth reading.
Warnings/Side-notes: This book is a little rough around the edges. There are mentions of drugs, sex, suicide, and strong language. However, the sexual references were fairly vague and not too descriptive. This book wasn't clean, but neither was it filthy. I'd have no qualms about recommending this to mature teen readers.
The Wrap-up: I can't believe it took me so long to write this review, because I loved this book. It was beautiful and exceeded my expectations. Like I mentioned earlier, this book blew me away. Read this one. You won't regret it. This is one that I could easily see myself buying and reading again and again.
Posted July 11, 2012
This book really took my breath away. Harper is a great character, and her anger at times seems justified, but later on directed to certain people in a way that makes sense, if you are in mourning. Jake is also great, even though he has a few secrets. He truly cares about Harper and he was connected to June, just not in a physical sense. And I thought Laney at first was a little vapid, but she turns out to be a wonderful sidekick to Harper, and someone who truly cares about things. I like the romance between Harper and Jake, its not love at first sight and fireworks. They bicker a lot, slowly start to care, and then fall in love. I loved how music was a big part of the book, and the playlists at the end provide a great soundtrack. Even with the heavy topics of suicide(June) and pregnancy(Laney), its all dealt with in just the right manner. I still would recommend it to an older teen just because of the serious subjects.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 6, 2012
A beautiful and emotional gripping read.
I loved this book. I'm glad I read it. Harper's hot tempered attitude was a great addition to this book. I found Harper to be quite funny when she gets constantly angry. Jake was such a great character and I liked how Harper and him were constantly bickering. It was quite refreshing that Harper and Jake did not instantly fall in love.They first became friends, bonded and then started to like one another.
Posted June 11, 2012
(I was given a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin UK)
16-year-old Harper has always been the screw-up in the family, while her sister June has always been the high flyer. The problem is that June just killed herself. She didn’t even leave a note so nobody even knows why she did it.
Rummaging through June’s things, Harper finds a cd with a latin phrase written on it. When she listens to it, it’s rock and jazz, music that Harper would never have imagined June listening to. It seems there’s more to June than she knew; especially when she finds a postcard of California with the words ‘I’m coming home.’ written on it, and a message on the back of a receipt.
These clues lead her to a music shop where she meets Jake – the mysterious writer of the note. Harper is sure that June would want her ashes taken to California rather than being split between two urns, half to each of her parents! So Harper, her best friend Laney, and the mysterious Jake set out on a road trip to California, and discover some things about themselves along the way.
Will they make it to California? What will they learn about themselves along the way? And will they ever discover why June killed herself?
I wanted to like this book, but it just didn’t really do it for me. It was just so predictable! Want to be a teenage rebel? Simply listen to rock music, go on a road trip, join in a protest, attend a concert, and start a fight… I really felt like I had almost read this book before, it just wasn’t a very original idea.
I found it difficult to really connect with the characters in this book. Harper was almost in denial about June, and finding it hard to come to terms with things. She didn’t talk about her feelings all that much and I found it difficult to understand exactly what she was going through. Jake was just too aloof and standoffish, and Laney was just a chameleon who did whatever other people were doing to fit in.
There was some romance, but unfortunately not enough to save the story. I hate to say this but I was just bored. I didn’t care about the characters or what was happening to them. I think I probably felt most sorry for Harpers mom; who had recently got divorced, had her eldest child commit suicide, and then had her youngest child run away with the eldest child’s ashes!
Overall; a bit too cliché for me, but I’m sure other people will like this.
5 out of 10.
Posted March 7, 2012
SAVING JUNE is everything but insignificant. It is thoroughly beautiful, tragic and magical. Hannah Harrington wrote a story full of music and sound…with each note and word making you fall even more for Jake, Harper and the story around her sister June.
~The road trip~
"You cannot be in love with someone you've really only known for barely a week and on top of that someone who drives you crazy most of the time. No matter how goodlooking and charming and interesting and understanding he may be. Not even if he's the one person who makes you feel like yourself.
Harper, Jake and Laney intend to drive all the way to California. And their road trip is grand and adventurous. It promises pure awesomeness. SAVING JUNE actually features the best road trip I’ve read about so far. On their way the three teens meet many funny and cool characters and see and try out so many great new things.
"So really, it isn't as if noticing something like his well-toned biceps or his seriously long eyelashes means anything - other than a confirmation of the fact that I'm not blind."
The relationship between Harper and Jake is definitely no stereotype. It’s raw, it’s hot one moment, cold the other. Their struggles don’t consume the entire story or dominate the part that concentrates on Harper’s sister June. It’s subtle and I find it simply perfect the way it is in the exact moment.
SAVING JUNE doesn’t only circle around Harper and Jake’s feelings for each other; Hannah Harrington specially emphasises the relationship between best friends, throws light on the possible way two sisters can feel about each other and doesn’t forget Harper’s parents either.
"He took his pain and turned it into something beautiful. Into something that people connect to. And that's what good music does. It speaks to you. It changes you."
Music is a big part of this novel. It’ll get to you. Make you love Jake, Harper and the whole story around SAVING JUNE even more. There are so many musical references that SAVING JUNE is a whole soundtrack itself. So be prepared for a read that challenges your taste and makes you even more curious about that meaningful rock Jake always refers to.
~The writing balance~
"My love for June and Jake is an anchor, bound with unbreakable chains. Weighing me down, but at the same time... keeping me grounded. Keeping me here. Tying me to the world. It hurts, but it's supposed to, because that's what it means to be alive. And that's comforting, actually. The realization that I'm not some robot devoid of emotions. That I still have the ability to feel things this brutally, this immediate and sharp."
The beginning and the end are engaging and I almost floated through the story. Hannah Harrington’s writing is fantastic, her sentences felt just right to me and her sense for structure and syntax are natural. What amazed me were little sentences filled with prose and loaded with meaning along the road.
Although SAVING JUNE is an insightful read about serious meanings like suicide and the way of coping with the death of a beloved person, it is still a fun read. It might sound weird, but it has the talent to balance moments of pure joy and adventure with moments of grief and anger. It’ll be a pleasure to read more from Hannah Harrington in future, this girl knows how to rock the words!
Posted February 29, 2012
I picked this book up from the store..and started reading it when I got home..the story really sucks you in, and the characters are amazing. Very well written. You will get really attached to this book, the story is very well told. Hannah Harrington did a good job. Must check it out!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 26, 2012
This book was really hard for me to finish just because I don't want to thing about if I lost one of my sisters. I am one of six girls. I talk to my sisters everyday and I love each and everyone of them dearly. I would not know how to do deal with it if one of them past a way. But this is why this book was so good. It was very emotional and breathtaking. It was so well written. It kept the pages moving and turning. And I love that about a book.
You meet Harper. Harper is a teenage girl that should be loving life because she is about to go into her senior year of high school. She should be looking forward to homecoming, football games, basketball games, and prom. But she is having to deal with a funeral for her sister. Her sister decided to take her own life. But she doesn't know way. While at the wake she decides that she is going to do something for June. She is going to respect her sister and take her ashes to California and put them in the ocean. She is doing this because she knows that that is what June would want. So she embarks on this road trip with her best friend and one of June's friend. Her friend Jacob that is the hard rocker type that works at a music store. I have to tell you that I love when books incorporate music into them. I think that it is so amazing!
This book was so good. It reminded me a lot of Audrey, Wait! You really feel the heart break and emotions that run through the characters. You want things to happen for them not happen to them. I would recommend this book anyone that needs a good cry and a good read!