Saving June

Saving June

by Hannah Harrington

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459201682
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 11/22/2011
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,193,226
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 3 Months to 11 Years

About the Author

Hannah Harrington resides in Michigan with one dog and too many cats. When she isn’t busy writing like a crazy person, she enjoys arguing about politics, watching documentaries, playing guitar (very badly), and speaking about herself in the third person. You can find her online at hannahharrington.blogspot.com, facebook.com/hannahharrington and on Twitter @hharrington_.

Read an Excerpt



According to the puppy-of-the-month calendar hanging next to the phone in the kitchen, my sister June died on a Thursday, exactly nine days before her high school graduation. May's breed is the golden retriever—pictured is a whole litter of them, nestled side by side in a red wagon amid a blooming spring garden. The word Graduation!! is written in red inside the white square, complete with an extra exclamation point. If she'd waited less than two weeks, she would be June who died in June, but I guess she never took that into account.

The only reason I'm in the kitchen in the first place is because somehow, somewhere, someone got the idea in their head that the best way to comfort a mourning family is to present them with plated foods. Everyone has been dropping off stupid casseroles, which is totally useless, because nobody's eating anything anyway. We already have a refrigerator stocked with not only casseroles, but lasagnas, jams, homemade breads, cakes and more. Add to that the lemon meringue pie I'm holding and the Scott family could open up a restaurant out of our own kitchen. Or at the very least a well-stocked deli.

I slide the pie on top of a dish of apricot tart, then shut the refrigerator door and lean against it. One moment. All I want is one moment to myself.

"Harper?"

Not that that will be happening anytime soon.

It's weird to see Tyler in a suit. It's black, the lines of it clean and sharp, the knot of the silk tie pressed tight to his throat, uncomfortably formal.

"You look…nice," he says, finally, after what has to be the most awkward silence in all of documented history.

Part of me wants to strangle him with his dumb tie, and at the same time, I feel a little sorry for him. Which is ridiculous, considering the circumstances, but even with a year in age and nearly a foot in height on me, he looks impossibly young. A little boy playing dress-up in Daddy's clothes.

"Can I help you with something?" I say shortly. After a day of constant platitudes, a steady stream of thank-you-for-your-concern and we're-doing-our-best and it-was-a-shock-to-us-too, my patience is shot. It definitely isn't going to be extended to the guy who broke my sister's heart a few months ago.

Tyler fidgets with his tie with both hands. I always did make him nervous. I guess it's because when your girlfriend's the homecoming queen, and your girlfriend's sister is—well, me, it's hard to find common ground.

"I wanted to give you this," he says. He steps forward and presses something small and hard into my hand. "Do you know what it is? "

I glance down into my open palm. Of course I know: June's promise ring. The familiar sapphire stone embedded in white gold gleams under the kitchen light.

The first time June showed it to me, around six months ago, she was at the stove, cooking something spicy smelling in a pan while I grabbed orange juice from the fridge. She was always doing that, cooking elaborate meals, even though I almost never saw her eat any of them.

She extended her hand in a showy gesture as she said, "It belonged to his grandmother. Isn't it beautiful?" And when she just about swooned, it was all I could do not to roll my eyes so hard they fell out of my head.

"I think it's stupid," I told her. "You really want to spend the rest of your life with that jerk-off?"

"Tyler is not a jerk-off. He's sweet. He wants us to move to California together after we graduate. Maybe rent an apartment by the beach."

California. June was always talking about California and having a house by the ocean. I didn't know why she was so obsessed with someplace she'd never even been.

"Seriously, you're barely eighteen," I reminded her. "Why would you even think about marriage?"

June gave me a look that made it clear the age difference between us might as well be ten years instead of less than two. "You'll understand when you're older," she said. "When you fall in love."

I rolled my eyes as I drank straight from the jug, then wiped my mouth off with my sleeve. "Yeah, I'm so sure."

"What, you don't believe in true love?"

"You've met our parents, haven't you?"

Two months later, June caught her precious Tyler macking on some skanky freshman cheerleader at a car wash fundraiser meant to raise money for the band geeks. The only thing really raised was the bar for most indiscreet and stupidest way to get caught cheating on your girlfriend. Tyler was quite the class act.

A month after that disaster, our parents' divorce was finalized.

June and I never really talked about either of those things. It wasn't like when we were kids; we weren't best friends anymore. Hadn't been in years.

Now, even looking at the ring makes me want to throw up. I all but fling it at Tyler in my haste to not have it in my possession. "No. I don't want it. It's yours."

"It should've been hers," he insists, snatching my hand to try and force it back. "We would've gotten back together. I know we would have. It should've been hers. Keep it."

What is he doing? I want to scream, or kick him in the stomach, or something. Anything to get him away from me.

"I don't want it." My voice arches into near hysteria. What makes him think this is appropriate? It is not appropriate. It is so far from appropriate. "Okay? I don't want it. I don't."

Our reverse tug-of-war is interrupted by the approach of a stout, so-gray-it's-blue-haired woman, who pushes in front of Tyler and tugs me to her chest in a smothering embrace. She has that weird smell all old ladies seem to possess, must and cat litter and pungent perfume, and when she releases me from her death grip, holding me at arm's length, my eyes focus enough for a better look. Her clown-red lipstick and pink blush contrast sharply with her papery white skin. It's like a department store makeup counter threw up on her face.

I have no idea who she is, but I'm not surprised. An event like this in a town as small as ours has all kinds of people coming out of the woodwork. This isn't the first time today I've been cornered and accosted by someone I've never met acting like we're old friends.

"It's such a tragedy," the woman is saying now. "She was so young."

"Yes," I agree. I feel suddenly dizzy, the blood between my temples pounding at a dull roar. "So gifted!" "Yes," I say again.

"She was a lovely girl. You would never think…" As she trails off, the wrinkles around her mouth deepen. "The Lord does work in mysterious ways. My deepest sympathies, sweetheart."

The edges of my vision go white. "Thank you."

I can't do this. I can't do this. It feels like there's an elephant sitting on my chest.

"There you are."

I expect to see another stranger making a beeline for me, but instead it's my best friend, Laney. She has on a dress I've never seen before, black with a severe pencil skirt, paired with skinny heels and a silver necklace that dips low into her cleavage. Her thick blond hair, which usually hangs to the middle of her back, is twisted and pinned to the back of her head. I wonder how she managed to take so much hair and cram it into such a neat bun.

She strides forward, her heels clicking on the linoleum, and only meets my eyes briefly before turning her attention to Tyler.

"Your mom's looking for you," she says, her hand on his arm. From the outside it would look like a friendly gesture, unless you knew, like I do, that Laney can't stand Tyler, that she thinks he's an insufferable dick.

"She is?" Tyler glances from me to Laney uncertainly, like he's weighing the odds of whether it'd be a more productive use of time to find his mother or to stay here and see if he can convince me to take the stupid ring as some token of his atonement, or whatever he thinks such an exchange would mean.

"Of course she is," Laney says glibly, drawing him toward the doorway to the dining room. She's definitely lying; I can tell by the mannered, lofty tilt in her speech. That's the voice she uses with her father—one that takes extra care to be as articulate and practiced as possible. It's completely different from her normal tone.

As soon as Laney and Tyler disappear from sight, the woman, whom I still can't place, starts up her nattering again with renewed vigor. "Tell me, how is the family coping? Oh, your poor mother—"

And just like that, Laney's back, sans Tyler. She sets a hand on the woman's elbow, steers her toward the doorway.

"You should go talk to her," she suggests with a feigned earnestness most Emmy winners can only dream of.

The woman considers. "Do you think?"

"Absolutely. She'd love to see you. In fact, I'll come with you."

This is why I love Laney: she always has my back. We've been best friends since we were alphabetically seated next to each other in second grade. Scott and Sterling. She's the coolest person I know; she wears vintage clothes all the time and can quote lines from old fiftiesera screwball romantic comedies and just about any rap song by heart, and she doesn't care what anyone thinks. The best thing about her is that she thinks I'm awesome, too. It's harder than you think, to find someone who truly believes in your unequivocal, unconditional awesomeness, especially when you're like me: unspectacular in every way.

As they walk away arm in arm, Laney glances over her shoulder at me, and I shoot her the most grateful look I can manage. She returns it with a strained smile and hurries herself and the woman into the crowded dining room, where I hear muted conversation and the clatter of dinner-ware. If I follow, I'll be mobbed by scores of relatives and acquaintances and total strangers, all pressing to exchange pleasantries and share their condolences. And I'll have to look them in the eye and say thank you and silently wonder how many of them blame me for not seeing the signs.

"The signs." It makes it sound like June walked around with the words I Am Going to Kill Myself written over her head in bright buzzing neon. If only. Maybe then—

No. I cut off that train of thought before it can go any further. Another wave of panic rises in my chest, so I lean my hands heavily against the kitchen counter to stop it, press into the edge until it cuts angry red lines into my palms. If I can just get through this hour, this afternoon, this horrible, horrible day, then maybe…maybe I can fall apart then. Later. But not now.

Air. What I need is air. This house, all of these people, they're suffocating. Before anyone else can come into the kitchen and trap me in another conversation, I slip out the back door leading to the yard and close it behind me as quietly as possible.

I sit down on the porch steps, my black dress tangling around my legs, and drop my head into my hands. I've never felt so exhausted in my life, which I suppose isn't such a shock considering I can't have slept more than ten hours in the past five days. I close my eyes and take a deep breath, and then another, and then hold the next one until my chest burns so badly I think it might burst.

When I inhale again, I breathe in the humid early-summer air, dirt and dew and—something else. A hint of smoke. My eyes open, and when I turn my head slightly to my left, I see someone, a boy, standing against the side of the house.

Apparently getting a moment to myself just isn't in the cards today.

I scratch at my itchy calves as I give him a cool onceover. He's taller than me by a good half a head, and he looks lean and hard. Compact. His messy, light brown hair sticks out in all directions, like he's hacked at it on his own with a pair of scissors. In the dark. He's got a lit cigarette in one hand and the other stuck in the front pocket of his baggy black jeans. Unlike every other male I've seen today, he's not wearing a suit—just the jeans and a button-down, sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and a crooked tie in a shade of black that doesn't quite match his shirt.

I notice his eyes, partly because they're a startling green, and partly because he's staring at me intently. He seems familiar, like someone I've maybe seen around at school. It's hard to be sure. All of the faces I've seen over the past few days have swirled into an unrecognizable blur.

"So you're the little sister," he says. It's more of a sneer than anything else.

"That would be me." I watch as he brings the cigarette to his lips. "Can I bum one?"

The request must catch him off guard, because for a few seconds he just blinks at me in surprise, but then he digs into his back pocket and shakes a cigarette out of the pack. He slides it into his mouth and lights it before extending it toward me. When I walk over and take it from him by the tip, I hold it between my index finger and middle finger, like a normal person, while the boy pinches his between his index finger and thumb, the way you would hold a joint. Not that I've ever smoked a joint, but I've seen enough people do it to know how it's done.

Customer Reviews

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Saving June 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 75 reviews.
Beesha More than 1 year ago
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
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!
livelife More than 1 year ago
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.
_thecatlady More than 1 year ago
best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!! :))
jonilee73 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I know that summary doesn't really tell you much about this book. But trust me, it will blow you away. I know I have mentioned it before and I will say it again. There is something in the water amongst YA authors writing about the death of a sibling, be it by suicide or accident. But each time I read a novel where that is a key plot point it is done differently. Sometimes it is done extraordinarily. Saving June is one of those books. It pulls you in from the opening scene during June's wake and it keeps your attention the whole way through to the end.I felt an immediate connection with Harper. It wasn't exactly that I felt for her because she didn't even know what to feel. She was sad, angry, numb. Name a negative emotion and I guarantee Harper was feeling it during June's wake. Her older sister, thought by all to be happy go lucky, perfect all the time had just curled up in the backseat of her car and swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills. How would you feel?During a brief repreive from the houseful of mourners Harper runs into Jake, a mysterious boy who seems to hold a grudge against Harper though she has never seen him before in her life. Though he seemed to have known June. After a series of event unfolds Harper winds up deciding to travel cross country with Jake and her best friend Laney in an effort to come to peace with her sister's death. But she never intended to fall in love along the way.A huge factor in this book is the saving grace of music. How it brings people together and also brings peace to the soul because a song can take every emotion you have bottled up inside and express it in a way that you yourself never could. There is even a playlist at the end of the novel of all the songs mentioned in the book. Instead of most books, which talk about bands that don't exist and songs that the reader can never hear, this book features real bands and songs that you will most likely hear if you switch on the radio right now. It makes the book more relateable that it already is.What didn't I like about the book? Nothing major. I didn't connect well with Harper's name for some reason. You know the feeling. Where you love the character but halfway through the book you can't for the life of you remember what their name is? Yeah, it was like that for me. And that's really the only issue I had. The characters were well developed and I fell in love with each one of them. I would definitely read anything else by this author.
booknerdreviews on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This book is one of those types that get you intrigued very early on in the book and continue to command your attention throughout. It was an absolute page turner!Harper's sister June committed suicide and Harper is left not understanding why she did it. Her divorced parents are fighting over June's ashes and plan on splitting them in two and keeping half each. Harper - feeling like June wouldn't have wanted this decides that she is taking the ashes to California (a place that June always wanted to go to) to scatter them.Whilst the book starts off looking like it's a story about grief.. it's about so much more than that. Harper plans on going to California with her best friend Lacey, and then she meets Jake - a friend of her sisters who insists on driving with the girls to California.What starts out as a story about life and death becomes the ULTIMATE road trip story (complete with song lists at the back if you feel so inclined!) about self discovery, and building relationships, and all the other types of drama that come with being a teenager.One thing I really loved about this story was it felt so true. It didn't feel contrived at all - it was honest and raw at times, but it was true throughout which as a reader that is a little bit older, I truly appreciated where it was coming from. The characters had so much depth that I could truly imagine them whilst I was reading.This story ultimately whilst based on a girl trying to come to terms with the loss of her sister is also a romance, and a story about friendship, families and life on the road!LOVED this book, if I had a rating system higher than 5 it would be scoring even higher.
thehidingspot on LibraryThing 3 months ago
It's been a long time since I've loved a book as much as SAVING JUNE... I think my excitement about this book can be compared to how I felt about ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE - which means that I love this book with a passion. I've said before that there are certain books that feel like they've been written just for you. They don't come along very often, but, when they do, it's one of the best feelings in the world. These books usually leave you a bit breathless and teary-eyed. Once you recover, you recommend that book like your life depends on whether others read it. That pretty much sums up how I feel about Hannah Harrington's debut novel!I easily connected with Harper, the main character of SAVING JUNE. Part of me wonders if this was due, in part, to Harper's roots. Like me, Harper was raised in a small Michigan town. Perhaps I'm just imagining that this detail makes her character easier for me to relate to... or maybe Harrington truly understands how big of impact small town Michigan can have on person and has successful woven this into her character. I tend to believe the latter. Where you're from can have a monumental impact on how you view and interpret the world... and Harper and I are eerily similar.I've yet to be disappointed by a book which features a road trip. There is something magical about the open road, the right music, and the right person sitting next to you. Harrington has all three elements locked down in SAVING JUNE.I must say that I was especially impressed by the song selection and play lists in this novel. There are so many great songs that fit perfectly into either specific scenes or the book in general. To top it off, this book deals with some pretty heavy topics, including suicide and teen pregnancy. It's difficult to find a novel that can discuss tough subjects truthfully and tactfully while maintaining a tense, yet realistic love story. Often, one aspect is lacking, but this is definitely not the case with SAVING JUNE. I can't complain about any element of this novel... if there was anything I found bothersome, it must have been only a small detail, as I can't recall anything distracting or disappointing.Please, take the time to pick up Harrington's debut... Not only did I adore SAVING JUNE, I truly believe Harrington is a contemporary author to watch.
LauraMoore on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Saving June was my favorite contemporary of 2011. I absolutley loved this book from the music talk throughout the book, to the road trip. THIS IS NOT A BOOK TO MISS IF YOU'RE A FAN OF YA CONTEMPORARY. Harper lost her sister, and this to me was heart-renching, my sister is my best friend, and I cannot imagine having to go through this. Harper dosn't show emotion easily, she's keeping it all bottled up inside, until she meets Jake, who was nothing like Harper's sister, but knows some kind of secret her sister had, and had a connection to a part of her sisters life, Harper didn't know even exsisted. Harper, her best friend Laney, and Jake who has the van, the Janis Joplin, take a road trip to the West Coast with Harper's sisters ashes to bring them to the ocean that she had always dreamed of visting, but never got to. This roadtrip isn't just about putting her sisters memory to rest, but about discovering herself, figuring out that her best friend may be a different person then she thought she was, and that Jake may be housing a secret that will turn Harper's world upside-down again. I couldn't put this book down, I loved Harper and Jake, and their slow-melt relationship was like a delcious chocolate bar that I just didn't want to end. It developed slowly which are usually the relationships I love the most, I don't like that we kiss-we're in love within 10 pages stories, and like a slow build up of emotion. This book was a rollar-coaster of emotions (but in a good way, a really good way). This book is one I think anyone would love, but if you love music, heart-break, roadtrips, and swoon-worthiness, then you NEED to get your hands on this book.
jacindahinten on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I was super excited to read Saving June! I was hearing awesome things about it early on, especially because of the earlier release date in Australia. Many reviewers/readers had mentioned it making their favorites list at the end of 2011. Overall Saving June was just an alright book to me.CALLING ALL MUSIC LOVERS! You will probably fall in love with Saving June. Saving June is packed full of music, Jake works at a music store and knows everything about bands and songs. Hannah Harrington even included playlists at the end of the book. I¿m usually a lover of books involving music (even thought I¿m not much of a music fan myself), but many music related conversation regarding artists and songs were over my head and I could have easily read over those paragraphs. The descriptions of musical artists and songs were too in-depth for my liking.Many discussions in Saving June involved philosophy and activism and such. This was another part of Saving June I felt could have been left out completely. I¿m not sure why it was included in the story anyway because Jake, Harper, and Laney weren¿t really involved in it in the first place, maybe I missed the point.I did understand Harper¿s feelings toward her sister and wanting to do right by her. All of her thoughts and attitude toward June are very real and believable. Laney, Harper¿s best friend, is what a best friend should be. She¿s always there for her and knows what Harper needs before she even has to voice it. Hannah Harrington¿s writing style I loved.Saving June was easy for me to put down while reading; I wasn¿t completely engrossed in the story. It wasn¿t gripping my attention so I knew it wasn¿t going to me a favorite book of mine. I think many readers will LOVE Saving June, it just wasn¿t for me and I know I¿ll be in the minority. Especially If you a music buff, give Saving June a shot! I¿m willing to read more of Hannah¿s stories in the future just because of how she writes!(I wasn¿t swooning over the love interest Jake either, sorry¿)(I struggled with the rating on Saving June, I almost gave it 2 stars. After writing this review, I noticed I didn¿t have many nice things to say about the book)
XNirvanaFreakX on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Saving June was a very emotional account of the roller-coaster ride that ensues after a loved one has committed suicide. I was expecting this book to be on the darker side with a lot of grief and sorrowful moments, and while it did have its fair share of those, it was also a very fun read. I'm always up for reading a good book about a road trip, and this one was no disappointment. There were definitely some interesting characters in the book that I enjoyed getting to know, such as Harper's crazy Jesus-freak aunt, but most of the story focused around three main characters. First, there's Harper, who I felt completely sympathetic towards. I could clearly feel her pain through the snappy, bitter tone she displayed most of the time, and it made my heart ache to imagine being in her situation, always feeling inferior to June while she was alive and then still being compared to her after her death, knowing that she'll never live up to the expectations of everyone around her. Then there's Laney, Harper's best friend whose parents let her pretty much do as she pleases with little expectations, and Jake, who has had his fair share of problems as well, is completely obsessed with music, and holds a mysterious connection to June that Harper can't quite figure out.There are so many amazing things in this book: the friendship between Harper and Laney, and relationship that forms between Harper and Jake, the music that narrates the story and provides the soundtrack to their road trip, all of the fun touristy things that take place along the way, and the more serious moments that each character experiences. While "saving" June, Harper also learns a lot about herself along the way. With the help of Jake, Harper goes from trying to build up a wall around everything to block out her emotions, to being able to let them out and feel comfortable with what she feels. Saving June was a very powerful and very well-written book that provided a wonderful mixture of heavier issues and fun experiences, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a moving yet fun read.
stephxsu on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Struggling to deal with her perfect older sister June¿s suicide, Harper sets off on a road trip to California, accompanied by her best friend, Laney, and Jake Tolan, a boy who was somehow connected to June. Harper is not sure what their road trip will accomplish, except that it was always June¿s dream to go to California. However, their journey takes unexpected twists and turns as Harper learns about Laney, Jake, June, and herself in a trip that none of them will forget.SAVING JUNE is a debut YA contemporary novel that lives up to its hype: it is a wonderfully told story that weaves standout characters and a genuine passion for music into a journey that is moving for Harper as well as for us readers.To be honest, I wasn¿t sure I¿d like SAVING JUNE at first. The beginning one-fifth of the book had more than its fair share of features that are all too common to YA books dealing with grief¿or, for that matter, any YA contemporary story: the main character with suppressed anger towards her dead sibling, the dead sibling, the more outgoing best friend, the good-looking mysterious boy with secrets, the over-the-top ridiculous mean relative. I mean, there is a ¿life-changing road trip,¿ for goodness¿ sake. Once Harper, Laney, and Jake finally, finally hit the road, however, it was like someone had flipped the switch and turned on the life to this story. Spending weeks together in a car is really a great way to get to know characters: personalities clash, secrets are revealed, and unshakeable bonds develop. The three main characters completely grew on me. Harper¿s grief became less plot-driven (i.e. there for the sake of the story) and more character-driven (genuine poignant grief over June¿s death). Laney started out as simply the outgoing best friend, but grew to have more depth than I initially thought.As for Jake, well, his character development definitely impressed me the most. You¿d have to be slightly naïve not to guess what role he plays in the story, but what impressed me was that his ¿ideal love interest¿ character developed not from a set of parameters thrown at us at the beginning, but, rather, gradually through the course of the story, each new chapter revealing another lovable aspect of him. Authors, take note of how to write a truly swoon-worthy love interest, please.All in all, SAVING JUNE pleased me to no end. It broke the constraints it imposed on itself by having a rather tired premise and, through genuine and memorable characters, makes itself stand out in the crowd. If you love YA contemporary, please, do yourself a favor and give this a try. Odds are you won¿t regret it.
GreatImaginations on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Before I begin, 3 stars is good review. It's not a bad review like so many of you think. When I give a book a 3 star rating, it's usually because I still liked it, but didn't find it particularly memorable. It didn't stand out to me. And that was the case with Saving June. I really liked the story. I enjoyed reading it while I was reading it. I even cried. It was a heartbreaking story. But in the end, I felt it wasn't good enough to reward with a 4 star rating. I tend to avoid books that deal with difficult topics. I will not read books about Dementia and Cancer. They hit too close to home for me. I don't know anyone that has been affected by suicide, but it still was a hard topic for me to read about. I can only imagine how it would affect someone who had been close to the topic of suicide. But here's the thing. As sad as this book was, I still found the characters kind of flat and I lacked an emotional connection with them. And that's the other reason why I gave Saving June a 3 star rating. The road trip itself was great. That was totally fun to read about. I loved the different situations Harper found herself in. I loved all the different music recommendations. And I must have great taste in music, because I knew and liked most of the artists and songs. Jake and Laney were great supporting characters, but again, they were not particularly memorable. You may find yourself with a completely different opinion than me though on this. Saving June is getting a lot of 4 star and 5 star reviews. I loved the ending. It was soooo sad. It was the perfect conclusion to the story, but it wasn't enough to make it a favorite. Read it for yourself and see if you agree with me. And then be sure and let me know when you do.
psteinke1122 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Harper Scott is the trouble maker, the instigator, she is everything her sister June is not. June is the ¿good¿ daughter¿good student, tutor, golden child, everything comes easy to her. When June takes her own life, Harper has to come to terms not only with the loss of her sister, but also the changes in her that her sister¿s death brings¿and she does it via a road trip to California with her best friend and one Jake Tolan, who Harper suspects was in love with June. I loved this book! It¿s about suicide and a sister¿s attempt to deal with the aftermath. It¿s not condescending drivel¿it¿s witty, and snarky, and dark, and funny. The author¿s handling of the subject matter was all the things you would expect¿gut-wrenching, emotional, as well as the overwhelming thought of ¿what did I miss¿. I haven¿t experienced a loss through suicide, but the author nailed my perception of what it might be like.Harper¿s grief is like a cloak¿it covers and absorbs you. Harper is sharp and complex¿and watching her evolve during this road trip is something worth reading. Harper¿s best friend, Laney, can be pretty shallow and self-absorbed and provides some of the best comic relief. Everything Laney does is with her best friend in mind. Laney is an only child and imagined June as her big sister as well. Laney and Harper are as different as night and day, and complement each other equally well. Which leaves Jake. Jake knew June in a different way and is able to provide insight into parts of her life Harper wasn¿t privy to. He also provides a musical backdrop to the journey¿his musical choices complement the story and bring it to another level. The version of this book I read, had the playlists listed in the back, I wish I had known because I would have loved to create playlists to listen to while I was reading. Just so happens Jake and I have similar musical tastes.My only complaint would be the first stop on the trip¿that was a strange group of friends and the whole ¿demonstration¿ just seemed out of place. Not quite sure what it¿s purpose was other than to show that June had met this group in the past.This was a wonderful book¿I can¿t recommend it highly enough.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Where do I begin? To put it simply, this book is amazing. After falling into to it, I could not put it down. It held me from the first page till the last. It gave me something different to see.The plot line of this book is just wonderful. Looking back at this book, I must have wanted to cry from anger several times. Ms. Harrington gives the reader so much emotions, secrets a little bit at a time. It's like following the bread crumbs down a road leading to something greater, better!The characters of this book had my heart. I love that while the characters faced some real life tragedy, Ms. Harrington caught the redemption of the characters spot on. The reader clearly sees the growth and change of them, but also coming into a peace they deeply needed. I adored that the love interest feel so much deeper then what I expected but also gave me more. The way the love interest collapse and came back together had me smiling. I love that while the ending it not an all together "Happily Ever After", but the characters are where they need to be.Over all, this is an amazing book. I loved that it gave the reader a whole new insight of thoughts and feelings. The characters are realistic and are plagued by everyday real world tragedy. Do you want a book that will steal your heart away? Read this.
readingdate on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Saving June is an emotional, gripping and romantic read and is my favorite kind of book. The characters are distinct and interesting, and the story captured my attention from beginning to end. Though the book covers a heavy topic, it is also a book about healing, growth and self-discovery that manages to be uplifting as well.Harper Scott has just lost her older sister June to suicide. Harper has always felt second best to her seemingly perfect sister and that she was the glue holding the family together. Her family is reeling from her shocking death, and June did not leave a note of explanation. While going through June¿s belongings Harper finds some clues that indicated June dreamed of moving to California. She plans to run off with her best friend Laney and scatter June¿s ashes in the golden state as her final tribute to her sister. Jake, a boy with a mysterious connection to June, wants to accompany them on their journey.The book continues with the characters getting to know themselves and each other better through their epic cross-country road trip. They get acquainted through their musical selections and by making some detours along the way.I appreciated the uniqueness of Harper¿s character and her tough nature. Her world is shattered but she can¿t bring herself to cry over June. She is torn between her divorced parents, and doesn¿t feel she is able to live up to June and replace her as the support system to her mother. She is fearless though and has a great sense of humor. She is the photographer of the group and documents their adventures. Her friendship with Laney feels very realistic, even though they are complete opposites. Laney is more extroverted and reckless, but is also a devoted friend to Harper.The romance between Jake and Harper is slow building and sweet. You get the sense that they get each other, and feel comfortable enough to be themselves even though they have just met. They have great chemistry and an easy banter that makes their scenes memorable.And what road trip would be complete without music? Each member of the trio has different musical tastes, but Jake is the one with the most eclectic taste who likes to school the girls on different musical icons. Jake also works in a record store and plays guitar to continue the musical theme of the book. The musical element made the story even more compelling for me and I was pleasantly surprised to see Jake¿s playlists at the back of the book.The writing flows effortlessly and with an even pace. The contemporary story is realistic and the characters are well defined and believable. It has a similar vibe to Amy & Roger¿s Epic Detour, another road trip book with a great soundtrack. The light-hearted moments, friendship and romance balance out the grieving story so it never gets too heavy. This is an impressive first novel by Hannah Harrington and I¿ll be sure to look for her other books. Saving June hits stores November 22.
nlsobon on LibraryThing 3 months ago
¿Saving June¿ is one of the best ¿ if not the best ¿ contemporary novels I¿ve ever read.Harper Scott¿s older sister, June, took her own life. It¿s a tragedy that no one seems to understood, one that no one saw coming ¿ especially Harper. Unlike everyone else around her who seems to be falling apart, Harper finds it impossible to even cry at her sister¿s death. It isn¿t because she isn¿t upset. But for some reason, she can¿t truly process the certainty of the situation ¿ June¿s gone and she¿ll never come back.Desperate to save what¿s left of June and give her what peace she can, Harper plans a trip to California with her best friend Laney where she plans to spread her ashes. But they won¿t get there without Jake ¿ a stranger somehow connected to June. When Jake offers to bring Harper and Laney to California, Harper¿s initial reaction is to say no. She doesn¿t understand why he¿d want to tag along or what kind of relationship he had with her sister. But when Laney insists that Jake¿s offer is just what they needed, Harper forces herself to tell Jake yes, still wary about his reasons for offering to help them.I really enjoyed reading along as Harper, Jake, and Laney made their way to California. Between staying at the vegan house, the protest, the concert, and the motel ¿ there was never a dull moment. But what I really enjoyed best was watching the romance develop between Harper and Jake. They are both struggling to deal with a loss ¿ one more so than the other ¿ and they still don¿t know much about each other, but you can feel that connection there, that longing.And let¿s not forget the music. Talk about a book with a fantastic soundtrack! Yet another reason why I loved Jake¿s character. He was a bit of a music snob, albeit one with fantastic taste. To him, music needs to tell a story. And the music in ¿Saving June¿ only helped to enhance the story.I¿d highly recommend ¿Saving June¿ to anyone who loved ¿If I Stay¿ and ¿Where She Went¿ by Gayle Forman.
BookSpot on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Harper Scott's older sister recently - and unexpectedly committed suicide shortly before her high school graduation. . . Just a few more weeks and she would have been June who died in June, Harper thinks. But she didn't make it long. Harper's divorcing parents plan to divide June's ashes.Harper plans to take them to the only place June ever really wanted to go: California. On a road trip with her best friend Laney and a guy, Jake who has a mysterious connection to June, Harper learns things about herself, June and life.Saving June is an excellent story with very distinct characters. From Harper to Laney to Jake, each character is most definitely their own and when they're in a group, the novel really comes a live. Each of the characters has their own quirks and traits that make them, them - and different not only from each other but characters in other books.The road trip of Saving June is, admittedly, not one that everyone reading would want to take. The characters do engage in some activities that are not for everyone. Yet, that's part of what makes it great. Whether you're one of the readers who thinks their trips sounds like the greatest one ever and will spend the book working out way to hide out as a stow-a-way or one who knows right a way it's a trip you would not work out on, it's still a book for you.Neither Saving June's story nor its characters alienate anyone. Love everything the characters are and do or be incredibly put-off by some of it, it's okay. If you're the latter, you can still enjoy the trip vicariously. Harrington doesn't ask that you be the same as her characters to enjoy her book. The closest I can think to compare it to is I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert (yet much lighter).All of that is not even talking about the absolute music love that is in Saving June. It's a great book for someone who's always watching Behind the Music but you want them to read a book - because it's almost Behind the Music in book form but with plot and emotion and greatness. (And playlists in the back!)Saving June is really unlike any book I've read in a long, long while and I absolutely love that - and it.
booktwirps on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Harper Scott¿s life is drastically changed when her older sister, June, commits suicide. Her family was already reeling after the divorce of her parents, and before those wounds can heal, June, the perfect daughter, kills herself, leaving Harper with a huge hole in her life. The day of June¿s funeral, Harper discovers a postcard from California on which June had written ¿I¿m coming home¿. June was obsessed with California, and dreamed of living there some day. When Harper¿s parents decide to split June¿s ashes, each taking half for their homes, Harper takes matters into her own hands.With the help of her best friend Laney, and a mysterious boy named Jake, who somehow knew June, Harper sets out on a cross-country road trip with June¿s ashes in tow. She plans to take June to the one place she¿d always longed to be.Saving June is a heartfelt tribute to sisterhood. Every single character felt real to me, and each one brought their own unique personality. I enjoyed Harper¿s journey to ¿save¿ her sister, while at the same time, saving herself. I especially liked the message of the healing power of music, though I have a feeling most teens won¿t know who Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix are. My suggestion is to find some of the music mentioned in this book while reading it to enhance your experience. There were only a couple of scenes that I felt were random and unnecessary (I won¿t mention them so as not to spoil the book). Despite these minor scenes, the story flowed well and definitely taps into many emotions. Highly recommended.(Review based on an Advanced Reader's Copy courtesy of the publisher)
baystateRA on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Saving June should have a lot of appeal for teen girls who are in the mood for an edgy, angst-filled story. After the suicide of her perfect older sister June, sixteen-year-old Harper finds herself attracted to the mysterious Jake Tolan, who was somehow connected to her sister, and who agrees, against his better judgment to drive Harper and her best friend on a road trip to California to scatter June's ashes in the place she always dreamed of going.
l_manning on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Harper was always jealous of her older sister June. June had the perfect life- great grades, great looks, great boyfriend. When June suddenly commits suicide, Harper is sent into a bit of a tailspin. Harper desperately wants to know why June did it or if anything could have stopped her. While going through June's room, Harper discovers a mix CD that was unlike anything June ever listened to. Harper decides that June's ashes need to go to the one place June always wanted to escape to- California. The mix tape leads Harper to Jake, someone so unlike anyone June ever associated with that Harper can't figure out his connection to June. Harper, her best friend Laney, and Jake soon embark on the road trip of a lifetime to see that June gets to California.This book turned out much different than I ever imagined it would. For me, the most marvelous part was how tightly things were tied in to music. I love music so much, and I think it really helped heighten the emotional response I had as a reader. Harper, Laney, and Jake were all kind of misfits in different ways. They came together to make a wonderful trio though. The road trip vibe was alive and well, and it made me remember so many random journeys I made when I was younger. There's a certain feel of freedom from the real world that you get while road tripping, and you could feel that throughout the book. This disassociation from real life allowed Harper to really search through her feelings on everything, and you get the feeling this trip was as much for her as it was to deliver June to where she always wanted to be.Like any good book, there are secrets and conflicts and all kinds of interesting plot points. They never take away from the real plot though-Harper discovering how she feels about life. At first I thought Harper was a trying a bit too hard to be a rebel, but as I got to know her through the plot and the music associated I saw where she was coming from. By the end of the book I loved Harper, Laney, and Jake so much. I read this book so fast because I was just drawn into the story, and I really wanted to know how everything was resolved. A little bit rock and roll, a little bit therapy, I thought this was an amazing book that I would highly recommend to everyone.Galley provided for review.
hobbitsies on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Wow. Saving June was FANTASTICALY AMAZING. Such an intense and moving story filled with steamy romance and mega tears and an awesome road trip.Wait, that review isn¿t sufficient enough? I don¿t know how else to put it. Saving June was, hands down, one of my favourite books this year. I LOVED Harper and Jake¿s witty banter and musical debates and their actual fights and the steamy romance and the witty and fun best friend Laney in the backseat with her own commentary and her own drama.Oh, speaking of drama ¿ HEARTBREAK. The build up to the road trip and the grieving and the gah IT¿S SO SAD. One of my favourite things to read about is the way different people deal with grief and all sorts of different ways and let me just say ¿ Saving June is a wonderful story of grief and loss and it made me cry. Big fat tears in the middle of class.I also read some steamy scenes during class (yeah, I ought to stop reading books in class) and had to put it down cause my face was all flushed. But I legit think Harper and Jake were my favourite couple of all the books I read this year. I think. Probably. Definitely up there in the running.Overall, if you love contemporary YA books featuring road trips, build-up romance with a side of steamy, wonderful best friends, achingly upsetting grief, and music, please oh please pick up Saving June. You will love it.
theeclecticreview on LibraryThing 3 months ago
"To believe so concretely that there's someone--something--out there watching guard, keeping us safe, testing us only with what we can handle. I've never believed in anything the way Aunt Helen believes in God."Harper has lost her sister, June, to suicide. Her big sister, the golden one, the one that did no wrong, as opposed to Harper, the rebel, the misfit. Why did June do it? She didn't leave a note, but she left notebooks with stories about California. Harper's parents were divorced and not coping well and Harper wanted to give June her wish of going to California, so she devises a plan with her best friend, Laney. The problem is Harper only has a driver's permit and Laney's car is toast. Enter Jake. He seemed angry the first time Harper met him at June's funeral, so why would he give them a ride to California? He says that he and June were friends, but was that all?This is a coming of age story of three young lives who discover the beauty of living. Harper discovers the truth about herself and about her sister, Laney discovers that there are consequences to her behavior and Jake discovers that he should strive for his dreams. I liked the trip they took and the people they met on the way. You don't want to miss a second.Thank you to Ms. Harrington, Harlequin and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.
summerskris on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Three teens go on a journey to save a girl that influenced their lives. Only, she¿s already dead, and they¿re the ones that really need saving. June was the perfect girl, perfect daughter. No one would have suspected her of being suicidal. I never really understood this, but Harper, June¿s younger sister and the narrator, gets the idea that June can be saved only if her ashes are scattered in the Pacific Ocean bordering California. Somehow, she ends up driving there with her best friend (Laney) and a mysterious guy (Jake) with a connection to June. While the journey pops almost out of nowhere, everything falls into place. Harper, Laney, and Jake need the journey to get over June¿s death, and they need to do it together. They don¿t always get along. At first, Harper has a thing against Jake because she doesn¿t understand his relationship with her sister, and he won¿t tell. Even Laney has her moments... her secrets. Their feelings are completely understandable. Harper doesn't understand how her sister could have gotten close to a guy like Jake. Laney is brazen and confident on the outside, but she has issues of her own. And as for Jake, he too is dealing with June's death. None of them know who to blame. Harper is a relatable narrator all around. She¿s the rebellious child, but only because she knows she can never compare to her sister and it was the only way she could create her own identity. Inside, she¿s a teenage girl with teenage emotions. Hormonal as she is, she cannot deny her attraction to a certain annoying guy, but it doesn¿t mean she has to give in. The relationship is sweet, filled with both love and hate, and it takes time to develop. It was as real as everything else about this book, and I enjoyed watching it progress. Overall, I cannot praise this book enough. It was fun, witty, and very real. I got so much out of reading this book, including a bigger appreciation for life. Saving June is about death, friendship, and love. It is about life and dealing with the messes that come with it. Hannah Harrington has debuted with a stunning novel, and I will definitely be looking out for new works by her! Note: Music plays a big role in the novel, and I will be listening to the tracks the next time I read Saving June! (And I will be rereading it!!)