Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Genre: Young Adult; Contemporary
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Everyone thought June was the perfect daughter and Harper was the troubled one. Until June kills herself, leaving her mess of a family to deal with the ramifications. June always wanted to go to California, so Harper, her best friend Laney, and June’s mysterious friend Jake end up taking her there. The three have quite the adventure as they cross the country, finding a little more than they bargained for along the way.
This book was so many things. It was sad and heartbreaking at times while lighthearted and hopeful at others. The road trip takes both the characters and the reader through ups and downs as the story crosses the country. I adored everything about this book.
Harrington created complex characters that grew and stumbled and grew some more. Harper, Laney, and Jake are flawed teenagers grieving the loss of June while dealing with all of the normal adolescent angst.
But Saving June isn’t all emotion; there is plenty of adventure. From protests to rock concerts, the trio stumbles into plenty of action along the way.
One of the best things about Saving June is the music. Music is weaved into the story so that it is almost its own character. Jake’s music influenced June so much that a mix cd of his was playing when she killed herself. Likewise, Jake uses music to break through the barriers Harper’s put up. A road trip wouldn’t be complete without music and this road trip doesn’t disappoint on the front (Bonus: listen to Jake’s “Saving June” playlist here).
On a personal note, I almost didn’t want them to leave Michigan in the first place. I always enjoy spending time in my home state in books, especially when I’m so far away from it in real life.
I can’t recommend Saving June enough. Harrington has talent and I am anxious to see what she does next.
“Without music, life would be a mistake.” p. 175*
“These songs tell me I’m not alone. If you look at it that way, music…music can see you through anything.” p. 185
“It’s like I’m on the cusp of something desperate and dangerous, but I don’t know what it is.” p. 187
*Note: Page numbers refer to the advanced reading copy and may be different in the published version.