Sunday, September 30, 2012

Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release date: November 22nd, 2011
Pages: 322 (Paperback)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Won
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Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why. 

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going, California. 

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs. 

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

Saving June is an incredibly emotional story about love, loss and how to cope with both.  When Harper's older sister commits suicide, she couldn't feel more alone in the world.  Not only did Harper live in the shadow of June when she was alive, but she remains in that shadow even after her death.  Shortly after the funeral, she realizes that instead of splitting her sister's ashes between their divorced parents,  she and her best friend will take a road trip to California, the only place that June wanted to be.  With the help of a boy June once knew, they slowly but surely make her dream come true.

Out of all the characters, Harper was my favorite.  It was easy to see her grief and the guilt that she felt over her sister's death.  She was left without answers, and in a way, this trip across the country helped her heal.  Jake was another one of those characters you learn to love.  The connection they both had to June brings them closer than they could have ever imagined, and I loved seeing the bond grow between them.  Laney is Harper's best friend.  She's her rock, really, and a friendship like that can be hard to come by.  The characters, the situations they had to deal with, and the relationships that both blossomed and strengthened made the story feel incredibly real.

This book will tug at your heartstrings.  I know that I had to blink away a few tears after reading certain scenes throughout the book.  Our main character is experiencing so many different emotions, it's difficult not to feel them yourself.  One thing I loved most about this book, though, was that the story revolved around music.  Jake introduces Harper to all of these amazing songs that make you feel.  It changes the way that she looks at everything.  With the help of that, she slowly learns how to express how she's feeling before the emotions consume her whole.

Hannah Harrington is simply amazing.  Her stories are plagued by struggle for her characters, but always end on a high, hopeful note.  This book holds a beautiful story full of more life than one would imagine upon first picking it up.  Saving June will make you appreciate those around you more, and for that, I can easily call it a new favorite.


  1. I loved Saving June, especially the fact that it revolved around music so much. Hannah Harrington is such a great author. I really enjoyed Saving June and just recently read Speechless, which was really good, too. She's not one that I'm going to miss!

    1. I enjoyed Speechless as well! She's definitely talented when it comes to writing contemporaries with raw emotion. :) Thanks for the comment!

  2. I absolutely loved this book. I haven't read Speechless yet, but I'm planning on it.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment! Saving June is definitely my favorite of the two, but Speechless is worth a read! I hope you enjoy it when you do!

  3. Chey, I'm SO glad you loved this! It's one of my favorite books (uh, ever) and... uh... is it evil if I said I'm glad it made you cry? Seriously. SO pleased you loved ♥

    1. Thanks, Sarah! It really is such a moving book. :)

  4. AH! I'm glad that you enjoyed this one. It's one of my favorite books as well, and I agree it does make you appreciate those around you.

    Have you read Speechless yet? (: