Saving June (Paperback)
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Short Description for Saving June Harper Scott's life changes forever after her sister, June, commits suicide. But when a mysterious boy who seems to have known June better than anyone knew insists on joining Harper and her best friend on their impromptu road trip to take June's ashes to California, life takes a turn for the interesting.
- Published: 01 December 2011
- Format: Paperback 322 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780373210244 ISBN 10: 0373210248
- Sales rank: 18,838
Reviews for Saving June
As soon as I heard about this book, I knew that it was going to be something that I would enjoy. I'm a big fan of contemporary books, especially if they have the ability to make me cry (weird?). I am glad to say that Saving June was everything I wanted it to be - captivating, fun, hopeful and heartbreaking, all at the same time. This will hopefully be one of the top contemporary YA reads of the year.
We are sent on a road trip through America with Harper, her best friend, Laney, a mysterious guy called Jake Tolan and June's ashes. The story is narrated by Harper and focuses on coming to terms with her sister, June's suicide. I am happy to say that I thought that the topic was dealt with in a realistic and tasteful way. Although I do find books based on mental-health issues very interesting, I do sometimes feel wary of them as they can easily be handled in an incorrect manner - thankfully this wasn't the case for this book. I thought that the characters all handled the situation well, yet differently, in their own ways and it was interesting to see how the different parties reacted to the news. I do wish we could've learned a little bit more about June and her decision, but what we did learn with Harper was enjoyable. We definitely learned a lot about Harper herself.
All of the characters that we were introduced to in this novel felt well presented and each had their own unique personality, something that is very important, and although they were different, they were all relatable in some way. Harper is our protagonist, and as aforementioned, grieving over her sister. I thought that Harrington did a phenomenal job of portraying Harper's grief in an atypical manner. Harper was seen by her parents and aunt as 'rebellious', but that didn't really seem true to me - it just looked like she was doing what she thought was right during her life, and had her own opinion on things. Her relationship with Laney, her best friend was fantastic. It was clear that they both supported each other, despite their differences in thoughts. I loved that Laney was very forthright and she did what she want - she oozed confidence whilst still having some fragility, was very fun and I can see a lot of people loving her.
We met a whole bunch of different people during the road-trip and experienced a lot of different things, mostly due to meeting Jake Tolan, a boy who had a connection with June before she died. I really liked Jake for the most part and I thought that his passion for music was wonderful. I've read a few books that have been music-orientated but didn't like them - Harrington successfully managed to connect me with Jake as I could certainly relate to a lot of the things he said about music. As a love interest, I can understand why Harper was attracted to him - he was respectful yet snarky and there was a good amount of chemistry between them both. Trying not to include spoilers - I did feel a little irked by him towards the end, though I could understand his decision at the same time.
I like listening to music for much of the same reasons as Jake - to quote:
"It's just nice, I guess. Knowing that someone else can put into words what I feel. That there are people who have been through things worse than I have, and they come out on the other side okay. Not only that, but they made some kind of twisted, ******-up sense of the completely senseless. They made it mean something. These songs tell me I'm not alone. If you look at it at that way, music... music can see you through anything.""
I thought it was SO cool that this book had not one, but three playlists included. I absolutely loved being able to listen to the songs that captured the mood of the characters at the time and it certainly added another form of 'connection' to them. Harrington didn't just say that Jake felt these things, but she proved it by creating some amazing soundtracks to back it all up. Reading this book, along with listening to the soundtracks, really made it feel as though we were having an experience with the characters. I felt pure emotion whilst reading and admit to tearing up as the book came to a close.
Overall, this was a very powerful, emotional yet enjoyable story. It didn't just feel like I was reading a book - even if it is an overused phrase, I totally felt as though I was taking a journey with Harper, Laney and Jake. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to any young adults or adults. I think that this is a story that will stay with me for quite a while. by Stephanie Forster (Stepping out of the Page)
SAVING JUNE- A melodic and rich symphony of words!
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!
SAVING JUNE has so much to offer and I am grateful I didn't miss one single page of this overly fantastic story. SAVING JUNE feels like a really good and loved song and you don't want to forget the lyrics too soon. This is definitely a book that will find a place in my heart. by MissPageTurner