Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Saving June

Saving June
by Hannah Harrington
Published May 1st 2011 by Harlequin Teen

‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

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 demeanor 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.


Rating: 5/5 stars
Oh. My goodness.
To say that I loved this book would be a gross understatement. Argh! I can't even formulate into words just how much I fell in love with this book!

Have you ever had a book where, once you realize you're close to finishing, you actually dread the actual act of reading the last page?
 Yeah, that's me with regards to this book! I loved it so much I wished it would never end! Like one of those soap operas that go on forever. I really wouldn't mind that.
And THIS was me when I actually did finish...
(Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration--I actually didn't have any ice cream--but i was rather devastated)

This book was just so darn good! Great! Amazing! Fantastical!
I know that the premise of Saving June sounds quite depressing what with the dead sister and everything-- which, by the way, what is with all the dead sisters in YA lately?!--but really, there's is a lot of interspersed humor in this book, making it not a downright depressing read. This book is about death and suicide, but more than that it's about how people recover from that. To say that Saving June is an emotional roller coaster does not due the experience of reading it justice.

Harper Scott is officially my new favorite literary character.
She is full of imperfections. She's got a bad attitude at times, she's snarky and sarcastic, insecure because she feels like she can't measure up to her sister, isn't exactly coping well with said sister's death, and has a hard time feeling emotions. Absolutely cynical.

And that's why I adore her. She is clearly flawed, but so, so real. She is all those things I said above, but she's also incredibly strong and fiercely loyal and caring to people important to her. Plus, there's just something really honest about her narration--she really tells it like it is, no holds barred. (And personally, I loved the sarcasm and snark.)

Laney and Jake. God, I loved both of them so much as well! Give me a BFF like Laney, and I'll be set for life! She is truly the best friend that all girls wish they could have. She is so supportive and loving towards Harper throughout this whole ordeal, despite her own fair share of problems! And Jake? Heck yeah I would road trip with him! All the characters, really, are just so well-rounded and three-dimensional and real, like they could just jump off the pages! They each have their own issues, which you don't see at first, but then you get to know them and before you know it, you are just completely in love with all three of them.

And the ROMANCE! Good God, the romance.
I. Loved. Every. Moment.
I've also discovered that I actually really like those love-hate type of relationships--you know the ones, where the boy and girl bicker and argue constantly, always challenging each other and getting on each others' nerves. But then of course, they're only falling deeper and deeper in love with each argument ; ) 
Anyways, that pretty much describes Jake and Harper---but I think what I loved most was that there was not instalove! Thank you, Hannah Harrington! I honestly cannot stand that sort of instant boy-and-girl-lock-eyes-and-girl-becomes-obsessed/infatuated-because-of-an-indescribable-connection-and-the-boy-is-extremely-attractive sort of thing. Jake and Harper's relationship was natural, if not slightly uncommon, and the buildup was just great! Oh Jake. I am seriously swooning here...  

I enjoy YA novels of all kind (thought, admittedly much more if there's romance...) but it's YA novels like this that are my absolute favorite. Books that deal with tough contemporary themes--stuff like drugs and alcohol and death and messed up things that have happened, which may shock some readers--books that just really grip you and refuse to let go. I can't really explain them, but I just love novels like these. (Ex: Jellicoe Road)

And plus, this is a road trip novel. I mean, really, can it get any better?!


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