I was really intrigued by the cover- there's something about the petal throwing that's just not normal. In this case, there turns out to be a devastating reason. Anyways, I was then drawn by the title. Turns out my instincts were right: I LOVED it! 4 out of 5 stars.
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
4 out of 5 stars
Published in 2011
Summary from Goodreads: Everyone's sorry. But no one can explain why.
Harper Scott's older sister, June, took her own life a week before high school graduation, leaving Harper devastated. So when her divorcing parents decide to split up June's ashes, Harper steals the urn and takes off cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going--California.
Enter Jake Tolan, a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession...and an unknown connection to June. 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 Harper needs. Except...Jake's keeping a secret that has the power to turn her life upside down--again.
Before I started reading Saving June, I was already ready to declare this one of my favorites. But once I started reading, I realized it was that and also so much more. I could not believe how utterly realistic it was. Harper's bitterness was perfectly done, she actually played her part quite well. Fortunately, Saving June wasn't some sappy death story where it actually seems quite cliche and cheesy. It was real. You could tell that the author really put time into creating a plausible (mostly) and believable story. For that we must commend her.
I loved the musical references throughout the story. I loved how much Jake relied on music! I loved how he truly believed in it! So yes, I am swooning over Jake and gushing about the music at the same time. As for Jake, I just wish he were a real guy. He was definitely a developed character that really fit well into the story. I loved his attitude; let's just say he's a total bad boy...
In other words, I thought he was pretty awesome!
Back to the music. Even though most the songs were a lot older, I still appreciated all the playlists. I loved how big of a part music played in it all! Finally some book that understands music!
Harper really was a realistic character. I loved how unforgettable she was. While sometimes it was really easy to be annoyed by her, she had reasons for her choices and actions. She was incredibly stubborn and bad-tempered. I don't think most readers would immediately like her, but she definitely grows on you. She was full of anger, at the least. However, even though she was all of these things, she was also strong and a survivor.
Who can hate a survivor?
I have to admit, I was really impressed by the romance. It wasn't sappy or fake. There was no insta-love. Now that's what I call romance! Plus, Jake and Harper had great conversations that were really deep. Their relationship was meaningful and real. It wasn't some perfect relationship with a perfect ending. It also had a few problems, including the secret Jake has. I loved that even more.
There were quite a few supporting characters that popped up throughout the novel, but I have to say I got them a little mixed up. During one part of the story, the author introduced quite a few all at once. I couldn't get all of them straight, but at least they were just little characters. Even so, all the characters had a unique personality. That's what I really loved. I could not believe how they were all so palpable and how right they felt.
The only other problem I had was that there were some innappropriate scenes and topics. I think Saving June is for mature teens, not younger teens. I'm thinking around 14 and up...
Also, don't go into this book if you're a very easily offended Christian either. There were some parts that would offend you.
However, overall I LOVED Saving June.