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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Grief changes people. How much more when the person we love, choose to end their own life? How do you find the answers to all the unanswered questions their deaths will leave? Hannah Harrington's emotional tale of pain, loss and love is a one of a kind read that will show us one girl's struggle to move forward with her life after her sister's suicide.

Title: Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Pages: 336
Release Date: June 1st 2012
Published by: Mira INK
Source: Publisher
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


‘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 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

We all lose someone we love in the course of our lives. Some more devastating than others. Harper, the black sheep of the family, lost her older sister June. The perfect girl, the good girl. The smart girl. But June didn't just die. She took her own life. And Harper felt like her life crumbled after that. Aside from her parents divorcing, Harper was left to pick up the pieces. But how can she when everyone thinks she's not good enough? All she can think about is June, and Harper knew she can't move on unless she fulfills June's wish: to be free. So she sets off on a road trip to California, where June wishes to be, and along with Laney and the mysterious Jake, went into a journey of a lifetime.

I felt like I was treading on unfamiliar territory when I first started reading this book. I had to try re-reading a few times because I couldn't put myself in Harper's shoes. I don't know how to react to what happened to her sister. I was at a loss. I don't know how to deal. And then I realize that's just how Harper is feeling. She's lost in the emotions of it all. It was Harper who found her sister, and she wants to find answers. How can someone who has a bright future ahead of her end her life just like that? June was very different from Harper. It was Harper who always lets everyone down. And now she's left all alone. But you know what? I admired Harper. She's strong, she wouldn't break easily. She had the courage to face what's next now that June is gone. It wasn't easy, but she did it.

There's no denying that Saving June deals with heavy themes, but what I loved about it the most are the characters and the music. Harper had spark in her. She can be spunky and snarky, but she can break too. She's not bulletproof. Laney might not be a great role model, but I loved her for being there for Harper through thick and thin. And then there's Jake, who made me appreciate music in a way I never did before. Maybe that's why we tend to listen to songs, because we know that what's in it are thoughts and emotions of people who have encountered far more than we all did. There's a touch of real in these characters that will make you respond to them in a lot of ways.

Saving June is an edgy read. It deals with death and suicide and all the good and bad things that comes with it. The blaming, the questioning, the never ending search for reasons why it happened. Sexuality and virginity, the bliss and the passion, and the consequences that might come along with it: pregnancy. It shows a lot of the complex side of the teens today, those who are not afraid to speak out and make themselves heard, peacefully or through protests. The whirlwind of events and emotions that stormed through Harper's life passing through those States, seeing things she wouldn't normally see in sleepy Michigan opened her eyes to the truth that there's something for her beyond June's death. That sometimes, no matter how hard we search for answers, there is none. It just happens.

I fell in love with Hannah Harrington's unflinching, raw, honest writing. She wasn't afraid to show the beauty in Harper's experiences and unleash the dark, ugly emotions that is inside her. You get to feel a lot: anger, grief, frustrations, amazement, pain, and acceptance. At the same time, you get to be a part of an emotional journey and more through Harper. Saving June is a powerful story of love and loss, of romance, of friendship, of sisterhood and family. You'll be swept along with the music and the wonderful writing. There might be tears in the end, but it's worth every drop you will shed.

Content (plot, story flow, character):
It was hard to let go of the book even after I finished reading.
Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
Edgy cover for an edgy novel. I like!

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Lovely review; I enjoyed this book too; it seems to have been well received by a lot of different readers.

  2. I really liked Harper's snarkiness which helped me cope with the sad death (especially hard for me as it pushes me to imagine the loss of my sister, which would be horrific). I also really liked that the playlist was included-I spent some good times listening to the music and it greatly added to my enjoyment of this book.

  3. Thanks for this great review! I've been hearing so many great things about this book :)


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