Author: Hanna Harrington
Publication Date: November 22, 2011
‘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.
When Harper's older sister commits suicide, she is devastated. June left no note behind and everyone is struggling to understand her choice. Harper especially. Out of desperation and confusion, Harper realizes that the only thing she can do now for her sister is to steal her ashes and release them in California, where June always dreamed of going.
Harper and her best friend, Laney, have no choice but to accept weird Jake Tolan's invitation to drive them. He seems like an odd friend for June to have, so Harper takes this as an opportunity to learn more about her sister's life. We travel with them as they make their way to California, making a few stops along the way, and learn more about each character's life and what led them to this trip. Of course, there is a bit of a romance blossoming (more like a love/hate relationship) and a lot of secrets to be discovered.
Saving June blew me away. There is no other way to describe it. It was that good. Depression is something that has taken many forms in my life with friends and family members so I understand a great deal about it. I think that is why I am always reading books about it, I can relate to the characters easily. When I was rating this on Goodreads, I saw a review where the person said they did not like this book and didn't finish it because "Harper is a bitch and Laney is a slut". While both of those statements may be true, I think it was important to learn why they are this way. Even though these are just characters and aren't real, I was like "jeez, have a little compassion!"
Harper definitely had an attitude issue, but who wouldn't? Her sister just killed herself and her parents and aunt don't seem to care that this is affecting her too. They want her to just be the perfect daughter and be supportive of their feelings but give her no right to her own. I really wanted to smack Harper's aunt in the face. I am not religious, but as long as you don't force yours upon me, we are cool. Her aunt didn't seem to get the message that maybe Harper wasn't into it was much as her and to stop berating her about going to church. I don't like pushy people!
Laney may be a little promiscuous, but there are reasons behind it. I think when you are missing something at home, you are going to try and find it somewhere else. Sadly, she is looking for the wrong thing from the wrong people.
This leads us to Jake. Oh, Jake... Why weren't there ever any hot, dark and mysterious guys when I was in school? They seem to pop up everywhere in books yet I have yet to find that guy anywhere in my town. Jake is a tall, dark-haired, green-eyed, music-loving ball of mystery. He is moody and doesn't hold back his mouth, but yet we love him all the more for it. I didn't want this book to end and for him to disappear.
My favorite part of this book was definitely the music. While I don't listen to most of the music they were talking about, I still love hearing about it. I am very obsessive when it comes to music and I love finding somebody who feels the same as me. Even if we had completely opposite tastes, it was refreshing to read Jake and Harper's conversations about their favorite bands and what the mean to them. I also couldn't get enough of their banter back and forth.
Overall, I can't say enough about this book. It was funny, heart-wrenching and every other emotion you want to experience in a good book. If you or anyone you know has ever dealt with depression, read this book. I also recommend this to teens who may be struggling to find themselves. What you do not only affects you, but everyone around you. Talk to someone, you aren't alone.