'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.
"I don't want to be scared all the time. So alone. I want to believe something can be worth it. Worth the pain. Worth the risk."
Wow, when I first started reading Saving June I never really expected this amazing emotional rollercoaster that we got. From the blurb I thought the book sounded intriguing but sad. I never imagined I would love this book quite as much as I did.
Harper doesn't know what to do or what to feel. Her sister June, the perfect, pretty, popular June ended her life. With no note or word of goodbye Harper doesn't know what to do. Why did June do that when her life was perfect? Embarking on a road-trip to California, the one place June always wanted to go, with her best friend Lacey and mysterious bad-boy Jake, Harper is about to have the adventure of her life. But can she really enjoy it when it's the trip that June would have loved the most?
'Saving June' is without a doubt one of the most emotional book I have ever read. I was truly heartbroken through most of the book. At the start I wasn't really sure about the book, it's told in first-person, present tense narrative and at first I found that a little strange to read but after a few chapters I tended to forget about that because I was so caught up in the story and the characters.
Harper is such an awesome character and I instantly loved her. She's a great lead character and I loved the journey she went on throughout the book. Always seen as the disappointment in the family you really feel for Harper throughout the whole book and I loved seeing the highs and lows of her character. How she was dealing with all of the drama surrounding her best friend when she was grieving and trying to come to terms with the fact that there were things going on in her sister's life she wasn't aware of. I really felt for her when she started blaming herself for June's suicide. By thinking that there should have been some sign that she should have seen. Most of the time I just really wanted to give her a big hug and tell her that everything was going to be okay.
Jake, *insert swoon here*. Wow. Jake is without a doubt my favourite character within 'Saving June' as he is without a doubt amazing. I loved him from the start. The mysterious, secretive boy with the messy hair, green eyes and an obsession for old rock music. Seriously how can you not fall in love just with that description. He is sensitive and sweet and I just couldn't stop swooning. I love how much he is there for Harper even though they just met and that he'd help her in any way he can. I just love him.
This book is definitely worth reading and I really loved it more than I thought I would. It's such an emotional journey and at points I cried my eyes out. That right there just shows how incredible Hannah Harrington is. Not every author has the talent to pull me in so much it makes me cry. Okay, I lied. I cry at a lot of books BUT my point is if an author has that ability to make me love the book and characters so much my heart breaks for them and has me in tears then they are an amazin gauthor in my book.
I really enjoyed 'Saving June' and I can't wait to read more from this incredibly talented author.
"Everything about you makes me hurt, in a good way, and it blows my mind that someone can be so amazing and not even see it."
Interview with Hannah Harrington
K-Books: Saving June seems like such a sad but inspirational story. Where did you get the inspiration for the story?
Hannah: I first had the idea for Saving June while I was in high school. When I was seventeen, I'd lost a relative of mine to suicide and the "splitting the ashes" thing was something that actually happened. The summer after I graduated, I was living out of my car and working as a pizza cook. The radio would always be on in the kitchen, so I was spending a lot of time listening to music and kicking the idea around in my head. A few years later I found some of the bits and pieces I'd written back then, and decided to sit down and write out a full first draft. So some of it comes from my personal experiences, and of course some of it is inspired by music I love. It all ended up tying together!
Were there any scenes that were more difficult to write than others?
Yes. The hardest scene to write was probably June’s letter at the end. I didn’t originally plan to include it in the story, so it was difficult to go back and figure out how to word it. Trying to get into the headspace of someone who is writing a suicide note is not an easy thing!
Which character did you enjoy writing more?
I loved writing for all of them, really. Jake was maybe the most fun to write for, since he was allowed to drop some hard truths and be a bit of an ass, and of course he had a lot of opinions to share about everything.
Were there any personal experiences that you put into the story?
Some part are somewhat inspired by my own experiences as a teen, but the majority is completely fabricated. I did experience the sudden loss of someone when I was that age, though not someone as close to me as a sister. I also was friends with some anarchist political activists at that age.
What can we expect from you in the future?
My next book, SPEECHLESS, will be published by Harlequin Teen at the end of August. It’s the story of a girl named Chelsea Knot, who takes a voluntary oath of silence after her gossip-mongering ways get her in big trouble.
Thanks so much for being on K-Books today.
A huge thank you to Mira INK publishing for sending me a copy of Saving June for review and organising the interview with Hannah.