‘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.
A powerful story about suicide and how life goes on after that sort of loss.
Harper was a well-rounded character. She struck me as someone that could have come off as being bratty or extremely annoying. But Harrington was able to take Harper, with all her faults, quirks and normality, and make her into this heart wrenchingly human character. There’s something about her that makes it easy to connect to, even if you can’t fully empathize with her.
What stood out for me was how the reader never fully knows what made June take her life. As Harper makes this journey, she learns a little more about her sister she never knew before. But more importantly, Harper learns more and discovers more about herself. She’s able to come to grips with her sister’s death in this way that wasn’t possible otherwise.
With all those books out there related to suicide or something equally depressing, but beautiful in their portrayal of life, Saving June is one of the best. It’s for anyone looking for something that will tug at your heart, and is achingly real.
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