Saturday, June 09, 2012

Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

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Saving June
Hannah Harrington
Release date: June 1st, 2012
by Mira Ink

Goodreads / Purchase

‘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 copy was provided by Harlequin UK for review purposes*
Even though this book is ultimately about loss and dealing with grief, it’s a very diverting read filled with life, humor, and romance. Being a road trip story, be prepared for some amusing sightseeing along with plenty of colorful characters.

Saving June begins very powerfully during the aftermath of June’s death. Harper finds herself in a bubble of grief, unable to even begin to understand why her sister killed herself. I could feel her heartache, as if it was my own. The emotional turmoil is extremely vivid and I was sure we were in for an overwhelmingly sad novel, but once the road trip begins it turns into a pleasant, beautiful story. After the initial explosion, though, the pacing can leave a bit to be desired until about half way. However, this leaves room for excellent character development and an incredibly sweet budding romance.

Extremely character oriented, Saving June brings forth a lot of vibrant personalities. Harper, herself, is frustrated and broken by her sister’s death, making her a very gripping, sympathetic protagonist. The two main supporting roles, Jake and Laney, both have distinct personalities that are very different from each other. We see them go from snappy to charismatic. Thus, there was bound to be some banter and disagreements, but they have this wonderful chemistry that makes them seem naturally connected to each other. We then have a band of eccentric characters that we meet along the way that range from charming to outlandish.

So powerful that it’s a character in itself, the music reverberates through the pages making it an important entity. It plays an immense part in Harper’s healing process. This book is filled with musical references that will capture any music buff. Although I was familiar with a lot of the music mentioned, it’s not to such a degree that made the frequent exchanges and debates mean as much as I think it should have. Nevertheless, its strong influence is undeniable.

As in the beginning, the conclusion yields a lot of emotional outbursts; it’s an intense, piercing ending. Some parts of it do feel a bit too convenient, but I was satisfied with it overall. Are you a music fanatic? Do you enjoy road trips? Brilliant characterization? Poignant story lines? Saving June will take you and enrapture you all through to the end!

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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31 Responses to “Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington”

  1. Eileen

    I also really loved Saving June! And this review! 🙂 I love how you went into the characters’ personalities and how they reacted to one another and their surroundings. And the music analysis definitely has a point. Great review!

    Check out my Stacking the Shelves!

  2. Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews)

    Glad you enjoyed this one, Giselle. I read it last year and even though it sounded like the perfect book for me, I just couldn’t connect with the characters, so I found it to be just an OK read. I seem to be in the minority on that one though! 🙂

  3. Eileen

    Oh! Sorry for the Stacking the Shelves part! I was just going around and commenting on others when I stopped by your blog and it’s a force of habit now LOL! 😉

  4. Sam

    I’m glad that there’s a strong music influence in this book as I love music. I love your review, Giselle! I wasn’t sure about this book at first but I definitely think I will have to give it a go now. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

  5. Kara_Malinczak

    I don’t know why I found this book disappointing. But I did. I liked it and all but I thought there was something missing and it didn’t really tug at my heartstrings like it did so many others. I will admit there were a couple of memorable scenes that stick out in my mind. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Giselle.

  6. Amy

    This sounds like a great story. I love the premise of it. I’m glad that the characters were easy to connect to since that is a big thing for me. Fantastic review chicky!!

  7. Kris (Imaginary Reads)

    I love this book too. The characters have distinct personalities that make it easy to understand them, and the emotion is strong. I also believe that music lovers will love the references. I didn’t know many of the songs referenced, so I probably missed out on something in the exchanges.

  8. Nick

    This is a beautiful review, Giselle. 🙂
    I’m really glad you enjoyed this one. I loved it too. The thing with Saving June is that it’s a got a nice blend of emotions. I found the characters to be really likable too.
    The musical aspect was also really great.
    Love the review 🙂

  9. fishgirl182

    i haven’t read this one yet. i admit that the subject of suicide is not one i usually go for but this one sounds like it has some lighter moments. i’ll give it a try. thanks for the review!

  10. Mary @ BookSwarm

    While this is not the kind of book I usually read, it sounds fantastic. When characters’ personalities really emerge and sing through the pages, that makes a book worth reading. Awesome review.

  11. Julie

    I loved Saving June! It was such a heartbreaking book. I knew most of the music, but I still got confused a little. It’s great that the author used popular or well known groups or singers. I love your review! 😀

  12. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    I do like brilliant characterization, so this sounds like the ultimate read for me 😀 I love when a book tackles a difficult problem and manages to weave a nice story around it. Thanks for sharing, Giselle ^^

  13. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Ohh! I think I would really like this one. Alot of people say that too many references date the book but I LOVE musical references in my books (when they are to good music) and from our chat the other night I think these are to good ones. Great review love!

  14. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    I loved Saving June! Such a heartbreaking story but there was great build to the story with the romance and Harper dealing with her grief. I was really impressed with it. I could relate to the way Harper handled her grief. I felt the same way after losing people.

  15. Lexie

    Fantastic review. <3 I absolutely adored this novel, because it was just so remarkably poignant and thoughtful. I loved the characters, I loved the heavy influence of music, and I loved how Harper's emotional journey mirrored her physical one. It was wonderful. I agree with pretty much everything you said here. 😀

  16. Tabitha

    I’m glad you liked this book! I read it earlier this year and absolutely loved it! I really enjoyed the music aspect to this book as well!

    Thanks for the review, and reminding me why I loved this book in the first place!

  17. smallgirl

    I’m excited to read this, and was so glad to see a UK release date on the reviews that have been floating around in the last couple of weeks! Great review. 🙂

  18. Sarah (saz101)

    GISELLE! FABULOUS REVIEW! This is one of my FAVORITE books. Ever. I read it earlier this year and fell wildly in love.

    YES. I’m a music fanatic, knew 90% of the specific songs mentioned, and was familiar with the artists or the songs mentioned otherwise, and they were one of the reasons I feel so insanely in love with it… it felt so… familiar and warm and welcoming, because I love those parts of it, and already knew them? And YES to this being a SERIOUSLY character oriented book… OK… er… I’m gonna stop gushing, but I LOVED your review! ♥

  19. Candace

    This is one I have wanted for a long time, but it sorted faded from my mind. You just renewed my excitement for it though and maybe this is one I will get with my bday money. So glad you loved it!