Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pub. Date: 11.22.2011
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Road trip, Loss, Grief, Angst, Suicide
Description (from Goodreads):
When her older sister commits suicide and her divorcing parents decide to divide the ashes, Harper Scott takes her sister's urn to the one place June always wanted to go: California. On the road with her best friend, plus an intriguing guy with a mysterious connection to June, Harper discovers truths about her sister, herself and life.
It's been a long time since I've loved a book as much as SAVING JUNE... I think my excitement about this book can be compared to how I felt about ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE - which means that I love this book with a passion. I've said before that there are certain books that feel like they've been written just for you. They don't come along very often, but, when they do, it's one of the best feelings in the world.
These books usually leave you a bit breathless and teary-eyed. Once you recover, you recommend that book like your life depends on whether others read it. That pretty much sums up how I feel about Hannah Harrington's debut novel!
I easily connected with Harper, the main character of SAVING JUNE. Part of me wonders if this was due, in part, to Harper's roots. Like me, Harper was raised in a small Michigan town. Perhaps I'm just imagining that this detail makes her character easier for me to relate to... or maybe Harrington truly understands how big of impact small town Michigan can have on person and has successful woven this into her character. I tend to believe the latter. Where you're from can have a monumental impact on how you view and interpret the world... and Harper and I are eerily similar.
I've yet to be disappointed by a book which features a road trip. There is something magical about the open road, the right music, and the right person sitting next to you. Harrington has all three elements locked down in SAVING JUNE.
I must say that I was especially impressed by the song selection and play lists in this novel. There are so many great songs that fit perfectly into either specific scenes or the book in general.
To top it off, this book deals with some pretty heavy topics, including suicide and teen pregnancy. It's difficult to find a novel that can discuss tough subjects truthfully and tactfully while maintaining a tense, yet realistic love story. Often, one aspect is lacking, but this is definitely not the case with SAVING JUNE. I can't complain about any element of this novel... if there was anything I found bothersome, it must have been only a small detail, as I can't recall anything distracting or disappointing.
Please, take the time to pick up Harrington's debut... Not only did I adore SAVING JUNE, I truly believe Harrington is a contemporary author to watch.
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