Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saving June: Review

Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
ISBN: 1408981491
Publishing House: Harlequin - Mira Ink
Book Source: NetGalley

Buy Now: Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Goodreads Synopsis:

Your sister is dead. Nineteen songs can tell you why. Only one boy can help you understand.

Harper Scott's older sister, June, took her own life a week before high school graduation, leaving Harper devastated. So when her divorcing parents decide to split up June's ashes, Harper steals the urn and takes off cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going-California.

Enter Jake Tolan, a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession...and an unknown connection to June. 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 Harper needs. Except...Jake's keeping a secret that has the power to turn her life upside down again.


I've put off reading this book for a while because I had expected it to be really sad and heartbreaking - more so than Pushing the Limits actually. I still wanted to read it, I just wasn't sure when would be the right time for it. For some reason, I decided now would be just great.

The main reason why I requested this book was because I heard a lot of people rave about it and it seemed to be everywhere, so I thought to give it a shot. There are many covers for this book, they're all great, though I prefer the pale blue one. The synopsis had me bracing myself for so much inner turmoil.

The book starts off with Harper at her sister's wake. June, her sister, was the most unlikely person anyone would ever expect to take their own life, but she did just that. Harper doesn't understand how her perfect older sister could have done that. No one understood why she did it, or what she'd been going through before that. Harper seems to be having the hardest time crying and getting emotional over it like everyone would expect. She doesn't know how to react to things knowing she could never officially live up to June's perfection. With that, she embarks on a journey trying to understand what drove her sister to this and to do something for her, take her to the one place she's always wanted to go: California. To do that, she enlists the help of her best friend Laney and is forced to allow Jake to join them, a guy who seemed strangely connected to her sister, yet she's never heard of before.

I think this is the most perfect journey of healing I've read about in books recently. I really think so. I mean, I've read numerous books before, but I didn't feel the journey of self-discovery and healing were good enough or convincing. This one on the other hand was. That and, I could relate to the main character, the way she couldn't cry at the time, that  a song is what caused her to finally tear up and be emotional. This trip was basically channelling all that confusion and anger into some form of goal, a finish line, doing something productive to help the person they lost and themselves to heal. Discovering who they really are without that person, or who they managed to become on that journey. I absolutely loved that!

I especially enjoyed the element of music in it all. The importance of it, and the huge role it played in the healing process, as well as moods it played out in. Jake had  a story behind each one, giving them a purpose, a necessity in his life, in the lives of everyone around them. You got to know him through that music, through his choices and his singing and his mixed CDs.

"It's the best kind of devastating there is. He took his pain and he turned it into something beautiful. Into something that people connect to. And that's what good music does. It speaks to you. It changes you." Jake leans in towards me a little closer, voice softening. "What I'm trying to say is, it's just nice, I guess, knowing that someone else can put into words what I feel. That there are people who have been through things worse than I have, and come out on the other side okay. Not only that, but they made some kind of twisted, fucked-up sense of the completely senseless. They made it mean something. These songs tell me I'm not alone. If you look at it that way, music... music can see you through anything."

The characters were all complex and were completely different to one another, the people they interacted with, the things they got to do on their way, it was all beautifully created and well rounded up. I enjoyed the writing, Hannah did a fantastic job with it! It didn't make me cry as much as I expected it to, I mean I cried, but not that much, which is one of the great things about it, you actually felt like there was healing going on in the process.

Rating: 4/5!

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