Series: StandaloneThis book didn't make me cry, but it came pretty damn close.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
‘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..
It's been a while since I picked up a YA novel that truly made me think, made me tear up, made me clench my fists and bite my lips and flip through the pages with a ferocity that only increased as the book went on.
It's been a while since a YA novel moved me the way this book did, made me truly feel for the characters and break my heart the way this story did.
It's been a while since I liked a YA book so much, period.
I haven't been posting as much or reading so much YA fiction lately, because in the haze of paranormal romances and dystopian romances and contemporary romances that have been crowding the Dymocks shelves, young adult sometimes seems like a genre that cares less about the stories and more about the commercial value. Up until I picked up Saving June, I'd been hitting somewhat of a YA dead end.
Good girl meets dangerous boy. Dangerous boy declares love for girl. Repeat my previous two sentences a few thousand times and you have a standard paranormal romance. It's so, so easy for authors to fall into this trap.
Hannah Harrington didn't.
It's not to say that Saving June is perfect, or an easy read for someone who's lost a loved one to suicide. Heck, it might be totally untruthful and melodramatic.
But for me, the emotions were captured perfectly.
The road trip was written perfectly.
Lacey was written perfectly.
I loved almost all of it.
The only exception was Jake's character, why Harper let him go on the road trip, and the romance. I didn't like that, because I felt it was an unnecessary addition to what would've been a near-one hundred percent contemporary.
But I feel that I can let that element, that one element of the story, go. Because I loved the rest of it so much.
Because I fell in love with almost all of the characters.
Because it was what rekindled my interest in YA and reminded me of why I love this genre so much. I think it's a full five stars.