‘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. (from GoodReads)
I was wary of reading Saving June because it has a very similar plot to Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel (and they have practically the same title; I didn't realize that at first). The only difference is that in Saving Zoe, Zoe was murdered instead of committing suicide. Though when I started this novel, I realized that it was its own book and was a very enjoyable read.
Harper is a lot different than June: June gets good grades and is the perfect daughter, while Harper is more of a rebel. So when June commits suicide, Harper is sad, confused and feels inadequate to her recently divorced parents. I felt bad for Harper because of her grief and guilt. Her and June didn't always get along, but you could tell through Harper's thoughts and memories that the two sisters really loved each other.
It was June's dream to make it to California, so most the novel is Harper road-tripping to CA with her best friend Laney and June's mysterious friend Jake. Road trip novels are always awesome, and Saving June was no exception. They drive all across the Midwest and it's a chance for Harper to heal and accept her sister's suicide.
An important part of the novel is music and its healing capabilities. Jake is somewhat of a music snob (he likes a lot of classic rock) and exposes Harper to a lot of new sounds. I absolutely loved the music references but I thought some of it was unrealistic. Harper doesn't know who Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones are? I don't believe that for a second. Even so, there are playlists in the back of the novel of the songs featured in Saving June which I thought was a nice touch.
Overall, I really enjoyed Saving June and thought it was one of the better novels I've read recently.
Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: received from Harlequin Teen
2011/Harlequin Teen/336 pages.