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Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Harper Scott has always felt that her life has always been viewed in comparison to that of her older sister June. Next to Harper, who can never seem to get anything right, June seemed perfect. She was friendly with everyone and seemed to have everything going for her. That’s what makes June’s suicide just a week before her graduation so shocking. And no one is more devastated than Harper. She can’t accept that June would do something so drastic—so permanent—for no reason, but no one seems to have an explanation. Fed up with the way her parents are dealing with sharing her sister’s ashes, Harper decides she needs a different course of action. She knows that June always wanted to go to California, so Harper steals June’s ashes and embarks on a road trip. Along with her best friend Laney and Jake Tolan, a boy with a major attitude that June used to tutor, Harper is determined to make her sister’s dream come true. On her journey, Harper will learn what—and who—she needs to move on, but Jake has a secret that could destroy the peace Harper has just began to find.

Saving June is a truly beautiful and beautifully written story of loss and love. I always approach grief novels with some trepidation, because I’ve read so many of them and I’m always afraid I’m going to get a repeat of the same old, clichéd story I’ve heard already. This was a worry I quickly forgot as soon as I was introduced to Harper Scott. She’s smart and stubborn, and the thing she wants most is to find an explanation for her sister’s death. She doesn’t do this by conducting an investigation or by withdrawing into herself or depression. She tries to make things okay for herself by taking matters into her own hands, in this case, by stealing her sister’s ashes and taking them on a road trip. Harper’s character is undeniably real, and every new hurdle in her path is sure to have readers choking back inappropriate laughter or blinking back tears. I love the way Harrington develops the relationships between Harper and other characters in the book in such a believable manner, and I greatly appreciate her choice to make the plot realistic instead of exploiting opportunities for character twists. Saving June is without a doubt one of my favorite novels about grieving that is sure to win every reader’s heart.

Harrington is definitely an author to watch, especially for fans of contemporary novels. Saving June will be enjoyed by readers who also liked The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas, Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi, The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle, and A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell.

Rating: 4.75

Review copy from NetGalley

3 munch(es) :

Helen's Book Blog said...

Thank you for the great review, this just got added to my "buy it" list!

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

I think I need to read this. Glad you liked it.

holdenj said...

I started this, need to get back to it!

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