“If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d have been June who died in June.
But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.”
When sixteen-year-old Harper’s sister June, the perfect, popular, pretty one to Harper’s also-ran, commits suicide just before her high school graduation, nothing in Harper’s world makes sense anymore.
With her family falling apart, Harper has a plan – steal June’s ashes and take her sister to the one place she always wanted to go: California.
Embarking on a wild road trip of impromptu gigs and stolen kisses with mysterious musician Jake, the one person who could hold answers about June, Harper’s determined to find peace for her sister.
But will she find peace for herself along the way?
When I was asked to review this one, I was initially hesitant as it sounded a little too similar to Amy and Rodger’s Epic Detour (another road trip story about a girl using it to overcome grief, along with a cracking playlist). Thankfully, I took a punt and received a copy to review, because while there are some similar themes, Saving June is very much its own story, and has a much more introspective mood.
Harper, Laney (her best friend) and Jake the three people who set off on the road trip are all characters putting on something of a face to the outside world, in an attempt to break free of the past and other peoples wishes that overshadow them.
As the road trip nears California and a friendship starts to develop between the three, we learn a little more about each of them and what drives them. In a book that is mostly about Harper and her relationship with her sister, it’s good to see the other characters have their own strong, story lines and journeys to take as well.
As I said, there’s quite an introspective mood to the book and I thought this really added to the poignency of Harper’s grief, and it really help me care for her as a character (and that of the other two as well). Hannah Harrington also does a really soon job with the sense of place, I felt I could see everything they could on the road trip, while listening to a cracking (and somewhat eclectic) soundtrack.
Jakes connection to music really helps that along, great music is as important to him as food, air and water is, and that love is really infectious (at least to this reader!).
Saving June, turned out to be a really enjoyable, thoughtful and moving read.
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My copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.