Saving June by Hannah Harrington is a book I’ve heard quite a few good things about, so I was pretty excited to pick up my copy. I’m happy to say that it definitely lived up to my highest expectations and you can certainly expect it to be on my list of favorites at the end of the year. It won’t be released until November – but I think it is supposed to be available on NetGalley soon!
Harper’s older sister, June, committed suicide – and Harper had to be the unfortunate one to find her. She is shocked, hurt, angry…everything you’d expect. Her emotions are portrayed beautifully through the writing. Same goes with her mom, who is definitely falling apart. Her parents are divorced and end up deciding to split the ashes between them – Harper can’t stand the thought of that happening. She thinks about June and how much she wanted to get out of their house and their town and go to California. California, Harper then decides, is where June’s ashes should be. She enlists her best friend Laney and they plan a secret trip to California. Enter in one mysterious stranger – Jake Tolen. Harper comes to realize that he and June were actually pretty close friends, so when he offers up himself (and his van) for the trip, Harper can’t say no. Hello road trip.
This book is so well-written you guys. The descriptions, the events, the emotions – everything amazed me. Harper and Laney might be best friends, but they are so different. The tension that causes is so well done. I mean, can you imagine being in a car with your best friend day after day after day? Sure you love her, but you’re bound to butt heads. I loved the little arguments they got into! Hannah Harrington knows how to write a strong and believable friendship.
She also knows how to write an unbelievably hot mysterious guy – Jake Tolen is made of swoon. (He actually kinda reminded me of Owen from Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen because he is similarly obsessed with music.) The tension and chemistry between him and Harper is out of this world (and yes, my friends: there are sexytimes). He is also so great at being there for her as she finally lets go of her emotions little by little. They start out so unsure of each other – the progress they make toward romance is nice and steady. Very believable (no insta-love here y’all!).
I seriously cannot recommend this book enough. It has something for everyone – an awesome (and often random) road trip, slow burning romance, dealing with loss, friendship, humor….the list goes on. Hannah Harrington has created a story and a group of characters that I won’t be forgetting for a very long time. This is a book worth reading, worth buying, worth loving.
Since I raved about the writing, I decided to include a couple of excerpts. Both of these are taken from Harper’s descriptions/thoughts about Jake:
All I can do is look at him. Up close, I get a better view; there’s no denying the fact he is really, really good-looking, in this rakish, edgy, badass, I just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-screw-you-I-don’t-need-a-mirror kind of way. He has these piercing, unbelievably green eyes that are as gorgeous and sharp as the rest of him; it’s like they can see straight through me. But I don’t want to be seen. (ARC page 72)
This time I draw my gaze up to meet his. His hair looks kind of slept-on, sticking out in different directions, his eyes darker in the dim light thrown off by the street lamp. The same lamp allows me to notice that his black t-shirt clings to him in all the right places. At first my stomach twists, and I feel vaguely ashamed, or guilty, or something, for noticing that. But then I think – so what. So what if he’s hot, sometimes. Like every time I look at him…Even if I’m no damsel in distress and he’s miles away from Prince Charming, displays of gallantry, combined with his not-bad-okay-actually-pretty-good looks, make my strange lusty feelings completely justified. Practically obligatory, even. (ARC page 153)