“According the the puppy-of-the-month calendar hanging next to the phone in the kitchen, my sister June died on a Thursday, exactly nine days before her high school graduation. May’s breed is the golden retriever - pictured is a whole litter of the, nestled side by side in a red wagon amid a blooming spring garden.”
Harpers sister had just killed herself, Harper was the one who found her body. And now harpers recently divorced parents are considering splitting the ashes into two urns and sharing them. Harper’s not impressed by this idea but she’s also having difficulty understanding why her pretty, perfect, popular sister did it. June was always the sensible one and it feels like Harpers family is breaking apart bit by bit. But the ashes thing, thats not happening. June always dreamed of california, moving away from Michigan and starting a new life. So Harper steals the ashes and embarks on a road trip, one that will change her views on her sister and herself forever.
I was told by a bunch of people that I would love this book. I’m a huge music nerd and this book features music a lot. But that’s not all its about, its about growing and learning and loving who you are and the people around you. Its about taking notice of the little things you never did before and its about opening your eyes to whats around you.
Saving June was emotional. I think I’ve heard people say they started crying within the first chapter. I wasn’t quite that bad but I did have a lump in my throat. The last few chapters though, they broke me and I couldn’t see the pages for crying so much! I honestly think that if you don’t cry at this book you should get your tear glands checked out!
The plots amazing, Harper’s parents are being annoying selfish and yes I know their first daughter has just died but seriously, they have another, one who’s only 16 and has just lost her sister. They don’t seem to care though and when you throw Aunt Helen into the mix I’m nit surprised Harper wanted to leave. Harper has a great friend who vows to go along for the ride but when Laney’s car goes kaput they are left with no possible transport, until mysterious Jake offers them a lift. Now I probably wouldn’t have embarked on a road trip with a strange boy I didn’t know but its obvious that Jake knew June, even if Harper had no idea why and he’s pretty cut up about her death. Harper reckons he can help her understand a few things about June’s life before she committed suicide and that’s why she agrees to go with him... that and grief probably. The three of them go off on the trip and the places they end up at and the things they discuss on the way really make a great read. I was hooked as soon as they set off.
The characters are really interesting. The three main characters all had their own stuff to deal with and it made for great reading. I loved Harper and thought that she could be strong if she learnt how to handle her grief better, she was a mess but I think June dying and the road trip made her a little less tangled up with anger because she opened her eyes to a few things. I liked how much she grew in the book and really understood why everything was such a mess. I also loved Laney and how much of an amazing friend she was to Harper, no matter what you could tell the two of them had each other and couldn’t be without one another. The there was Jake, wow Jake, with his wavy dark hair, his sexy tanned skin and his bad boy rocker look going on, ahhh... anyway. Jake is my kinda guy, obsessed with music, a secret past that he doesn’t like talking about and a strange relationship with June that we can’t quite figure out. He was a really smart guy and I loved how passionate he was about his music and how loyal he was to his friends. There were other characters interspersed on the way, Dottie from the dinner was lovely and Carmen couldn’t be nicer but Gwen, ergh she was awful, even if it was slightly explained as to why. Aunt Helen had to be the worst character of them all though, I couldn’t stand her and her in your face opinions on religion. I don’t mind people who are religious but I’m not and I hate being preached to and Aunt Helen was a preacher and a pain in the ass too!
I loved the part music played in helping Harper control her grief and even letting it flow through her. Music has that effect on me as well so that felt so real and raw and I loved Jakes lectures on music too. There are playlists in the back of the book but loads more music is discussed within it and I will be checking out a few of the bands I hadn’t heard of!
I really would recommend Saving June, its an amazing coming-of-age style book which really shows how people can come to terms with losing someone and finding out that maybe that person wasn’t al they thought they were. Its a tearful book about sisters as well and if like me you have an older sister (or any sister for that matter) who might find yourself wanting to go visit them and give them a hug!
Saving June will be published on June 1st by MiraInk. My copy was sent in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.