Brooke's Reviews > Saving June

Saving June by Hannah Harrington
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Jun 27, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: roadtrips, swoon-worthy-males, lovey-mushy-stuff, realistic-fiction

After letting the swooning and "aww"-ing emotions simmer, I think I am now capable of writing a review.

Okay.

Whenever I pick up a book that centers on a topic as sensitive as suicide, I'm always a bit unsure of what to expect. This book definitely exceeded my expectations, and - sensitive subject aside - was well written, well developed and I loved every page of it.

Page one - we're introduced to Harper, whose older sister June has just taken her own life. Knowing how she feels yet finding it hard to process her emotions, Harper finds herself shattered and unable to express it to anyone. Her parents, though divorced, seemed to dote upon June (being the 'favourite' daughter), and now that she's gone, Harper can't help but feel as though it's up to her to hold what is left of her family together, a responsibility which she isn't comfortable with.

Harper draws the line when her parents decide to split June's ashes (into his and hers urns) and, after discovering a "California" Post Card hidden away by June, Harper (with the help of her best friend and mysterious-dark-and-handsome-man-who-knew-her-sister, Jake), decides to set out on a road trip to California to scatter June's ashes and give her the farewell she would have wanted.

The journey that ensues is full of action, adventure and quirky characters. It took the reader on a journey which, while a teensy bit far fetched (I personally could never place that much trust in an infinite number of strangers), was fun, honest, raw, revealing and emotional. I initially struggled to connect with Harper, but after a while I began to really feel for her, she cried, I cried. She is so strong, yet so very vulnerable and has trouble letting people in - something I can certainly relate to.

The relationship between Harper and her parents, while not lingered on too much, is the sad reality a lot of children face growing up in broken homes. One parent who is happier pretending their former life didn't exist. One can only image how it would feel to have gone through something like that, and it makes it easier for the reader to understand why Harper rebels like she does. Having a sister who was perceptively 'better' at everything would no doubt take its toll. Admittedly I wanted to shake Harper at times, I mean, her poor mother had just lost a daughter, and she was at times (in my opinion) a little bit selfish, but seeing the way her character grew made me that much more satisfied and content once I was done reading.

I loved both Jake and Laney. They were both so much fun, I loved their wit and unique attitudes. I found their personalities to be easily likable and believable at the same time. While there wasn't much development with Laney, who (in my opinion) seemed to have a role in the story which was mostly based on supporting Harper (which I might add I don't have an issue with at all, I would have just liked to see more of her), the development with Jake certainly made up for that. He was so closed and seemingly unemotional at the beginning of the book, and I loved how much more we got to know of him, seeing his sensitive side, by the end. I, without a doubt, loved the way the numerous conversations between Jake and Laney were written, the playful banter, the raw (and sometimes harsh) emotions they threw at each other - it was captivating. And hey, the boy sounds hot - he certainly caught my attention! *swoon*

I have to agree with Nic here when I say that I loved all the talk about music! I learned a lot to be honest, and the playlists at the the end of the book were such a great idea. I'm definitely going to check some of the songs out.

I can't believe this was only Hannah Harrington's debut, I cannot wait to read more from someone who will be, no doubt, one to look out for.
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Quotes Brooke Liked

Hannah Harrington
“It must be comforting, to have a faith like that. To believe so concretely that there’s someone—something— out there watching guard, keeping us safe, testing us only with what we can handle.”
Hannah Harrington, Saving June

Hannah Harrington
“He took his pain and turned it into something beautiful. Into something that people connect to. And that's what good music does. It speaks to you. It changes you.”
Hannah Harrington, Saving June

Hannah Harrington
“It's just nice, I guess. Knowing that someone else can put into words what I feel. That there are people who have been through things worse than I have, and they come out on the other side okay. Not only that, but they made some kind of twisted, fucked-up sense of the completely senseless. They made it mean something. These songs tell me I'm not alone. If you look at it at that way, music... music can see you through anything.”
Hannah Harrington, Saving June

Hannah Harrington
“I've never been good at emotional stuff. Except anger. Anger, I'm good at.”
Hannah Harrington, Saving June

Hannah Harrington
“I gaze out at the glittering sea, the breathtaking sky above it, and think of birds and the moment before the fall, and how my sister as a child had been strong enough for the both of us, and I wonder when exactly that changed. I don't know when, but it did. Jake was right - I'm strong in a way June never was. Because I know that I want to be here. Even with the pain. Even with the ugliness. I've seen the other side - marching side by side down city streets with people who all believe they can change the world and the view of the sunset from Fridgehenge and Tom Waits lyrics and doing the waltz and kisses so hot they melt into each other and best friends who hold your hand and stretching out underneath a sky draped with stars and everything else.

There is so much beauty in just existing. In being alive. I don't want to miss a second.”
Hannah Harrington, Saving June

Hannah Harrington
“It's the best kind of devastating there is. He took his pain and he turned it into something beautiful. Into something that people connect to. And that's what good music does. It speaks to you. It changes you. What I'm trying to say is, it's just nice, I guess, knowing that someone else can put into words what I feel. That there are people who have been through things worse than I have, and they came out on the other side okay. Not only that, but they have made some kind of twisted, effed up sense of the completely senseless. They made it mean something. These songs tell me I'm not alone. If you look at it that way, music...music can see you through anything.”
Hannah Harrington, Saving June


Reading Progress

06/15/2011 page 41
12.2% ":o("
06/17/2011 page 94
27.98% "*swoon*." 3 comments
06/20/2011 page 206
61.31% "So close to swoony section... aargh! Damn you working hours!" 1 comment
06/21/2011 page 220
65.48% "!!!!!! <3" 15 comments
06/21/2011 page 260
77.38% "Hahahahaha. You go girl!!"
06/23/2011 page 342
100% "I cannot cry at work. I cannot cry at work. I cannot... oh crap." 2 comments
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Nic (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nic Awesome review Brooke!


Brooke Thank you Nic :o) I wasn't planning on writing a 'long' review, and when I posted it I was like 'whoa'. Guess I had more to say about its goodness than I thought!


Nomes love this review <3

i can't wait to read more of Hannah's books as well. she's an auto-buy for me now :)


Wendy Darling Want want want. :) Great review, Brooke!


Brooke Aw thank you Nomes and Wendy! :o) There's nothing like spreading the word about a good book.

@Nomes - I agree! I could most definitely sit and read more of her work, I can't wait for her next book.


message 6: by Milly (new) - added it

Milly wish my library has this!
wonderful review Brooke!


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