Kelly Hager's Reviews > Saving June

Saving June by Hannah Harrington
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's review
Sep 25, 2011

really liked it
Read from September 25 to 26, 2011

After her sister, June, commits suicide, Harper is lost. Her mom's completely devastated and has begun drinking to deal with it and her obnoxious Aunt Helen is moving in and trying to convince her (and her mom) that the answer is in church. All Harper knows is that she can barely breathe. Her parents---who are divorced---are also dividing June's ashes, which makes Harper even more unhappy. And then the answer hits her: what June wanted most was to go to California, so why not take her there? She convinces her best friend Laney to tag along and this new guy, Jake, is in, too. Harper doesn't know Jake, but she DOES know that he's connected to June somehow.

This book reminded me a lot of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour (grief spurs road trip; parents not pleased; romance and catharsis follows; I cry a lot) but this lacked a bit of the emotional impact for me. Part of it is that I didn't really get to know June and part of it is that Harper is pretty emotionally distant.

That said, this is such a wonderful book. It's powerful and well-written and just good.

I read this for the Contemps challenge, too, and I've loved every book I've read for that. I'm especially grateful for this book, because I think it's sort of flown under the radar and that's unfortunate. This is a book that deserves to find its audience.

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