November 9, 2012

The Story of My Sister • Saving June

Saving June Hannah Harrington book cover
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 22, 2011
Source/Format: Won || Paperback

Harper Scott's older sister June has taken her own life - and she's left Harper to grieve and to wonder why. When her parents make plans to split June's ashes, Harper leaves on a cross-country trip with her best friend Laney and Jake, a boy she barely knows, but who has a special connection with June, to California. June might have been keeping secrets, but Jake has one too - and it might just change everything in Harper's world all over again.

Based on my experience with Hannah Harrington’s other novel Speechless, I was certain I would love the way Saving June was written. And I wasn’t disappointed – it’s a beautifully written novel, bringing to life a story about a girl grieving for her sister, and the amazing best friend and the sweet boy who support her along the way. 

It is not a secret to anyone who regularly reads this blog that I absolutely love road trips. Despite the sadness that serves as the catalyst for the trip in the first place, I think that the journey they went on was so much fun. The fact that they visited all these states and experienced these awesome things as a trio was pretty epic. After reading this book, I wanted to go on a road trip so bad. 

What makes any road trip memorable and fun are the people who decide to come along for the ride. Harper, Jake & Laney are such a great trio to tag along with, and it’s because I loved each one of them that I enjoyed being a part of their trip even more. 

Harper is still grieving for her sister June, and that’s fairly apparent from the start of the book. While she did have moments of weakness, overall, I really admired the strength of her will and her stubbornness. It was also a nice touch to see how sometimes she underestimated herself, as it seemed to remind readers that she was so used to being the completely below average daughter in comparison to June, who was very nearly the perfect daughter. 

Laney should win an award for being such an awesome and supportive friend. I think she handled her role as Harper’s pillar of support quite well, in equal parts being the comforter, the joker and providing some tough, honest love. She was definitely the perfect foil for Harper & Jake, and I’m glad that Hannah decided to make her a part of this book. 

As for Jake, well, I loved him. From the get go, I thought he was such a cool character – a badass, but a badass with a heart (which is what I generally tend to prefer when it comes to boys…). The interesting part of Jake’s character, to me, was the incredible fascination with and knowledge of music he possessed. He was also incredibly sweet, but also incredibly… well, boyish, and I liked that too. 

I enjoyed reading about Harper & Jake’s relationship, because it really felt authentic to me. Grief and proximity are two things that can definitely play a role in moving a relationship along a bit faster than normal, and I think that was the case with them. However, I do love that there’s a mutual sense of respect and recognition of each other’s qualities that helps build a foundation for a solid friendship/relationship between them. 

The book ends on a fitting note, leaving it open-ended and pretty much for the reader to determine what happens next to these characters. In my head, Jake and Harper are together forever and Laney finds a nice boy to settle down with – and they go on an annual road trip in June’s memory. 

I loved Saving June as much as I enjoyed Speechless, and I really do think that the hype it garnered in the book blogging community when it first came out is totally warranted. It’s a beautiful, poignant tale of grieving, loving and letting go.


  1. I really liked Jake's music knowledge and the playlist that was included in the book-it was another element that added to the strength of this book.

  2. I loved this book as well! So glad you enjoyed it! Love reading your reviews!

  3. Great review, Alexa! I still haven't read Speechless, but I know I'll love it because this book really was a special one. Thanks for sharing!

  4. A badass with a heart. :D That is a perfect way to describe Jake! I really liked this book too - maybe even a little more than Speechless - and am so glad you enjoyed it. Brilliant review, Alexa!

  5. Nice to know it lived up the the hype. Your review makes it sound like a mix between In Honor and You Are Here which sounds like an Estelle book to me.

    Another one for the library!

  6. I have a tendency to shy away from "issues" books, but after reading your review, it feels like this is about more than just the "issues" that June had. It sounds uplifting, inspirational and full of hope--and you know what? I could use a little bit of that right now. :)

  7. Woo-hoo! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I loved Jake as well and Harper was such an amazing character. I love Harrington's writing and I just cannot WAIT to see what she writes next - she's one author I just LOVE! Amazing review! :)

  8. Sounds like a great book find, thanks for sharing!

  9. I'm glad you liked this one! I do like Hannah's writing and gosh, I have a copy of Speechless to read...

  10. I really enjoyed this one too it was beautiful and heartbreaking all at once! And if you love road trips did you read Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown? You should! :)

  11. I looove Hannah Harrington. I did the same thing you did - read Speechless first! I honestly don't know which I loved best - I just know I'm ready for more! Great review of a great book!

  12. Yaaaay, awesome review! I'm so glad you enjoyed SAVING JUNE. I know I'm a sucker for road trip books and heartache.

  13. A badass with a heart and a love for music, I am swooning already! In all honesty, this book sounds EXACTLY like something I would love. Roadtrips, awesome best friends, cute sounds like pure heaven <3

  14. Yay! I'm glad you loved this. It was one of my favorite reads last year and it's always nice to find a fellow blogger who felt the same way about the book.

  15. Oh wow! This sounds like a great read! Something you won't forget after reading it. Def. going to look out for this one. Great review!
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