Genre: Young Adult (Contemporary Romance)
After her sister commits suicide, Harper Scott takes a trip to California with her best friend, a handsome stranger, and her sister's urn. Her sister's dream was to go to California, but she never made it there. Along the way, Harper learns that she may not have known everything about her sister or even herself.
Harper's sister, June, has already committed suicide once the book starts. So, you never get to know June except through Harper's memories and stories by other characters. While reading, you will spend a lot of time inside Harper's head whether it be through dreams, flashbacks, or the endless mental conversations she has with herself. They make many stops and meet many different characters along their journey. Most of which I found to be, not just stereotypical, but the worst variety of their stereotypes. Starting with the hypocritical Bible thumpers, to the pot smoking liberal protesters, and of course the teenage philosophers. Many of the conversations and events surrounding the people they met along their trip weren't necessary. They felt unrealistic and unnatural. As a whole, I never felt a connection with the characters. I had moments where I really enjoyed the bantering back and forth between Harper, Laney, and Jake, but none of them really grabbed me. I had fun with the numerous musical references. I loved that the full playlists were listed at the end of the book. There were a few songs I had to go check out.
The author clearly portrays strong opinions both politically and religiously through the characters in her book. These may or may not be the true opinions of the author herself, and I personally don't care. I fully respect everyone's opinions. Quite honestly though, I felt like these ideals were being pushed down our throats quite a bit. That was probably not her intention, the last thing any author wants to do is alienate readers, but it was certainly the feeling I got while reading and it left me with a sour taste in my mouth through most of the book.
There was quite a bit of explicit language, so depending on parental preference this book is better suited for a more mature young adult audience. The whole point behind why Harper wanted to take the trip to California with her sister's ashes was very touching. I loved that she was fulfilling that dream for her sister in what was now the only way possible. I like books that show how people can survive through extremely devastating circumstances such as a death or suicide. I think these types of books are great for helping people cope in real life, however, I think there are better options out there than Saving June. I truly hate it when I don't like a book. I'd much rather gush over what I've just read, but I think negative reviews can be just as beneficial as positive reviews in the long scheme of things. A quick glance through the internet, and you will see this book has many fans. I just wasn't one of them.
To learn more about Hannah Harrington and her books, visit her Blog and Tumblr. You can also find her on Twitter.
This book was provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley for review. The opinions are my own.