Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Saving June

Saving June
Saving June by Hannah Harrington

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Harper Scott is the trouble maker, the instigator, she is everything her sister June is not. June is the “good” daughter…good student, tutor, golden child, everything comes easy to her. When June takes her own life, Harper has to come to terms not only with the loss of her sister, but also the changes in her that her sister’s death brings…and she does it via a road trip to California with her best friend and one Jake Tolan, who Harper suspects was in love with June.

I loved this book! It’s about suicide and a sister’s attempt to deal with the aftermath. It’s not condescending drivel…it’s witty, and snarky, and dark, and funny. The author’s handling of the subject matter was all the things you would expect…gut-wrenching, emotional, as well as the overwhelming thought of “what did I miss”. I haven’t experienced a loss through suicide, but the author nailed my perception of what it might be like.

Harper’s grief is like a cloak…it covers and absorbs you. Harper is sharp and complex…and watching her evolve during this road trip is something worth reading. Harper’s best friend, Laney, can be pretty shallow and self-absorbed and provides some of the best comic relief. Everything Laney does is with her best friend in mind. Laney is an only child and imagined June as her big sister as well. Laney and Harper are as different as night and day, and complement each other equally well. Which leaves Jake. Jake knew June in a different way and is able to provide insight into parts of her life Harper wasn’t privy to. He also provides a musical backdrop to the journey…his musical choices complement the story and bring it to another level. The version of this book I read, had the playlists listed in the back, I wish I had known because I would have loved to create playlists to listen to while I was reading. Just so happens Jake and I have similar musical tastes.

My only complaint would be the first stop on the trip…that was a strange group of friends and the whole “demonstration” just seemed out of place. Not quite sure what it’s purpose was other than to show that June had met this group in the past.

This was a wonderful book…I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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