Sunday, 25 September 2011
Review- Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Publication date: 22nd Nov 2011
My rating: 5 out of 5
Firstly the blurb does not do this book justice, it doesn't even hint at the true epicness inside. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Saving June from my favourite Aussie C.J. Duggan as it's impossible to get in the UK however, it is being re-released with a lovely new cover on the 22nd of November and everyone and I mean everyone who loves books that literally rip your heart out should go and buy it.
Harper's older sister June has committed suicide. Despite her seemingly perfect life Harper finds June's body still clutching the bottle of pills with the car running and Cd's beside her. At the funeral Harper is suffocating and exhausted, her anger and frustration at the sister she has never been able to measure up to literally rolls off the page. As her divorced parents plan to split June's ashes and buy separate urns Harper wants and needs answers and finds in June's bedroom a postcard in which June has written "California I'm coming home." Remembering how much her sister wanted a house by the ocean Harper enlists her BFF Lacey to go on a road trip to California to spread June's ashes in the Pacific as she deserves. Harper also finds notes on the Cd's June was listening to which leads them to Jake Tolan a too cool for school guitar player with gorgeous green eyes and impeccable music taste that June had tutored and spent time with. Jake manages to convince Harper into letting him drive them to California in his van he calls Joplin, Harper however is determined to find out more about Jake and the role he played in June's life.
I love road trip books- play list after play list of cool songs, taking random pictures of gorgeous scenery and having the time to have hilarious banter with fellow travellers. Saving June's road trip was all that and so much more with the heart breaking quest to take June's ashes to the ocean. So although I loved all the people and places along the way such as Seth and his signed Jimi Hendrix LP, the games of truth or dare and top three (my favourite would be top three things you would say to George W Bush if you faced no legal repercussions)and meeting gorgeous Quentin and his band Robot Squad Suicide to name but a few, it was the heart breaking music related moments that really made Saving June special to me.
I had real moments where I bawled my eyes out whilst reading this. When Harper finally lets go and cries whilst listening to the lyrics of "Let It Be" by The Beatles and when Jake explains the background to Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" I actually had to put the book down for a bit as I couldn't actually see the pages for tears. Equally, when Jake explains to Harper that certain songs can rip your heart out and are the best kind of devastation, taking pain and turning into something people connect to like Harper I absolutely believed him and think the same can be said for books.
I loved that Harper is the kind of girl with no filter, she can be arsey and bitchy but underneath it she is in so much pain. She's angry at her sister for leaving her to deal with this alone and then feels ashamed for feeling angry. I loved that she very very slowly starts to realise there is more to Jake than his slightly geeky encyclopedic knowledge of music. There's actually his secret love of ABBA, his protective streak (that had me melting in a puddle of goo) and his dancing skills all in his favour. What I loved the most though is that I will never be able to listen to The Doors again without thinking of their "serious raging hormone action" it was absolutely A-MAZING.
Saving June is another gush worthy masterpiece in my eyes, despite having a to be read list as long as my arm I stopped everything and read Saving June twice, its a real must read.