April 28, 2013

Saving June, a book review

by Hannah Harrington
published in 2011
a to the moon and back 4/ 5 stars
Goodreads / Amazon / Website
 "Now I'm counting up the days, counting all the ways
I never said what I meant, but it's too late 'cause
June is over and so are we
And I'm the one left, with nothing to save."

Saving June is like a hum. A steady hum that can sometimes go a little off track, but still keeps its senses anchored to the ground. And sometimes, there are rattles and sparks thrown in the way, and that hum just turns even more powerful, until it wraps around you and then suddenly you're breathing the same air it's breathing.

Saving June is about a road trip. And then some. Haley's older sister June just killed herself. Discovering her in the car, a bottle of sleeping pills in her hand, Haley cannot stop thinking of what June could have been. June, smart, sociable, a loving daughter. But June, weak in depth, concealed, revealing only partially her whole. So Haley decides to bring June's urn to California, the place where Haley thinks June wanted be set free. In comes along June's trusty side kick and best friend, Laney, and the mystical Jake Tolan, who has an apparent connection with June. Together they set off for a roadtrip of a lifetime, a roadtrip of undetermined length and spontaneous decisions. But a roadtrip for one sole purpose, and that is to save June.



Here's the tricky thing with road trip books. You have to feed your readers with action and adventure and fun, yet you still have to keep your readers' minds grounded on the real purpose of it. Hannah Harrington balanced that with great poise. Every pit stop, every detour, felt like it had a meaning to it, a meaning beyond comprehension that bound the story together.

Haley is the kind of protagonist that takes time to attach to. Obviously, being fresh from a sibling's death can change your attitude towards life a whole lot, but Haley felt like a stubborn kind. Quiet and slick and someone who stands firmly for her beliefs. But once you get to taste her personality more, you realize that Haley goes much deeper than you think she does. She's witty and snarky and... validating. You just want to know more about her, comfort her when she is vulnerable, shake her up when she's acting ridiculous.

Then there's Laney and Jake. Laney is a free spirit leading a breezy life. At least, that's what it looks like from the exterior. But Laney is also insecure, and always questioning her function in life. This what makes her relationship with Haley so strong. They feed from each others' strength and weaknesses, and they dive together into new experiences. And then, Jake. He's not completely a bad boy, not completely a hipster, but completely a music junkie. He breathes music. He can also fly under the radar, or set himself off like a spark. He's hard to get, and even harder to crack open. I guess that's what makes his bond with Haley- and June- so fascinating, so utterly entrancing.

There isn't much to say about June, but yet... there is so much. It is painful to think that a book must be bound by such a tragic story. Yet, it's exhilarating, it's eye opening, and as the story develops, you just feel even more pushed to unlock that hidden, dark knowledge that prompted June to end her life.

This book, this book, has got such a strong presence. It leaves a mark, leaves you questioning. Of what a person could have been. It it weren't for. And as brilliant as it is, sometimes you just want to hurl Saving June into the other side of the room, because it will utterly break your heart.




Then slowly piece it back together.


And that's the beauty of it.

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful review! I have this book sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read, but I just have so many other books to read O_o Hannah Harrington seems to be the master at making characters that are rough around the edges!

    (Oh, and I nominated you for an award, but I am not sure if you still accept them... so here is the link anyway, but do not feel obliged to follow through with it :)- http://lalovelystories.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award/ )

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for nominating for the award, Lottie! And yes, Hannah Harrington makes amazing characters that are just perfectly imperfect! I'm hoping to read her other book, Speechless, very soon!

      Thanks for reading my review, and for commenting, Lottie!

      -Grace :)

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  2. I've had this on my to-read list for a while, and can't wait to get my hands on it. This review is simply stunning, and I love how you described it as a 'steady hum'!

    Oh, and after reading your review of Between Shades of Gray awhile back, I decided to give it ago. I finished it a week or so ago, and I didn't know what to do with my life after I closed the covers. It was both beautiful and harrowing, but also sickening and disgusting. I guess it was just very human... One of my favourites!!! :)

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    1. Thank you Ruby! And yay, you read Between Shades of Gray! It is definitely a fantastic read, so raw and powerful!

      Thanks for the comment, and for reading my review Ruby!

      -Grace :)

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  3. Oh my this sounds like such a real treat for me. Have you read Speechless (also written by her) there is a cameo of Jake and Haley but i haven't read Saving June so I didn't get the reference except wondering why she took the time to focus on those two people. XD I haven't read road trip books but after watching Guilt Trip and some whole lot of road trip movies I really want to read a light but heavy but something uplifting like how she wrote Speechless.

    This book is definitely on my NEED TO BUY list next time I drop by B&N. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the lovely review. Even if I haven't read this, you couldn't have explained it better.

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    1. Aw, you're welcome Delaney! And I really can't wait to read Speechless! I saw it at the library, but I put it back on the shelf because I thought it'd be worth it to actually buy it!

      Thank you for reading my review, and commenting Delaney!

      -Grace :)

      Delete
  4. Beautifully-worded review! Saving June has been on my wishlist for quite some time now and your review has made me even more desperate to read it!

    I love emotional reads too so this sounds perfect for me! :)

    Lovely blog - new follower!

    - Rachel
    Booktastic Reviews

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for following Rachel! I just followed back (I'm you're 444th follower!) And yes, I think you should definitely read this book, I think it will certainly appeal to you!

      -Grace :)

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  5. Hey there!! I have NOMINATED you for the Liebster Award in my Blog! Hope you enjoy the questions. Following you and hope you return the sweet gesture ;) Cheers! http://redraoalice.blogspot.com/2013/05/liebster-award-discover-new-blogs.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the follow, Maliha! I am now following you back!

      -Grace :)

      Delete

Hi! If you are here, I'm assuming that you've just read my post. If yes, don't hesitate on leaving a quick comment, I truly do appreciate each and every single one of them!

-Grace :)

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