Author: Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Mira Ink
Published: June 01, 2012
Buy: The Book Depository
‘I haven’t cried at all, not once. Even when I try to summon the tears, it’s like the well inside me is bone-dry. There’s just… nothing.’
As with all hyped-about books that take me a good few months to read after the rest of the world, I entered Saving June with a certain amount of trepidation. Being not exactly the biggest fan of contemporary fiction, or even the biggest fan of road-trip stories, I had to wonder if this book would be at all for me.
Hannah Harrington deals with a tough topic here that will undoubtedly reach out to several readers. We’ve all lost someone – It’s easy to appreciate the dull ache that consumes Harper while on her trip to California. Strangely enough, I never did grow to like Harper (not greatly, anyway) but I found her grief (and her very particular way of dealing with that grief) really quite easy to identify with. She is bad-tempered, a little cynical, and always quick to pull a mask over her true feelings, but I understood all of that – expected it even – and thought she was a pretty realistic character.
Along for the ride to California is Jake Tolan and best friend Laney. Honestly, without these two, I think Harper would have possibly driven me close to depression. Laney is, in a very strange way, easy to like. Her actions, thoughts and basic approach to life is as far from mine as is possible to get, but she brought a smile to my face regardless. Although Laney has her fair share of substantial problems to deal with, she is quite a bubbly character and always there to lighten the mood when needed. Jake is just as easy to like, with his musical knowledge and floppy hair. He is undeniably sweet, though not overly so, and more than anything, he intrigued me.
The heavy music theme running through this book brought something really wonderful to the plot. My love for music is nearly as great as my love for reading. All the musical references, from Janis Joplin to The Pixies and The Who, resonated well with me. Even then, I found myself discovering new names and new songs. I actually spent a good portion of my time flitting back and forth between the internet and the book to Google anything I wasn’t familiar with. It was almost like an educational journey at times and I loved every minute of it.
It appears I had nothing to worry about when it came to this book. Despite my concerns, Saving June proved to be a beautiful and heart-felt tale of loss and acceptance, stitched together with achingly realistic characters. Hannah Harrington is an author I will be keeping an eye on and I hope her next book – Speechless – is just as good, if not better.
Rating: 4 stars