Thursday 6 September 2012

Book Review - Saving June

Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Mira Ink
Release Date: 1 Jun 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1848450950

‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.
When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going, California.
Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.
Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

My Review

I got sent a copy of this in exhange for an honest review.
Harper’s sister June has committed suicide, no one knew it was coming or why she did it, now Harper is left confused and conflicted. Knowing that June always dreamed of going to California, Harper decides to take June’s ashes on a road trip to find her a final resting place. Along the way she discovers more about her sister and herself.
This is definitely not my normal sort of read and it was a bit like marmite, at times I would hate it and want to just put it down, then a chapter later I would be loving it, wanting to know more.
I preferred the second half of the book - once Harper was actually on the road trip and becoming more accepting of herself and life again.
The things I didn’t like about the book were these:
Firstly I am a Christian, but I won’t force my religion on anyone else and I try to be respectful of other people’s beliefs, in this book Harper’s aunt was a devout Christian and Harper hated that. She once compared religion to alcoholism, and I found that quite offensive. That wasn’t the only time either, she makes quite a few references to how she doesn’t believe in God and how stupid the whole thing is and it just felt really aggressive, almost like I was being told off for my beliefs. Luckily this stopped the further into the story it went.
Secondly some of the language in this book was shocking; there is at least one ‘F’ word in it, some other swearing and quite a lot of reference to sex. Considering there is no warning on the book such as a ‘suitable for older readers’ I was taken aback. 
Once you get past those points the story itself is actually quite good. I like a good road trip book and the evolving relationships of Harper, her best friend Laney and the mysterious Jake did have me hooked in. You really see growth in all the characters and I found myself hoping that they find happiness. There was an exciting twist at the end that I really didn’t see coming and I liked how it all came together.
We are all different and some of you may love this book, but for me it just pressed some buttons and wasn’t my cup of tea.

My Rating


Rachel R. said...

Wow, this is the first time I've read a negative review of this book. Now I'm not sure I want to read it, but thanks for sharing your beliefs.

Maji Bookshelf said...

oh, I am a bit taken a back that there is no "for older teens" tag on it because of its content. As for the religion stuff, I think the author doesn't mean to be aggressive, it is just how the character is. Many people think this way so maybe she's portraying these type of people through Harper.

great review, sad you struggled to finish it

- Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

barmybex said...

Thanks Rachel. I do seem to be in the minority but I really didn't get on with it.

Maji - The lack of tag really shocked me too, was totally surprised, especially as some books I have read that have the tag seemed less 'risky' than this one.
Religion is always a tricky subject and I tried to brush past it, but I don't know - just came across to me differently.
Thanks for visiting and commenting. :D

barmybex said...

Sorry Juhina, I wrote your blog name instead of your name, didn't mean to be rude.