Monday, November 21, 2011

Saving June by Hannah Harrington

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Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Harlequin Teen, November 22, 2011
Read for 2011 Debut Author Challenge AND YA Contemps Challenge

Summary from Goodreads:
Harper Scott, trying to come to terms with her perfect older sister June's suicide, takes a road trip and finds love with a mysterious boy who had a connection to June-- and may know more about her sister's life and death than he's telling.
I don't really know what's going on with this book--the woman in charge of purchasing for the YA Collections for our library system gave me an ARC of Saving June way back in, I don't know, March or April? My copy has the cover pictured above, and lists an on-sale date of May 2011.

So of course it was September before I got to the book LOL and when I went looking for information on it, I discovered that the new publication date is November 22, and there's a new cover, too (that I think I like much better):

I can't find any information on this book anywhere! I'd originally put it on my to-read pile because it was one of the YA Contemps titles. The last post on their website with this title on it is from February, and I don't remember Hannah Harrington posting at all on their site. So, for whatever reason it appears this title is no longer associated with the challenge. HOWEVER, because it was listed on the original challenge list, and because it was the only title I had left, I am counting it, and I can officially say I COMPLETED THE 2011 YA CONTEMPS CHALLENGE! (Completed meaning that I've read all of the titles. I haven't actually reviewed all of the titles.)

So, that long-winded intro leads me to my review of this book. I enjoyed it immensely. It's a grief story, there's a road trip, and the characters discuss some of the most awesome music ever--that is, I knew most of the artists and songs they were discussing (hello! "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash is one of the most awesome songs. Ever.) In addition, Jake, the mysterious boy, is HAWT. Very rarely do I find the male characters in YA literature even vaguely attractive, for a myriad of reasons that perhaps I'll share with you at a date in the future. But there was just something about Jake that was so smokin' hot!

Harper's grief is real--her older sister, the seemingly perfect June--has killed herself and left no indication why. Her mother is drowning in her grief and her wine, dad is content to maintain his MIA status, and Aunt Helen constantly judges Harper and shoves religion down her throat. It's no wonder the poor girl can't grieve properly. Thank God she has her best friend Laney, quite possibly the most awesome best friend-slash-sidekick ever. Laney is adventurous to Harper's cautious, but what's great about these two friends is that the recognize each other's weaknesses and never try to force their opinions on the other. This has the potential for disaster, of course--perhaps Harper should mention Laney's drinking, and maybe Laney should tell Harper how much her smoking bothers her--but for the most part these two are absolutely accepting of each other.

And the road trip is just fun, even though it's not a happy road trip at all. I LOVE the songs Jake introduces to Harper, and I LOVE that playlists are included (they were in the ARC, anyway). This is a poignant debut novel, and fans of contemporary fiction will enjoy it.  

Read ARC.
Enjoy your reading!

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