When her older sister commits suicide and her divorcing parents decide to divide the ashes, Harper Scott takes her sister's urn to the one place June always wanted to go: California. On the road with her best friend, plus an intriguing guy with a mysterious connection to June, Harper discovers truths about her sister, herself and life.
A big thanks to Harlequin on netGalley for accepting my request in reading this book early
This book kept popping up on my radar - after reading many fabulous book reviews - and I was super stoked when the publisher on netGalley accepted my request to review it. And boy did I love it.
Harper is more than a little screwed up. For one, her gorgeous and somewhat perfect older sister, June, takes her own life. With nothing so much as a goodbye note or any sort of explanation, her death leaves Harper in the ultimate tailspin. With divorcing parents being thrown into the loop and wanting to divide their daughter's ashes in the process, it's no wonder why Harper wants to take the urn herself and travel to the one place her sister would've loved to have gone to before her death. To California. Clearly stealing a person's ashes and going on a sudden road trip with your best friend seems like a crazy thing to do. In Harper's case, it's a beautiful thing that she does for the love of her sister and of her sister's memory.
But things started to get complicated for young Harper. Especially when the arrogant, beau, music-crazed Jake Tolan enters the scene. Somehow, some way . . . Jake shared a connection to Harper's sister, June, and soon tags along on this road trip or rather demands to come considering he believes the plan won't go ahead without him. And as Harper, her best friend and some unlikely crew come together, the reader will begin to fall apart alongside an almost 'broken' Harper and begin to feel her pain.
Now let's talk about characters. Let's just say that I LOVED Harper completely. If I met her in real life, I would probably end up becoming her best friend. She maybe suffering in a world of grief and be whiny and argues way too much with people who care about her, but that's Harper for you. Despite all that grief, underneath it all, there lies a sarcastic and hilarious girl who makes you appreciate what you've already got in your life of family and friends. And then there's the beautiful and unusual Jake, the mysterious stranger who turns up in Harper's life and messes with it. There's so many things I want to say about Jake: one, he's hot, and two, he's a music nerd. Honestly it's hard to describe how I exactly feel about him because he's the kind of character that challenges you and you can sometimes have personality clashes with him. But on a whole, he's adorable despite his sometimes-stubborn ways of life . . . he also happens to be a character that you fall harder and harder for.
On top of it all, while I loved the concept of the story but the thing I LOVED most about SAVING JUNE was the music element that played a key role in the story. Since Jake's character is heavily centered around the music scene, we're always introduced to a lot of classic bands and for that dear author . . . thank you. Being a music buff myself, it was nice to relate to music mentioned in the novel and as the journey stretches all the way to California, I fell even more in love with the book when the mixed-CD-after-mixed-CD were played throughout the road trip. It was like you were there in the car with them. With this music in place, readers will end up finding themselves connecting more to Harper's character and even to Jake's - so you'll definitely sympathise with the light and very dark moments the characters themselves experience.
Without giving away too much of the storyline, contemporary book lovers will love SAVING JUNE because it's a book full of heart and soul. With a slow-paced storyline that builds up tension up until the very last page and with an unexpected romance coming up on the horizon, readers will not be able to put the book down. If you love stories surrounded by grief and loss, but also ones with much hope, love and life, and like stories similiar to The Sky is Everywhere, then be sure to check out this book when you can because you will definitely love this too!