Who doesn't love a road trip? Bring along your loyal yet free spirited best friend, agree to allow a mysterious green-eyed boy who apparently knew your recently deceased older sister to drive and then kidnap said sister's ashes to accompany you on this soul-searching adventure. "Saving June" - debut novel by Hannah Harrington is just that - an emotional roller coaster ride that unfolds during a crazy spontaneous road trip to California all wrapped up in a wonderfully perfect soundtrack.
Sixteen-year-old Harper Scott is left to pick up the pieces after her older sister June commits suicide. This is not an easy task. Harper was the rebellious younger sister who lived in her older sister's shadow. June was the good sister. She was beautiful and got good marks and did everything right so when she commits suicide no one knows why including Harper.
Hannah Harrington is a master at capturing true grief and her writing style and characters are both real and raw and written with just the right amount of angst. Having said that I do think that some of the secondary story lines are unnecessary and only end up taking away from the main plot. For example Harper's best friend Laney ends up with an issue that seems to get solved way too easily and Jake's parental issues are monumental.
Speaking of which, mysterious green-eyed Jake definitely makes the story more interesting. He has just the right mix of bad boy and sensitivity and then add his educating love of music and he becomes totally enchanting. I'm still not sure though why he held back a certain important item from Harper and I'm not sure that it gets explained well enough in the book either. ???
Overall this is a wonderfully written debut novel by Hannah Harrington and if you like music or road trips or real life drama you will love this book.