Friday, November 25, 2011

Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Harper's sister June killed herself two weeks before graduation.  Her family is stunned.  June always seemed like the perfect daughter, unlike Harper, who's always been at odds with her family.  Now Harper's mother and father, who are divorced, want to split up June's ashes.  Harper decides to take the ashes to California, where June always dreamed of going.  Harper heads out on her road trip with her best friend Laney and Jake, a boy whose relationship to June is unclear.

Meh.  That's how I feel about this book.  Complete meh.  Maybe because I'd just read a book about a girl working through the death of a loved one and it was very well done.  Maybe because I'm a little tired of reading about sisters dying, usually from suicide.  Maybe because this particular story was kind of clunky.  Or perhaps, as far as stories about a road trip to bring a loved one's ashes to a promised place, A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend would totally be my pick.

I didn't connect with this story at all.  I didn't feel anything about any of the characters.  Harper's family was fairly horrible to her, which I know was the point.  Everyone was still treating Harper as the outcast and June as the perfect one, despite the fact June was the one who'd killed herself.  Despite this, I just didn't find myself caring very much about Harper.  Also, I thought it was kind of awful that Harper spread June's ashes somewhere without her parents.  Yeah, her parents were jerks, but June was there kid.

Jake was kind of a dick, but we were suppose to see him as deep because he listened to 70s rock.  Harper and Jake had a love-hate relationship I found really annoying.  Laney was a fairly flat character who randomly gets pregnant toward the end.  I have no idea why.  It didn't add anything to the story.  Don't worry, she has a miscarriage so she doesn't have to decided what to do.  And it totally annoyed me that none of the characters could even bring themselves to say the word "abortion."

The road trip was long and disjointed.  There were numerous stops along the way, and I wasn't sure what the point was.  Most of them didn't really help build the characters in any way.  Rather, we got new characters thrown at us that then never showed up again.

I didn't really feel like any of the characters got any kind of closure or where working toward moving forward by the end.  So yeah.  Meh. For whatever reason, I just didn't connect with it.  I think there are plenty of YA books that are very similar that explore the issues and emotions considerably better.

Saving June comes out November 29.

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