Harper is struggling in the aftermath of her sister June's suicide. Her mother is devastated; her father is typically absent; her aunt is intent of the proper placement of June's urn on the mantle. Harper just wants to understand why June took her own life, and more importantly how she could've stopped June--classic survivor's guilt. Now she knows she must save June from stagnating on the mantle. A chance encounter with an enticing guy who June had tutored propels Harper and her best friend Laney on a road trip to California to launch June into the Pacific.
The road trip of self-discovery is getting a lot of play in YA literature these days, and Saving June is a good one to add to that shelf. Harrington depicts Harper's raw grief well and realistically, especially her distaste for her relatives' hackneyed expressions during and after the funeral. Harper's relationships with her best friend Laney and the enigmatic Jake Tolan complement the story well and purposefully, and these characters contribute meaningfully to the story rather than being half-baked scaffolding. Recommended for teens, 13 & up. Language, sexual situations, alcohol, drugs.
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