While I was granted permission to read this book by a NetGalley affiliate publisher, HarlequinTEEN, I have received no compensation for this review other than the joy of reading!
SYNOPSIS: Feeling upset at her inability to mourn her sister and trapped by the walls of her house as well her mother’s own mourning process and her over bearing and over religious aunt, Harper convinces her best friend, Laney, to take a road trip from Michigan to California in order to take June to the one place she always longed to go. They are joined by, well actually relying on the car and financial services of, the mysterious Jake. The music obsessed, slightly strange, and a little bit troubled guy who June tutored just before deciding to take her own life.
REVIEW: First of all, the idea of setting off on a long road trip with friends and no agenda is extremely appealing to me. My husband is NOT one for road travel, and with three kids, something like that is just not a possibility…right now at least. So living these experiences through a book is always entertaining – (See my reviews for Amy & Rogers Epic Detour, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and Wanderlove). In Saving Grace, I enjoyed the element of healing that was taking place in Harper’s life. As a teenager, it is easy to imagine her inwardly needing this release. At this point, she can do nothing right; she’s selfish and only thinking about herself. Never mind that Harper is trying to manage her own feelings and life. So this escape, and this last ditch effort to do what she can for her sister, I actually found it honorable – alarming, a little bit immature and disrespectful too – but she was honorable in the fact that she was doing for June what June could not do for herself.
I loved the gradual growing (and – hello it’s a book where that thing always happens) predictable relationship with Jake. The fact that they had time to get to know each other, and their affection for one another was something that grew was nice – but it was also enjoyable that they were constantly teasing or challenging one another. It wasn’t a cheesy or sappy romance, but a sarcastic, exasperating one that turned into a very hot encounter. As a little teaser into the romance – I pulled the following passage, because I just thought it summed everything up about the Harper/Jake duo pretty nicely:
“But I also enjoy him, erratic behavioral patterns and all. I like that he isn’t too cool to openly geek out over ABBA, and that he is so passionate about music, that he gives as good as he gets and doesn’t back down from a good argument. He makes me feel safe, without being overbearing, and at the same time totally stripped bare, forcing me to confront the things I want to keep locked up inside.” Pg 268
To sum it up, while not original, nor unpredictable, Saving June is absolutely enjoyable. A road trip of bickering, complaining, of laughter and love, of tears and healing. It’s a trip that was worth taking and a book I highly suggest picking up!