For me, I think the biggest problem was “show, don’t tell.” This story seemed to do a lot of telling and very little showing, which is surprising for a book that’s written in first person narrative. The main character Harper was written to be strong and stubborn, sort of angsty - actually, she’s supposed to have a whole lot of angst. Yet, what I saw was a girl who referenced to a whole lot of angst, but showed very little. This is also a girl who is dealing with the death of her beloved sister and the only time you feel as though Harper has any emotion toward her sister, it’s when she randomly bursts into tears at what feels like very convenient times in the novel.
There are also many things that I felt were never wrapped up. We never really know what happens to Harper’s parents, or her aunt. Laney’s problem seems to resolve itself with a nice bow on top, but we never get to really see why. I felt many opportunities were missed as well, including a chance to actually see some type of real emotion from Harper at the end and quite possibly actual bonding between her and Jake. It’s written there but, again, it’s just kind of summarized as part of something that happened - yet, we never have the chance to see it.
Despite these things, I did actually enjoy reading Saving June. Harrington’s writing is engaging and keeps it easy to read. There were some moments in the story that made me laugh out loud, and even some parts that did tug at my heart. And though I did have issues with Harper, the characters themselves seemed to be authentic. Even if it was more told than shown, Harper’s grief seemed genuine to me. I also loved Laney’s obsession with James Dean and other movie stars that died in their prime, as well as Jake’s love for music.
Overall, this was a book that I did enjoy reading as a whole and I would definitely say it’s worth the read.