If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’
Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.
When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going, California.
Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.
Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
(I was given a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin UK)
16-year-old Harper has always been the screw-up in the family, while her sister June has always been the high flyer. The problem is that June just killed herself. She didn’t even leave a note so nobody even knows why she did it.
Rummaging through June’s things, Harper finds a cd with a latin phrase written on it. When she listens to it, it’s rock and jazz, music that Harper would never have imagined June listening to. It seems there’s more to June than she knew; especially when she finds a postcard of California with the words ‘I’m coming home.’ written on it, and a message on the back of a receipt.
These clues lead her to a music shop where she meets Jake – the mysterious writer of the note. Harper is sure that June would want her ashes taken to California rather than being split between two urns, half to each of her parents! So Harper, her best friend Laney, and the mysterious Jake set out on a road trip to California, and discover some things about themselves along the way.
Will they make it to California? What will they learn about themselves along the way? And will they ever discover why June killed herself?
I wanted to like this book, but it just didn’t really do it for me. It was just so predictable! Want to be a teenage rebel? Simply listen to rock music, go on a road trip, join in a protest, attend a concert, and start a fight… I really felt like I had almost read this book before, it just wasn’t a very original idea.
I found it difficult to really connect with the characters in this book. Harper was almost in denial about June, and finding it hard to come to terms with things. She didn’t talk about her feelings all that much and I found it difficult to understand exactly what she was going through. Jake was just too aloof and standoffish, and Laney was just a chameleon who did whatever other people were doing to fit in.
There was some romance, but unfortunately not enough to save the story. I hate to say this but I was just bored. I didn’t care about the characters or what was happening to them. I think I probably felt most sorry for Harpers mom; who had recently got divorced, had her eldest child commit suicide, and then had her youngest child run away with the eldest child’s ashes!
Overall; a bit too cliché for me, but I’m sure other people will like this.
5 out of 10.
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