Synopsis: Everyone's sorry. But no one can explain why. Harper Scott's older sister, June, took her own life a week before high school graduation, leaving Harper devastated. So when her divorcing parents decide to split up June's ashes, Harper steals the urn and takes off cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going - California.
Enter Jake Tolan, a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession...and an unknown connection to June. When he insists on joining them, Harper's just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanor and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what Harper needs. Except...Jake's keeping a secret that has the power to turn her life upside down - again.
Harper is sick of everyone at the funeral asking her if she's okay. Of course she's not okay. Her sister just committed suicide and she was the one that found the body. She's also filled with guilt over their last conversation cause they were squabbling like teenage sisters tend to do...or at least Harper was, cause June already knew what she was gonna do. Not to mention her divorcing parents and nosy-Jesus-is-the-answer-to-everything Aunt, who tends to get a little ticked when Harper calls her on saying June went to Heaven when the bible clearly says she's going to hell. (Hey, if you can't take it, don't preach it. The rules don't change because you're related to someone). And then there's this strange guy smoking in the backyard that Harper bums a cigarette from. Who the heck is he and how'd he know June? Unfortunately, he takes off before she can really find out.
So her sister just died, her mom is falling apart, and her dad avoids them like the plague and moves forward with his new love interest. Harper's best friend Laney is the only thing keeping her sane, and even she's constantly asking her if she's okay. But what's really bugging Harper is that her parents, who smashed all hopes June had of leaving this hell-hole and going to school in her dream location of California, have decided they want to split her ashes between them, which sets Harper on fire. She wants nothing more than to lay June to rest in the one place she really wanted to be - California.
Going through June's stuff looking for answers as to why this happened, weird clues lead her to a music shop, where lo and behold, the mysterious funeral crasher works - Jake, a guy June was apparently tutoring. When Jake finds out Harper and Laney are gonna sneak off with June's urn to California, he offers to drive. Not realizing he has his own motive for going, they take him up on the offer cause they're still minors, and traveling with someone no one knows will help get them to their destination before their parents and the police can find them and yank them all the way back home again.
The road trip is filled with tribulations for each character and the three probably learn more about the other than they care to know, but the biggest shock of all will come with what Jake has to share about June...and Harper won't be pleased.
Saving June is definitely New Adult (Mature YA) and has lots of language, mature subjects and some sexual content.
ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley.