Saving June, by Hannah Harrington

Reviewed by Isabella, age 15, New Jersey
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

Featured Gold Star Writer Bio

Harper's older sister has always been the perfect one, so everyone reels with shock when June killed herself a week before graduation, Harper the most devastated of all. She goes against her parents and plans a road trip with her best friend to deliver the ashes to the ocean. When Jake, a boy with a connection to June, insists on coming along, she's desperate enough to let him. Except it turns out June is not the only one with secrets. Jake has one with the power to turn everything upside down.

Saving June's execution is as lovely as the premise sounds, every word on every page brimming with honest, gritty emotion. Hannah Harrington weaves a story of grief, love, and longing set to a backdrop of a road trip across America, the melancholy sweetness of the narrative strong enough to affect even the most stolid reader. From Harper's quest to deliver her sister to where she's always wanted to go to the budding emotions concerning Jake's secret, this book promises to pull tears.

Although the writing was exceptional, there were some plot devices that felt far too contrived. Everything fit together a little too perfectly and coincidentally to be truly satisfying, and the plot's smoothness was perhaps its largest flaw. Some of these events were rather cliché and a bit too overused to be anything but stale, and the novel could have benefited from a more original take on the road trip romance in this regard.

From a talented author comes a remarkable debut book with a sweet, moving plot and a cast of characters sure to warm the grizzliest of hearts. The storyline bordered on contrived at points and was not wholly original, but it was executed well with emotionally stirring writing. This is a novel for anyone who enjoys young adult contemporary fiction with grieving and road trips. I give Saving June 4 of 5 stars.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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