by Hannah Harrington
Release date: November 29th (I think?)
Summary: When her older sister commits suicide and her divorcing parents decide to divide the ashes, Harper Scott takes her sister's urn to the one place June always wanted to go: California. On the road with her best friend, plus an intriguing guy with a mysterious connection to June, Harper discovers truths about her sister, herself and life.I loved this book...and I liked this book - and I suppose that doesn't make much sense, but I'll do my best to explain:
As a typical road trip romance story? I loved it. The characters were fun, the road trip was that awesome mix of drama, sad moments, happy moments, funny moments and sparks-are-flying moments. The romance was great, I loved that Harper and Jake argued, that they had the kind of relationship that isn't always smooth sailing because those are realistic and the best kind to me. For those things, I loved the book.
As for just liking it...well, the focus of the plot is this serious issue. It literally begins at the wake of her sisters funeral, so you'd expect it to be the kind of book that hurt to read. The book just did not get under my skin in that area - it had its rare moments where it got it right, but a lot of the time I just wasn't buying the grief Harper was supposed to be feeling. I know what it's like to lose someone you love and I've read books that have written grief so well and managed to balance it out perfectly with the other story elements (like The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly etc.) but this book wasn't really one of them.
As for being a story about loss, dealing with loss, that sort of thing...as far as that goes, it was just good/decent. So that's why I loved the book and I liked the book, because I feel like I need to judge it as two different things.
I really loved the music elements woven into the story and the characters were awesome and I really loved Hannah's writing - this book has put her on my instant read list and I can't wait to read more books of hers.
The plot - I liked it. But it wasn't original. It was actually really similar to the plot of Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers if you substitute dad who killed himself for a sister instead (there's even an Aunt Helen-ish character in Fall for Anything too) but I liked this book way better, but still those similarities made it feel less original to me...not that that is an awful thing, I just would've liked the plot way more if it felt new to me.
I guess that's all I can really say about the book. I really recommend it. The only issue was that it felt like I loved the book for the wrong reasons - a book about something serious, like the suicide of a sister, it feels like I should love it for more than just being a fun road trip book with a good romance (again, taking The Sky is Everywhere as an example...that book was just more, it was one of those books where you read it and you're like, "Yes! That is exactly how I feel. That's what it feels like to lose someone." and the ache of it weighs down on you with every page you turn but it still manages to have bits that make you smile and a romance that makes you melt).