Main Character: Harper
Love Interest: Jake (highlight to see)
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.
What I liked about this book was how real it was. Harper’s angst felt real and she behaved like a teenager. She had a bad attitude, she wanted to be left alone and she cursed. Another thing that I liked about this book was her best friend, Laney. Far too often lately, I’ve been reading YA books with the bitchy best friend who betrayed the protagonist and left me wanting to choke them out but not Laney. Laney was exactly what a best friend should be. Loyal and true. I really enjoyed seeing that she may have been this lively character but she was also a person who had her own problems but put them aside because her best friend needed her. She was just a great addition to this story and I enjoyed getting to know her.
I found myself really intrigued by Jake’s connection to June. Why did he want to go on the road trip so bad? Why was he keeping his connection to June a secret? What’s going on with him? I was so hot dang nosy that I wanted to know everything about him. He didn’t come off as a jerk to me though he was jerk-ish at times. He was an interesting character that I thought brought out a lot of what I enjoyed about this book.
I enjoyed the friendship that turned into a relationship that formed between Harper and Jake. Harper wasn’t an easy character to connect with since she was so stubborn and so head strong but it was understandable in her situation since she just lost her sister and her Mom was being a selfish cow, only thinking about herself and I wanted to punch Aunt Helen in the face more than once.
When Harper, Laney and Jake (well, and June too I guess) set off to California, I was excited. Ever since I read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, I’ve been a sucker for a good road trip contemporary. This was another great road trip contemporary. It’s got characters that leap right off the pages, characters that you want to know better, characters you would want in your life. It’s got a storyline that is interesting enough that you want to know what happens and the writing just flowed so well, it was hard to put this book down. That’s saying something since I was in a mini reading slump when I first cracked this sucker open.
Seeing Harper deal with the loss of her sister, dealing with her broken family and trying to make sense of everything that happened made for an interesting read. It was easy to cheer her on since the author did a great job of making the reader sympathize with her. I really liked that Harper was this cookie cutter protagonist who is either too stupid to live or too perfect and sweet, it makes my teeth hurt. She was the right amount of bratty teenager and lost soul that it made it easier to want to understand her better. Her voice was refreshing and I really enjoyed getting to know her.
Jake would make a good book boyfriend. He was so raw and real. He wasn’t this nicey nice kid who the sun rose and set with his smile. He was a flawed character that was interesting and good looking and you couldn’t help but want to get to know. You could tell that there was a lot underneath the surface and you wanted to keep digging until you found out all of his secrets.
One of my main gripes in this book is that the characters are smokers. Harper is sixteen and she’s a smoker and Jake is eighteen and he’s a smoker. Ugh, it’s a disgusting habit and I wish Laney would have nagged them more to get them to quit smoking but she didn’t…which I guess makes them teenagers.
Overall, this was a great book that I enjoyed reading. There were times when Harper’s abrasive personality got to be a bit much and times when I would get frustrated by Jake’s mysterious connection with June but all in all, this book is enjoyable. I’d recommend this book to the 14 and older teenage crowd since there are scenes and language in here that aren’t suitable for a younger audience but I enjoyed it and I recommend it.
..and that’s your scoop!
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Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com