Published by Harlequin
Date Published: November 22, 2011
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.Raise your hand if you’ve read a book about someone losing a sibling/ family member/ etc. and it’s horrible depressing. Raise your hand if you’ve read a book about someone losing a sibling/ family member/ etc. and the main character can’t think of anything else and it’s their sole focus and there’s no point to ever being happy and living again. Okay, now that you all have your hands raised, I think I’ve proven my point.**
Well, here’s the good news. THIS ISN’T THAT. Yes, there’s a dead sister, she killed herself even, but you know what? I actually LAUGHED while reading this book. *cue the drama gods keeling over in a faint* I’m sorry, but the snarky witty banter between Harper and Jake made me bust out loud in laughter.
It’s strange because I’m not sure I would have ever thought of a death-based road trip, but lo and behold, here we are! It’s one of those see-the-world-and-gain-perspective type of story and it’s done fantastically well.
We’ve got royally-emotionally-messed-up Harper and her vivacious and a bit flighty best friend, Laney going from Michigan to California with quiet, secretive and artistic Jake - who blackmailed his way in by way of car.
Let the drama begin.
Can I just say that I totally dig my Broken Boys? Jake isn’t, by definition, a prime example of a Broken Boy, but oh, he comes close. He’s definitely a Boy With Secrets. Those are yummy too. For thoughts on Jake Tolan, I think Carla says it better than I ever could in her review HERE.
And then there’s the music aspect. Yes yes yes. There’s something kind of amazing and secretly really brilliant about using "Let It Be" the way it was used. And something I TOTALLY connected with. Like, COMPLETELY. Like, seriously Hannah Harrington, get out of my head, you brain sneak, you.
To top it all off, LOVELY writing. So many choice phrases from the funny to the sad and beautiful. To many quotable quotes... but here’s one that got me: "’Do you have a bobby pin?’
‘Yes, right here in my pocket along with a stick of gum, a shoelace and a number two pencil. Will that be enough for you MacGyver?’" HAH! Love it.
I have only one teeny, tiny complaint. It’s very minor, but still. I felt like it was quite convenient when Laney would disappear, fall asleep, or otherwise left, right before Harper and Jake would have their little moments and then of course stayed gone the whole time. Having lived in a zoo of different roommates, I can tell you, this is not life. A few times, yes. But like, EVERY time? No. No way.
**Disclaimer: I realize that not ALL family death books are like this, this is what I call: an exaggeration for effect. Without Tess, for example, is a sister death book and is quite excellent. I recommend it highly.