Wow. That's the only thought that went through my mind when I finished this book. Just plain wow.
Harper Scott is adrift. Her sister killed herself. No other way to say it. And those people who should take care of her are too busy with their own pain and grief, so she retreats. But, in that mess, something occurs to her. Maybe she can fulfill June's dream of going to California by spilling her ashes in the ocean.
But she can't do it alone. It's more than 2000 miles from her small town to California. So she sets off with her friend Laney and Jake, the mysterious boy who seems to have known June.
St. Louis, Missouri and the arch on which Harper and Laney climbed
During that trip Harper and Jake get to know each other, with each passing state and mix CD, with all the secrets, the underlining tension, all the places they've seen...
They also visited James Dean's crash site and the memorial. Laney is obsessed with old movie stars.
An amazing book. Harper is a terrific protagonist. She's just a girl trying to find herself and come to terms with her sister's death. Trying so hard, while there are numerous obstacles that life throws at her. I just loved her.
And their destination - San Francisco and the ocean.
And then there's Jake. A boy with secrets. A boy who seriously loves music. A boy Harper can't help but fall for. He's also amazing.
And of course the banter between them is precious. The push and pull. This passage maybe explains it better than I could:
...a guy I hate. Sort of.
Well, hate is a strong word, one I usually reserve for expressing my feelings toward, say, P.E. class and Fox News. I don't hate Jake. Sometimes I am annoyed by, frustrated by and irritated by him. And confused. I am pretty much always confused by him, by what he says and how he acts. ...
But I also enjoy him, erratic behavioral patterns and all. I like that he isn't too cool to openly geek out over ABBA, and that he is so passionate about music, that he gives as good as he gets and doesn't back down from a good argument. He makes me feel safe, without being overbearing, and at the same time totally striped bare, forcing me to confront the thing I want to keep locked up inside.
All in all, a highly recommended read. True there are some minor things that were less than perfect, sometimes the character's behavior was iffy, but it was, as I said minor. The main thing is June's letter. I don't get it, at all. But it could just be me.
I'm going to try and hunt down other books by this author, cause she rocks!!! :D
P.S. In the pictures there are some places that they saw in their trip (well James Dean represents the place, I couldn't just pass the opportunity to post his picture). :-)Book provided by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.