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The July BOTM is A Million Junes by Emily Henry.
- Answer the weekly discussion topic.
- Optional: Discuss your chosen hyped book of the week.
- Optional: Talk about your progress on the BOTM.
TOPIC OF THE WEEK: BOTM Book Review!
I can’t tell you how impressed I’ve been with Emily Henry’s books. I fell in love with her debut novel last year, The Love That Split the World. When I heard about her second book being released this year, I was ecstatic. Now that I’ve finally read A Million Junes, I can fully say that this book is my favorite read of 2017 so far.
For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. But when June collides—quite literally—with Saul Angert, sparks fly, and everything June has known is thrown into chaos.
Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her late father’s deep hatred of the Angert family? After all, the O’Donnells and the Angerts may have mythic legacies, but for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them.
As Saul and June’s connection grows deeper, they find that the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers seem to be conspiring to reveal the truth about the harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. Now June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored, and she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all the O’Donnells before her—to let go.
How can I even begin to explain just how beautiful Henry’s writing is? Magical realism is usually fairly lyrical in terms of prose, but I find that Henry is able to not only deliver that lyrical prose but also doesn’t alienate the reader. Sometimes I find that flowery language can take away from the story, causing it to move slow and lose my attention. However, I have never had that trouble with Henry’s writing. In this book, it only adds to the mystical setting and truly captures the tone of story. Basically, it’s just superb, alright?!
To say that I fell in love with June and Saul is an understatement. June has such a great personality and has some of the wittiest comments that I have ever heard. I absolutely adored her relationship with her best friend, Hannah. Ummm, can I get a hell yeah for such a positive and strong female friendship representation in a YA novel?!! HELL YEAH! But my favorite part about June was watching how she dealt with the grief of losing her father. There was so much depth and so many different layers to her grief that was I felt was realistic to watch her sort through and deal with. I truly felt like I was experiencing her loss as well. And Saul? Well let’s just say that I have a new book boyfriend and he is so precious.
While at first this book may seem like just a magical realism retelling of Romeo and Juliet, which it is in some ways, this is really a story of grief. The main focus of the story is really how June is handling the death of her father ten years ago. June’s grief felt so real to me and if I said that this book didn’t make me ugly cry, well that would be a lie. I truly believe that everyone processes through grief in different ways, so don’t read this book thinking that this is a guide to dealing with grief or that this the way you should’ve acted, etc. This is merely one fictional character’s journey through processing the sadness of losing someone.
I would have to say that the pacing of this book was much quicker than most magical realism/contemporaries for me. I mean, I read this book in less than 24 hours! I never felt the story get too slow or find myself losing interest. I didn’t want to put it down at all. I couldn’t wait to learn more about the curse or the ghosts that haunted June’s home. I never thought I’d find myself wanting to move to Michigan (that weather, y’all!), but this book had me begging to move to such a magical little town like Five Fingers. Honestly, I just want to live in this farmhouse and eat magical cherries. Can someone make this happen for me?
Honestly, if you haven’t read and of Emily Henry’s novels, I highly recommend them both. However, I do think that A Million Junes is my favorite. If you love magical realism, romance, or contemporaries then you will love this story. Emily Henry has become my newest auto-buy author and I hope you will enjoy her too!
Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Currently listening to: Celtic Woman – Voices of Angels
Have you read A Million Junes? What did you think of it? Have you read Henry’s first novel, The Love That Split the World? Which one do you like better? Do you like my newest change where I share what music I’m listening to while I wrote my post? Leave a link to your Hype or Like Friday post in the comments below!