I’m so happy to be on the blog tour for A MILLION JUNES by Emily Henry! I really loved Emily’s debut, THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD, which I read this year, and I’m happy to say I loved this one just as much, if not more! Here’s a bit about the book:
There are two things everyone in Five Fingers knows about the O’Donnells and the Angerts. One: They’ve been there the longest, ever since the town was first founded in the Gold Rush days. Two: They hate each other.
June O’Donnell–a.k.a. Junior, a.k.a. Jack, a.k.a. Jonathan O’Donnell IV, a.k.a. the first female O’Donnell first-born–has always been haunted–in more ways than one–by her family’s complicated legacy. When June’s father and best friend, Jack III, died suddenly seven years ago, she made up her mind to skip college and live the life of adventure that her dad always wanted for himself. Now seventeen and heading into her last year of high school, June is itching to leave her ghosts behind in Five Fingers and travel the world. It’s not that she’s not happy–she is, mostly–grief has left her with an emptiness that she believes only real life experience can fill.
But then what kind of O’Donnell would June be if an Angert didn’t swoop in at a crucial moment and ruin everything? Enter Saul Angert, the eldest son of Eli Angert, a.k.a. June’s father’s mortal enemy, back in town from a writing career in the city to care for his ailing father. Somehow June’s path just keeps getting tangled up with Saul’s, no matter how creatively she tries to avoid it, until the unthinkable happens: She finds herself intrigued by this gruff, taciturn, yet strangely tender boy whom she was born to loathe.
But when June and Saul accidentally stumble into a bit of the forest magic, they are allowed a glimpse into the past at the fateful, horrible moment that started all the trouble between their families. Now, everything is different. The only problem is, June doesn’t know if this new discovery means she should hate the Angerts even more, or if it’s finally time for her–and all of the O’Donnells before her–to let go.
A MILLION JUNES was one of my most anticipated 2017 releases, partly because I enjoyed Emily Henry’s debut, THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD, and partly because I’m in love with that cover. Overall, I was pretty impressed, and I’m surely looking forward to Henry’s next work.
A MILLION JUNES revolves around Jack/June/Junior O’Donnell IV, and her struggles with falling in love with Saul Angert, very reminiscent of the forbidden romance in the previously mentioned Romeo and Juliet story, as well as her grief over her father’s death. These plot points all point towards a greater, more profound tale over the long-lasting feud between the O’Donnells and Angerts from generations previously.
I loved June; she was creative, imaginative, and had a support network that isn’t usually seen in YA novels—a present family, a best friend, and Saul. The chemistry between June and Saul was tangible, and I loved their conversations—it gave me such raw and touching emotion that I loved. Throughout the novel, as the history between the O’Donnells and Angerts progress, June’s character and ambition to unravel the curse behind the two families is incredibly prevalent.
My favorite part of the novel was the end of the novel; the writing flows so magically and beautifully, and the eloquence of Henry’s words is incredibly profound. My only reservation of this novel is that I originally assumed the incorporation of ghosts was a way for June to tackle her grief, but when it was revealed that the ghosts were actually real and significant in unravelling the history, I was way too confused about the plot to really latch on.
Overall, A MILLION JUNES contains beautiful writing and a complex history of a plot. If you’re into a forbidden romance, cursed families, and gorgeous covers, be sure to pick this one up!
Thank you to Razorbill / Penguin for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review.
Emily Henry is the author of The Love That Split the World. She is a full-time writer, proofreader, and donut connoisseur. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the New York Center for Art & Media Studies, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it. She tweets @EmilyHenryWrite.
Check out the rest of the tour!