The shame continues as this review is approximately a million years overdue since I literally read this book back in 2019. That review can also be lit on fire because it was AWFUL. Please forgive me for my sins. Though I reread last year so if we say 2021, it makes me look better hehe.
But at least I’m here to catch up and I hope my queen Emily Henry appreciates me. That’s all I want from life if I’m being honest.
Anyways, please enjoy the 1000th screeching review over this author and this very special book. Let’s get into it *wipes eyes*
Title: A Million Junes
Author: Emily Henry
Page count: 391
Date published: 16 May 2017
Genre: Young Adult fabulism
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.
STAR RATING: (5 out of 5 stars)
Putting out into the universe that I do request Emily Henry to write my biography at some point in the future.
Is it obvious that I’m obsessed with her?
Also, what kind of crack is in this book? Yes, the unique Emily Henry magic but there’s also a pinch of ~something else~ and I can’t quite put my finger on what.
Trigger warnings for grief & loss of a parent and sibling
I feel the same way as I did with The Love That Split The World in that I honestly don’t know how to properly articulate my feelings. This book is so hard to describe and plot-wise, very difficult to follow. She does not wait for you to catch up, you’ve just got to go with the flow. Fabulism is a wild ride, my friends.
Let’s start off with writing, though I feel as if I’ve said enough about Emily Henry’s writing at this point. Yet again putting it out there that I’d literally read her shopping list and be mesmerized. I remember the first time I read this, I was just absolutely in awe of this story and the way it was told. EH manages to write these stunning analogies and paints this vivid picture, whilst still remaining witty and funny. And it’s just TALENT™
This book, very similar to Beach Read, also deals with grief and death of a father, however, our other protagonist’s sister also passed away. I was on the verge of tears, FYI. My sadness threshold has been very high as of late but if not, I probably would have burst into tears. It feels wrong to word it like this but grief is written so beautifully and it’s so raw and powerful. I just have to applaud how well she writes grief. The descriptions seep off the pages and straight into your cold, dead heart.
Secondly, and I think it is much stronger than her debut, is the world-building in this book. Just absolutely W-O-W. I am just obsessed with the concept in general, two feuding families and star-crossed lovers, but also the family history and how magic is interwoven into that. And then the cherry (ha, because they’re cherry farmers) on top is the inclusion of memories/dreams/hallucinations. It’s just *chefs kiss* and absolute genius.
EMILY HENRY’S MIND!!!!!!!
I seriously can’t get over it. I mentioned how this book doesn’t wait for anyone, which is true but it’s still so well done. There’s a layer of mystery and intrigue due to the fact that we don’t know why June and Saul are envisioning their deceased family members, plus their families are just linked with magic anyways. SO SO GOOD OMG. I also forgot that this book had an element of being a writer in it and I absolutely loved that. Books about writers just hit different!
Plus, as expected, the dialogue was >>>>>>>>
Have I read any more perfect banter in my life? Mayhaps not. It’s sheer genius in this household folks.
Finally, I just want to gush about the characters. I didn’t expect to get MAD at some of the characters but I really did. Amazed me when I was ready to throw hands at June’s mother and that teacher. And then on the flip-side, I adored Hannah and Saul and June to pieces. I didn’t as personally connect with any of them as I did with her debut, yet I think I might have loved them more for that? I’m not sure how to describe it. Hannah was just an absolute angel babe and deserves the Friend of The Year Award. Tried to imagine a friend of mine telling me they’re seeing visions of their deceased parent and I would have thought it was a joke.
I adored the romance to smithereens, it was just as stunning as I remember. Don’t go into this expecting a romance novel by any means, but their chemistry is so there and I loved Saul and June together, and also separately. June is so easy to root and care for, and you can so easily put yourself in her shoes, she’s such a perfect main character.
Just,,, wow I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. EMILY HENRY IS MY QUEEN. BOW DOWN BEFORE HER.
If I haven’t convinced you to read this absolute beaut of YA fabulism yet, then I don’t know how else to do so. Read if you’re looking for writing to blow your socks off, characters who will steal your heart and a tale so enchanting and mystifying, you’ll probably never fully understand it. It’s a glorious time <3<3<3
“Grief is an unfillable hole in your body. It should be weightless, but it’s heavy. Should be cold, but it burns. Should, over time, close up, but instead it deepens.”
“Letting go is not forgetting. It’s opening your eyes to the good that grew from the bad, the life that blooms from decay.”
“Maybe for some people, falling in love is an explosion, fireworks against a black sky and tremors rumbling through the earth. One blazing moment. For me, it’s been happening for months, as quietly as a seed sprouting. Love sneaked through me, spreading roots around my heart, until, in the blink of an eye, the green of it broke the dirt: hidden one moment, there the next.”
“I was just a moment, and you gave me a million Junes. I was just a moment, and you made me forever.”
“To love a handful of people very well, that’s a good life.”
“I promise you. I promise you the stars. I promise you the lake and falls, coywolves and robins. I promise earth and heaven: I will love you long after the last human has taken his last breath. When the stars burn out and the oceans freeze over and the whole world is ash and dust and ice, our names will still be carved into this tree of life, side by side, and I’ll still be loving you.”
“I think once you’ve felt grief, it’s hard not to catch someone else’s.”
“When you’ve been lost as I have,” he once said, “you get good at finding your way home.”
“Maybe you are Saul’s quarter-life crisis, but so what? Maybe he’s yours. Or maybe you two are the luckiest people in the world and you’ve just found your fireworks-in-the-sky, holding-hands-until-you-die Forever Person. Guess what? There are drawbacks either way. Maybe you break up and it sucks, but then you heal and move on and fall in love again. Or maybe this is it, the last person you’ll ever have butterflies for, your last first kiss, but you get to grow up together, start your life together sooner. And you know what else? You don’t have to be afraid to walk away either way…”
“I was just a moment, and you made me forever.”
“And I don’t know exactly what makes it love, but when I saw you in the House of Mirrors, it was like I already knew exactly who you were. And I should’ve been wrong-that would’ve made more sense-but I wasn’t, and I love you. I’ll always love you. And someday maybe we’ll have a bad breakup or grow apart and -curse or not-all the stars will burn out and the planet will have another ice age, but I’ll go on loving you because I see you, June O’Donnell, and I can’t unsee you.”
“They met far away from here, but she was a little piece of home to him, so he swept her up and brought her back with him, because he wanted all the home he could have in one place.”