A Million Junes

a-million-junes


Title: A Million Junes

Author: Emily Henry

Series: N/A

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: May 16th 2017

Rating:

Five Stars

Romeo and Juliet meets One Hundred Years of Solitude in Emily Henry’s brilliant follow-up to The Love That Split the World, about the daughter and son of two long-feuding families who fall in love while trying to uncover the truth about the strange magic and harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. 

In their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, the O’Donnells and the Angerts 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, except to say it began with a cherry tree.

Eighteen-year-old Jack “June” O’Donnell doesn’t need a better reason than that. She’s an O’Donnell to her core, just like her late father was, and O’Donnells stay away from Angerts. Period.

But when Saul Angert, the son of June’s father’s mortal enemy, returns to town after three mysterious years away, June can’t seem to avoid him. Soon the unthinkable happens: She finds she doesn’t exactly hate the gruff, sarcastic boy she was born to loathe.

Saul’s arrival sparks a chain reaction, and as the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers conspire to reveal the truth about the dark moment that started the feud, 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 of the O’Donnells before her – to let go.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“Saul Angert.”
The buzzing I felt back at the gatehouse swells within me now. It’s not a hornet or a bit of darkness circling me. It’s everywhere, everything. It’s Saul Angert. Saul Angert, and that fact that he shouldn’t be there.
And that I definitely shouldn’t be here with him.

June’s dad only had one steadfast rule for her, and that was to stay away from the Angert’s. Despite her curiosity and despite getting closer to them than she should have, June followed that rule and it became easier to follow when Saul left Five Fingers. Even after her father’s death June still follows his rules, she still believes in the curse on their families and believes that every bad thing that happens to her family is mirrored by something bad happening to the Angerts. After all, it was only when Saul’s sister turned ill that her father died suddenly.

However now Saul is back in town, and though she knows she should stay away from him June cannot. The more time she spends with Saul the more she starts questioning the curse that was placed on both their families, and the more she realises she doesn’t hate this boy she was warned away from her whole life.

“Who was he?” I whisper. “Who was Dad?”
The Whites land along my arms and sink into my skin.
I step inside.
This time, it’s different. I’m standing in the middle of a field and on all sides of me, he’s there. Dozens of places and times, dozens of my father living moments that have passed.

June and Saul spending time together awakens something between their two families, the ghosts that haunts June’s house. The Window Whites which float around her house start showing June images from the past, images that reveal a startling truth to the curse and the stories her father told her. The more June and Saul see of the past the more they realise they need to find a cure to what’s been haunting both their families for so many years.

Emily Henry’s debut novel, The Love That Split the World, was a favourite read of mine last year. It was a beautiful magical realism story with a romantically heartbreaking relationship between Natalie and Beau, so of course I was thrilled to see she had a new book coming out. Before picking up A Million Junes I saw some amazing reviews for it and after reading it I can safely say I agree with all those reviews. A Million Junes is another beautiful magical realism book, with an enchanting setting, great characters and an attention-grabbing plot that starts slow but doesn’t let go.

…The Characters

“I’ve known all along that I want to travel after graduation, then come back to Five Fingers, like all Jacks do, and a plan like that limits my college options to approximately zero.”

June worshiped her father. She love the stories he told her about the adventures he, his father and his father’s father had and wants nothing more than to be like him. She plans on travelling after she’s finished school, skipping college and exploring the world having amazing adventures like he did. June believes wholly in the magic of the curse and the magic inside her house. She fears what the curse will do to her and Saul as they spend time with one another, but the more the Window Whites show her the more she realises what she knows is only a small part of the story.

Her development throughout the story was interesting to read. No matter what else happened in her life and despite his death June’s father was her rock, the one thing she could rely on, however the more she delves into the past and the curse the more she realises how fallible her father was and learning that shakes her. Things she believes about her past, that she was so sure of, are revealed as lies and June is unsure of where she stands in the wake of those realisations.

“What a convenient concept. That every bad thing that happens to you was caused by the person you hate.”
“So you don’t think bad things happen when our families cross paths?”

Saul was told the same things June was, to stay away from the O’Donnells and to beware of the curse that haunts both their families. However unlike June Saul is sceptical of the magic that supposedly surrounds them. He seems to disbelieve what he hears about June’s house but when the Window Whites start showing him and June the past he eagerly accepts that magic is influencing his life. Saul doesn’t believe in the curse the same way June does, he doesn’t believe that the two of them spending time together will cause each other heartache and pain.

After first meeting each other again at the town carnival there is an instant connection between June and Saul. Despite their families shared hatred they can’t forget about each other, can’t stay away despite June fearing what the curse will take from her. Their relationship is full of heartache from the start, both of them knowing it can’t end well with the dark history between both their families.

Hannah leans across the console to pull me into another hug. “Don’t you ever leave me, June O’Donnell,” she whispers into my hair.
“Never,” I say fiercely.

The relationship June has with her best friend Hannah is the kind I love reading about in YA books. The two are different; Hannah has a very set path for her life that includes a lot of studying to get the perfect grades so she can attend the college of her dreams, whereas June doesn’t see her future in college at all. However the two of them are still incredibly close, and no matter what happens June knows she can share everything with Hannah without worrying about her friend abandoning her. The family relationship June has with her mother, step-dad, and half-brothers is one full of love and laughter and support. There are things her mother kept hidden from her, but no matter what June knows she is loved by them.

…The Setting

“Our house is magic, in some small way. The skinny halls and wallpapered rooms, the gnarled forest that encircled our hill-together they do all kinds of impossible things. My whole life kids have crept onto our property at night to make wishes and look for spirits, or to steal cherries from the first Jack’s Tart tree.”

What I love most about the magical realism genre is the setting. Despite being set in the very real world of Five Fingers, Michigan – where June has a semi-normal life filled with small town carnivals, school, homework, and friends – there is magic woven into the setting and it feels almost real enough to touch. There are coywolves who live side by side with hens instead of killing them, who steal shoes and guide June to the memories of her father, ghosts who feel like feathers and ghosts whose very presence foretells death. There are plenty of subtle hints of magic throughout this book that make you believe in cherry trees that grow overnight, and Window Whites of memories which show you moments already past.


Emily Henry has quickly become a favourite magical realism author of mine. The Love That Split the World was a favourite read of mine for last year and A Million Junes has quickly become a favourite read of mine for this year. This book had everything I love about magical realism stories, and the characters everything I love about Emily Henry’s work.

What did you think of A Million Junes? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

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37 thoughts on “A Million Junes

  1. I really like the magical realism you speak of in this book. It sounds like it was perfectly woven into the story and made the relationship between these two just that much more intriguing. Nice to see that your love for this genre continues to grow and never knows any bad fruits. Fantastic review, Beth! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve yet to read a magical realism book I haven’t loved, mainly because of the way the magic has existed side by side with reality you know? I almost feel like it’s going to be impossible for me to come across a bad magical realism book, at least I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that! 🙂
      Thanks so much Lashaan. 😀

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  2. Excellent review Beth! this one of course is one of my top 5 for 2017 *eeeeK* right after I finished reading this book I got an email with the kindle deal for The Love That Split the World & I figured it couldn’t have been a coincidence so i purchased the deal lol. This is the type of Magical Realism I LOVE! which is why so often I say that MR is either hit or miss for me if not done right. I agree with you, this setting felt oh so real as if you could reach out & touch it! besides that, father/daughter stories are like my Kryptonite & by the last page I was balling my eyes out smh. LOVED it! 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much Lilly. Yeah this is definitely one of my top reads for 2017 now as well, and wow that must have been some kind of sign from the universe right? Glad you got it and I hope you enjoy The Love That Split the World too but given you loved this one I’m hoping you will! 😀
      I love pretty much all magical realism, but it’s the books like these that are my favourites within the genre. The setting was amazing and yes the father daughter relationship brilliant as well. Even though June’s father had died he was still such a present figure in her life wasn’t he? 🙂

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  3. Amazing review, Beth! I can see how much you really enjoyed it 😀 The cover to this book is beautiful and the story sounds incredibly promising. Also, the characters seem to be very well-written. And it’s always nice when authors portray healthy female friendships and fairly healthy family ties! I’m not a HUGE fan of Romeo and Juliet, but with a little bit of magic, I think I could be tempted to pick this one up! I haven’t had the pleasure of reading the author’s first book but it seems I might need to read it soon! Again, wonderful review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Azia! Yeah this was a brilliant book, I had high expectations after The Love That Split the World and luckily this book was just as amazing! It’s an incredible book with amazing characters and basically everything I love reading in YA books; well-developed character, well-developed relationships including female friendships and strong family bonds.
      Honestly I’m not a massive fan of Romeo and Juliet either but I still loved this book so hopefully you will as well Azia. Thanks again! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It definitely has a lot going for it! I may just have to pick it up. And if you loved it while not being a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet, then I’m sure I’d love it, too! No worries! ❤

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  4. Such a beautiful review, Beth! I haven’t read The Love That Split the World yet – it has been on my TBR for so long, and I prioritized some other books, mainly because it was only available in hardcover and quite expensive. BUT it’s still on my TBR and I’m hoping to read it soon…. and read that one as well! I really like how this seems to have great friendships and family relationships as well as the complicated romance, and magical realism…I’m all for it 😀

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    1. Thanks so much Marie. 😀 Oh The Love That Split the World is a brilliant book but I know the feeling because there are so many books I have that’s prioritized over others I should have read by now!
      In that case I hope it’s released in paperback soon so you can get around to it, I hope it will be one you really enjoy as well. Yeah there is so much to love about this book as well, and honestly I loved everything in it! 😀

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  5. I skimmed this because I have it on my tbr and haven’t gotten a copy yet, but I have heard some really amazing things about this book and I literally cannot wait to grab a copy – especially because you enj

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    1. Yeah I think this book is better to have gone into without having any expectations or ideas about where the plot will go It will be able to surprise you that way. All in all though I thought it was a brilliant book so I really hope you enjoy it as well Lauren! 😀

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  6. This sounds amazing, Beth; I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! I didn’t manage to read Henry’s first book but I think this one is more intriguing – while I’m a huge Romeo/Juliet retelling skeptic, this at least sounds promising with the magical realist elements and the characters and their relationships. I’ll be checking it out. ❤

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    1. Oh it really was amazing Reg; a book I’d highly recommend! Honestly I’m a little skeptic about Romeo and Juliet retellings as well but this one was an exception for me in that I loved it despite my misgivings. It had great characters and the magical realism angle was well written as well so hopefully this will be a book you enjoy too! 😀

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  7. This book has been absolutely everywhere lately. It looks great though and with such wonderful reviews coming out, I might have to read it for myself!

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  8. The Love That Split the World has been on my TBR ever since I heard it existed! I really need to pick it up sometime, especially after hearing you loved it. 🙂 This one sounds so good as well! I love the sound of it, and magical realism will always have a special place in my heart ahah. ❤ Lovely review!

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    1. I would definitely recommend The Love That Split the World, it’s such an incredible book and an all-time favourite of mine. A Million Junes is just as good in my opinion, and honestly it had a lot to live up to in my mind! 🙂 Magical realism has a special place in my heart too, and Emily Henry is now one of my favourite magical realism authors! 😀
      Thanks! ❤

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  9. I’m planning on reading The Love That Split the World VERY SOON (I have it checked out from the library), and I’m so excited about it! I’m really loving the magical realism genre, after reading Bone Gap, The Weight of Feathers, and When the Moon Was Ours. It makes me want to write some magical realism too! Glad you enjoyed this book — that cover is gorgeous. XD ❤

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    1. Oh yay! I’ll be very interested to see what you think of The Love That Split the World May, if you like magical realism I think you’re pretty much sure to love that book. Alongside Bone Gap and When the Moon Was Ours The Love That Split the World is one of my favourite magical realism books actually.
      This one is amazing as well, hopefully if you enjoy TLTSTW you can get started on this one afterwards! 😀 ❤

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  10. Ah, this book sounds really good! I must admit I’m not the biggest fan of magical realism; what can I say? I’m a bit stubborn, and enjoy when my foot’s firmly planted in either fantasy or contemporary, haha, but this one sounds so interesting that I feel like giving it a go! Great, great review. So lovely to hear about the friendship and family elements. 🙂

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

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    1. I may be a little biased because I love magical realism but this book is really good! Hopefully there be something you can enjoy about A Million Junes despite not being the biggest fan of magical realism Aimal. Either way I’d definitely recommend this book and hopefully it will be one you love as well! 😀

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