By Emily Henry
Rating: 5/5 Stairs
I just finished reading A Million Junes and I’m having trouble putting into words just how beautiful and magical it was and how much I loved it.
I guess what I’m saying is be prepared for a not-so-great review about an absolutely wonderful, beautiful, lovely, magical book.
June (technically Jack O’Donnell IV) is about to begin her senior year in high school, and after which she plans to travel and see the world (because that’s what Jack’s do). June comes from a long line of Jack’s, living in the original house that her great-great-great grandfather built when he chose this special plot of land to be his home. The land itself has a magical quality to it, with two ghosts roaming around and coywolves who don’t eat the O’Donnell’s chickens but steal shoes that are left outside.
June’s father has been dead for ten years, but he had two rules for June which her mother strictly enforces: she can’t go to the falls, and she can’t speak to an Angert. Ever.
Saul Angert has recently returned home, and when June unexpectedly bumps into him at the school carnival, June unknowingly sets upon a different path than she ever expected for herself. She begins to wonder what it really means to be a Jack, and question everything she’s ever known about her family.
When I started reading A Million Junes, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The story, told through the eyes of June, pulled me in right away. June is a likable character who struggles to keep the memory of her father alive while learning that he may not have been the man she thought he was.
Ms. Henry invokes a wonderful use of time travel through magic that allowed June (and the reader) to get glimpses into her past and learn the truth about the O’Donnell family saga and feud with the Angert’s. The story was never forced, but flowed effortlessly between past and present. I found I didn’t want to put the book down, even when I finished it. Ms. Henry had me laughing and loving throughout, and even crying by the time I reached the end.
It’s a love story. It’s a father-daughter story. It’s a story about magic. It’s a story about learning who you really are, and not what everyone expects you to be. And it’s beautiful.