In 2016, Emily Henry’s debut novel The Love That Spilt the World was met with great reviews. Her second novel, A Million Junes, is pitched as Romeo and Juliet meets One Hundred Years of Solitude. We’re sharing our review as part of the blog tour, so make sure you read to the end to enter for your chance to win a copy of your own:
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.
A Million Junes is a slow burn of a novel. Emily Henry introduces us to Five Fingers, June O’Donnel, Saul Angert, and the supposed curse that links their families together, and gives their story time to build to a climax. June has only been given two rules in life, one of which is to stay away from the Angert family at all costs. So when she accidentally meets Saul Angert and finds herself drawn to him, she initially resists. But that strength doesn’t hold out for long and they soon become wrapped up in piecing together the pieces of their mythical families’ history, bit by bit.
Their sleuthing is complicated by the fact that June and Saul are still forbidden from spending time together, yet are being hounded by ghosts and other fantastical elements urging them not to stop searching. They begin stepping into memories of the past, memories that show them lost loved ones, and ones that begin to explain the curse they are fighting. June and Saul come together in their rehashed grief and work together to end the curse, no matter the price.
At the most basic level, A Million Junes is about family. June and Saul are fighting decades of rocky familial relationships and they have to learn to overcome the past. June also has to take into account her mother, stepfather, and two younger brothers, while Saul has to take care of his aging father. Their relationship with family plays a huge part in the decisions they make as they fight for a chance to be together. A Million Junes is about losing someone you love and experiencing overwhelming grief. It’s about learning that someone wasn’t exactly who you thought they were. It’s about learning to accept the past and working to create a better future.
Henry’s writing is lyrical and vivid. She weaves together elements of the contemporary with magic and tells a beautiful, suspenseful story. Some readers may find it difficult to suspend disbelief over some of the more fantasy-based scenes, but those who do are in for a unique reading experience.
About the author:
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.
Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of A Million Junes by Emily Henry (ARV: $16.99 each).
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NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 15, 2017 and 12:00 AM on June 2, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 7, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
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