A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Million Junes, by Emily Henry (The Love That Split the World), is a modern Romeo and Juliet fantasy-romance. Fantasy elements include ghosts, magical places where borders between worlds are thin, and the ability to witness past events. Grief, pain, and the need to let go of the past are strong themes. Narrator June, who's 18, mentions physical sensations and emotions of physical attraction, and there are a few instances of kissing and light making out. Teens joke about sexual stuff, such as erections, masturbation, and ovulation. A past severe beating describes sounds, kicks, and punches, and mentions lots of blood. Characters are covered in blood in a fantasy setting. Animals like chickens and rabbits are killed during magical or fantasy events. Eerie atmospheres, ghosts (one evil and one benevolent), and being in danger from fantasy elements add scariness. Profanity is infrequent and includes "s--t," "ass," and one "f---ing."
What's the story?
A MILLION JUNES is the story of 18-year-old June O'Donnell and how her family has hated the neighboring Angert family, and vice versa, for at least five generations. When June literally bumps into Saul Angert at a carnival, she's immediately drawn to the handsome son of the one family her parents taught her she can never go near. If June and Saul can learn the truth about their families' entwined history, can they finally break free forever from the cursed spirit that haunts them, and that causes each family more harm each time it appears?
Is it any good?
Author Emily Henry's second novel is beautifully lyrical, with rhythmic prose that brings to life a magical place where echoes from the past reverberate to the core of an engaging young couple. Despite the very old setup of young love forbidden by feuding families, A Million Junes vividly evokes a unique, magical place and populates it with engaging, relatable characters.
Grief from loss, uncovering the truth about the past, finding your talent, and learning to value the countless small moments that make up a life are strong themes that will teach teens a lot about themselves. June's authentic voice and wry humor make her easy to relate to, and teens will also relate to lessons she learns about the value of all types of love, not just the romantic kind. Fans of ghost stories will enjoy the haunting spirits that inhabit June's world. Have a hankie nearby at the end.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how stories like A Million Junes blend fantasy and romance. Does the fantasy make the real-world part less believable? How would June and Saul's story be different without the fantasy parts of their world?
The lives and actions of their ancestors have a big influence on June and Saul today. Is that realistic? Have past generations of your family affected your life? How?
Is the violence that happens in fantasy more or less scary, or about the same, as real-world violence? Why?
- Author: Emily Henry
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Razorbill
- Publication date: May 16, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 400
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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