A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Faith. Family. Fiction. Fun.

The June Boys by Court Stevens {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

The Gemini Thief could be anyone.
Your father, your mother, your best friend’s crazy uncle.
Some country music star’s deranged sister. Anyone.
Someone is stealing Tennessee’s boys.
The Gemini Thief is a serial kidnapper, who takes three boys and holds them captive from June 1st to June 30th of the following year. The June Boys endure thirteen months of being stolen, hidden, observed, and fed before they are released, unharmed, by their masked captor. The Thief is a pro, having eluded authorities for nearly a decade and taken at least twelve boys.
Now Thea Delacroix has reason to believe the Gemini Thief has taken a thirteenth victim: her cousin, Aulus McClaghen.
But the game changes when one of the kidnapped boys turns up dead. Together with her boyfriend Nick and her best friends, Thea is determined to find the Gemini Thief and the remaining boys before it’s too late. Only she’s beginning to wonder something sinister, something repulsive, something unbelievable, and yet, not impossible:
What if her father is the Gemini Thief?

Court Stevens grew up among rivers, cornfields, churches, and gossip in the small-town South. She is a former adjunct professor, youth minister, and Olympic torchbearer. These days she writes coming-of-truth fiction and is the community outreach manager for Warren County Public Library in Kentucky. She has a pet whale named Herman, a bandsaw named Rex, and several novels with her name on the spine: Faking NormalThe Lies About Truth, the e-novella The Blue-Haired BoyDress Codes for Small Towns, and Four Three Two One. Find Court online at CourtneyCStevens.com; Instagram: @quartland; Facebook: CourtneyCStevens; Twitter: @quartland.

Though I don't typically read much young adult fiction, the description of this one drew me in and I knew I had to give it a read. I must admit though, it took me awhile to get into the story. Part of that, I do believe is based on the formatting. For those unfamiliar, oftentimes the advanced reader e-books reviewers receive are not 100% formatted as they would be in the final copy you purchase. Sometimes that means logos placed in weird places or weird line breaks, etc. That can certainly impact the flow of the story. In this particular book, there were a few formatting issues but the most noticeable occurred in the Elizabeth Letters found throughout. From what I gather, in the finished copy these will be featured as images of the letters... with drawings, etc. While I liked this insight into the mind of one of the kidnapped boys in theory, in this version there were random paper images that broken up with the words written separately, making it distracting and a bit hard to follow. Now, typically I don't make note of any type of formatting issues within my reviews, because I know these will be fixed but in this one it truly did impact my enjoyment of the story. While I would still give it a solid 3.5 stars, I do believe it could have been higher had those issues not been there.

That aside, the story was very unique and interesting. Each year on June 1, boys are kidnapped. They are unharmed and then returned one year later. Intriguing, right? More intriguing was the idea that this kidnapper could be absolutely anyone. Throughout the book, doubt and suspicion was cast in all directions keeping me guessing right up until the final reveal. It's much different than any other suspense or mysteries that I typically read, but I found the story itself to be quite fascinating in the end. While some of those previously discussed issues had me questioning whether or not I should finish it, I was very glad I pushed through to see all the answers revealed.

At 32 years old, I'm certainly not the target audience for a young adult novel, but I feel like this is a story that you could enjoy at any age. To me the only thing that really made it feel even slightly like a young adult novel was Thea's age. Though it talked about graduation and being a senior in points throughout, the content of the story made it easy to forget that she is in fact still a teenager. If you have an older teenager that enjoys suspense, this is one you can feel confident doesn't have language or inappropriate content... or enjoy it yourself with that same assurance.

Overall, this was an interesting read that is worth checking out.


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