The June Boys

I was extremely drawn to this compelling sounding YA thriller months ago and then Thomas Nelson granted my request via Netgalley! So, I managed to read it early and it ended up surpassing my expectations.

Synopsis:

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Trigger warnings: kidnapping, death, murder, child neglect, mental illness, trauma, grief, gun violence, captivity, starvation, blood

The Gemini Thief could be anyone. Your father, your mother, your best friend’s crazy uncle. Some country music star’s deranged sister. Anyone.

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 took 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?

My Thoughts:

This book is utterly entrancing and works best if you know very little going into it, so this will be a fairly short and vague review.

The formatting and structure of this story is sublime, with Stevens feeding you crumbs of information that eventually build up to reveal an explosive larger picture. We alternate between two very distinctive and rice voices that I couldn’t draw myself away from. Generally, the characters are all so well-rounded with genuine feeling relationships and an underlying bond of friendship that felt so strong. However, you always feel slightly distanced from them, as you can never bring yourself to fully trust them. You’re constantly second guessing, as Stevens keeps throwing in curveballs and brilliant twists and turns.

Stevens imbues the story with such emotion, with one moment in particular utterly wrenching my heart in a powerful and distinctly disturbing way. This is not an easy read, as it delve into dark and intense topics and never shies away from graphic moments. At times, the format can feel slightly confusing, as you get swept into the tangled wed of secrets and deceit. The writing always feels polished and carefully selected, but also just organic and as though it’s had room to breathe. I cannot say the same for the reader, as the entire book feels like you’re walking a tightrope with the tension taut and the general atmosphere of foreboding danger and deception.

5 thoughts on “The June Boys

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