May 24, 2016



Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

* This review is based on an advanced reading copy. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read the book in exchange for an honest review *

How fitting that I started reading this and it's almost June! Probably the reason why the book is being released 5/31 (the first day that the book takes place). But, the title isn't merely a reflection of the month of the setting, it's also the name of the main character. This book is told in two time periods, 1955 and 2015 from the perspectives (mostly) of June (1955) and her granddaughter Cassie (2015). Although the two time periods are intermingled in the book, I'm going to elaborate on them separately as I feel that they are two different stories rolled into one.


The story starts by introducing June, an 18 year old girl who was recently promised to marry a man named Artie Danvers. It also shows June's best friend, Lindie, who is having trouble with gender identity and sexuality which is nearly impossible in her time period. I liked this inclusion, but I didn't feel that it was completely necessary as part of the storyline and wasn't very realistic in how others reacted to her dressing like a boy or acting like herself in public rather than covering up the fact that she didn't feel comfortable with her body. The main point of this story is a telling of how a Hollywood movie was being filmed in their small town in Ohio starring Jack Montgomery and Diane DeSotto. June and Jack happen to meet and are instantly attracted to each other, but June feels that she needs to do her duty by marrying the man that she was engaged to. After going to the bus station to meet this man, Artie, she found that he had not returned to town and she felt abandoned and alone. When June agrees to start sneaking out with Lindie to go meet Jack, they really start to fall for each other but certain people and circumstances stand in their way of being together. I wasn't really intrigued by this story or the romance, but I felt the need to keep reading in order to find out what happened because I felt like there was going to be a surprise twist, which I guess in a way there was. But again, I didn't feel that the twist was entirely necessary it felt like the plot was just kind of rushed in order to explain things in the future. There was also a sex scene that to me felt very unrealistic. When I think of being a virgin about to have sex for the first time, I don't think of a confident girl that knows what she's doing or that enjoys their first time, especially a woman out of wedlock in the 50s. But, who knows, maybe that's just my perspective on things.


I kind of hated Cassie's character. I understand that she was very deeply depressed and I could relate with the not wanting to get out of bed/not wanting to socialize at all, but I don't see how she could neglect all of her bills for that long without something happening with bill collectors or the government (again, maybe that's just me). Cassie's parents died in a car crash when she was 8, although she survived without a scratch. June moved in order to raise Cassie after the accident and her husband's death. Cassie's story starts with her moving to June's old run-down mansion after June's struggle with brain cancer ended. She was avoiding doing anything productive with her life when a stranger shows up at her door to tell her that Jack Montgomery, a huge movie star, had died and left 37 million dollars to her. The stranger happens to be Tate Montgomery (Jack's daughter and superstar actress)'s assistant who demands Cassie take a DNA test to prove that she should not inherit the money. I felt like Tate didn't act the age that she would have been, since she was old enough to be Cassie's mother and also that she was crazy and annoying and Cassie didn't see through her when she should have. This part of the story felt like a lot of unnecessary drama. I liked that it showed Cassie's struggle with depression and her grief for her parents and her grandmother that she starts to realize she didn't know as well as she thought.

Overall, I feel like this could be an enjoyable book for some but I just wasn't interested in the plot or in the characters. I really just read to the end to find out what the supposed twists were and how they tied into the bigger story, but it seemed like it didn't all fit together. The whole superstar atmosphere threw me off. It felt like the book was trying to be elegant but got so caught up in who slept with who and scandal in Hollywood. I feel like I would've liked just listening to June's story from her perspective back in 1955 without everything going on with Lindie's father and Lemon. Also, there was confusion as to the perspective of the writing. Sometimes it was Lindie telling the story, other times it was June or Cassie or just 3rd person and it jumped around pretty often in order to get the full story. I liked the concept of the house as an animate character who often had thoughts and feelings, but I would've felt a lot better about it if the house was the sole narrator. This book just wasn't for me.

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