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  • YA Thriller about a serial kidnapper

    I'm excited to be a part of the THE JUNE BOYS blog tour with The Fantastic Flying Book Club from March 3rd - March 9th, 2020! I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review. All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication. Content Warning: Kidnapping, Death of a minor, Imprisonment, Abandonment, Shooting by gun, Survival "We live in a strange world where women walk men to their vehicles, where we are worried their safety might be compromised before our own." June 1st is a feared date for young men. The Gemini Thief has kidnapped boys for a decade--always on June 1st. After his disappearance, Thea believes that her cousin, Aulus McClaghen, had become one of the Thief’s captives. The boys are always returned home the following year on June 31st. That is, until one of the kidnapped boy’s body is found along the notorious highway where the kidnappings take place. The Gemini Thief is very good at what they do. They never leave tracks. They kidnap without a hitch. They do it all for…? Why would someone kidnap boys only to return them thirteen months later, for the most-part, unharmed? This mystery employs all matters of investigation when it comes down to uncovering the truth of their identity. Unfortunately for Thea Delacroix, she believes the kidnapper may be her father. "You meet Noah after the flood, you think, That brave, faith-filled, visionary man. You meet him before and you’re like, What a nut job. Perspective and timing matter. Sometimes you have to accept that you might not be able to see the truth from here." As Thea partners up with her boyfriend Nick to uncover the truth behind the kidnappings, they also uncover strange secrets that Thea’s father has been keeping from Thea for years. Abandoned by her mother long ago, Thea’s father and his eccentricities has left her somewhat abandoned by him as well. The secrets and obsessions all begin to point to the true question, could he be the kidnapper? The June Boys reads like one big conversation--but not a pleasant one due to the content discussed. In truth, the e-ARC was not very reader-friendly, which hopefully won’t be the case with the completed Ebook (which I can’t imagine that won’t be formatted differently). The story is written in third person and alternates between the main character Thea, and “Dear Elizabeth” letters written by Aulus, Thea’s kidnapped cousin. The June Boys ultimately touches on several important aspects, but focuses on desires that emerge from past hurts combined with mental health, and how those desires can turn into something dangerous. Several important discussion starters are brought up throughout the entire investigation of this story, that I wish overall were delved into more deeply. When the kidnapper is revealed, the motivation behind the kidnapping is heart-wrenching and much more complex than someone looking for a twisted “thrill.” The discussion questions at the conclusion do offer the opportunity for deeper personal examination on some of the points touched on throughout the story. Overall, this riveting read offers a complex look at some of the most difficult scenarios life can throw at unsuspecting individuals. Vulgarity: None. Sexual content: Kissing. Violence: Minimal to Moderate considering the nature of the story. My Rating: ★★★

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  • Solid YA mystery that’s worth checking out!

    This was a good book, but it’s tricky to review because it’s not quite YA mystery and not quite Christian fiction. I definitely loved the blend of the two genres, and LOVED that it was the kind of book that, once finished, just left me feeling content (likely because of the more unexpected epilogue). I will say the one thing that really kept this book from being 5 stars for me was not the story itself, but it’s kind of confusing beginning. I just felt like certain details could have been a bit clearer before jumping into the plot -like I didn’t even know what age group the characters were for far too long. Outside of that, I really loved the mystery, I loved the way that the signs were pointing in all these different directions, I loved Aulus’ letters, and I loved the incredibly subtle Christian undertones which I think made this book one that could be enjoyed by just about anyone. Altogether, I think this was a good read that I would maybe consider reading again one day. So, thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the audio copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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