My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is wonderful. June Elbus is a wonderful, crazy, adorable, terrible, smart narrator. Incredibly, she is only fourteen. Somehow, it’s completely believable- I wrote journals all through my teenage years, and I can absolutely relate to her way of thinking, and expressing herself. I loved her, and I loved Greta to pieces (I was so, so worried about that girl), and of course Finn and Toby.
This is a difficult review to write, because it would mostly just be me repeating myself and saying how much I loved the book. So let me gather my thoughts.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this was that it’s so real. The different types of Love that June describes, the falling one… they’re really that confusing and wonderful and awful. For a young girl, as June observes, proportions can go awry. Tiny, insignificant things can mean so, so much. I loved how keenly observed the small things in this story were. How objects, notes, even memories and stories were cherished and imbued with extra meaning.
I can sympathize with how June had trouble sharing her Finn stories with Toby; how she felt that they were something only she had, and was therefore fiercely protective of. That made Toby sharing his own stories that much more meaningful; he was willing to let someone else into his private moments.
While I have never experienced anything quite like this story, I of course have experience with grief, and with losing loved ones. I think most people can relate to this, since it seems to draw on feelings we may not know we have, but which are absolutely common to us all.
The relationship between Greta and June was amazing. It tore up my heart to read how they’d grown apart, and when June realizes that (view spoiler). I have three younger brothers, and I know how difficult it is to drift apart from a sibling.
The ending was just perfect. I bawled, of course, but I still think it was perfect. I read this book fairly quickly, as I was completely taken into the story, living it as I read. This is a book I’d love to re-read, as some of the phrases, descriptions, and passages so perfectly echo my own feelings. What an incredible first novel.