Series: Tell Me #1
Published by Independent on March 4th 2014
Tell me your story....
June Rosewood followed the plan. College degree? Check. Longtime boyfriend who is possible husband material? Check. Finding a job after school? Working on it. Yet, it only took one emotionless conversation on a beach in Mexico for everything to fall apart. After running away for the summer, June’s back in Boise, can’t find a job and is stuck working as a waitress.
When June runs smack dab into Reece Day, her new coworker, she knows to stay far away from him. After being away from the town Reece grew up in, his journey has brought him back to where it all began. Reece is searching for forgiveness, but also stumbles upon the lively and smart mouthed June, who is so clearly lost in herself. Reece catches June's attention with his uncanny ability to always get under her skin, leaving her questioning what she really wants in life.
Soon, June embarks on a journey of self-discovery to let go of the plan, because sometimes the unexpected surprises along the way are the most important and meaningful.
FINDING JUNE was such a breath of fresh air. The first New Adult book I’ve read (and I’ve read many, oh so, so many) that realistically portrayed the uncertainty and reality of post college life in a thoughtful and relatable way. Focussing more on the problems that keep us all up at 4am on a random Tuesday rather than deep, dark, gruesome secrets, Caitlin Kerry presents us with a heroine and a story that we can all recognise.
When June graduated college, she thought she had it all figured out. College degree, check! Long term boyfriend, check! Adult life? Here she comes! Unceremoniously dumped, June finds herself looking for an apartment and a job in the middle of the biggest economic downturn since the depression. Scrambling to make adjustments, June takes a job as server to figure out her next move. What she doesn’t plan on is Reece, newly returned to town; he’s making some plans of his own. Catching each other’s attention, June and Reece embark on an adventure of self discovery while embracing the idea that while life may not turn out how you expected it to, it might just turn out the way you needed it.
I really loved how real this book was as it captured the story of a generation that was told it could have everything only to have the carpet yanked out from under it. In a world where Reality TV promises that college, jobs, vacations and discretionary spending are an entitlement rather than something you have to fight for, the realities of life in a recession, with endless C.Vs sent out unanswered and moving back in with your parents because that mortgage you overextended yourself for and now has you drowning in negative equity is a tale worth telling.
This story really resonated with me because I was one of those people who just like June, had a plan after college only for it to blow up in her face. While mine was a diagnosis of a chronic illness rather than a break up and an economic downturn, I could recognise that hopelessness and feeling of panic when everything turns upside down. I loved how June chose not to wallow in her circumstances, and resisted the urge to jump at any opportunity because it was there, instead choosing to stand back and regroup. She may not have the job she wants but she recognises the value of it for what it can teach her and the purpose it can give her daily as she figures out her next move.
Equally I loved how the romance in this book plays out as something to be enjoyed for what it is rather than the be-all and end-all of happiness. There’s a strong questioning of whether you can indeed have it all or do you have to choose between a personal and professional life and if so is it worth it. I loved the questions Kerry poses throughout her book, ensuring the reader ponders her heroine’s story as a lesson to take away rather than just an enjoyable few hours on the sofa.
Solidly written, June’s journey is at times, poignant, but always with a humorous perspective, without too much angst, or heavy emotional issues and the bonus of a swoony romance to root for.
FINDING JUNE is a wonderful wry look at the life of the 20-something in the 21st century that depicts the challenges faced by us all in an endearing and hilarious way.