Welcome to my stop on the FFBC Blog Tour for The June Boys by Court Stevens! I am so excited to share with you my thoughts on this fabulous book and give you a chance to win your own copy!!

The June Boys by Courtney C. Stevens
Published by Thomas Nelson on March 3, 2020
Pages: 368
Format:ARC, eARC
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley

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?

True story, I have never read a Courtney Stevens book I didn’t love. That’s it, that’s the review.

I jest. Seriously though, this was another hit in a long line of fabulous books. The June Boys is a gripping mystery, but it’s also a lot more. It’s such a love letter to friendship and family bonds, and asks the really hard questions. Like what would you do if you thought your family member might be capable of kidnapping boys every few Junes?

This, along with her own cousin/close friend Aulus being potentially one of the kidnapped, has Thea in a real bad spot. Not only is she absolutely freaking out over her missing cousin, but her own father has been listed as a suspect. And there’s the rub: He has been lying to Thea all over the place, so she has no idea who she can trust at this point.

So this book was, like I said, far more than just a whodunit. Thea has such a deep and complex story to tell, and we get to see her story develop with her best friends and boyfriend, too. They support her so much through this, and are great characters in their own right.

There were a few points in the middle that seemed maybe a little long? But for the most part, it moved along nicely, and I was constantly trying to guess who the baddie was. For a few minutes, I was sure I had the culprit. (Spoiler: I was wrong. So wrong.) But I was engaged throughout, and couldn’t wait to read the outcome.

We even get little glimpses into Aulus’s traumatic time in captivity, as he writes letters to Elizabeth Smart. Now, if you are reading an eARC like I was, these will look like mushy rubbish that you cannot decipher. Good news, when I got a physical ARC, they are readable, and I definitely think they add something to the story- especially if you know Elizabeth’s story, as Aulus does, and commiserates with. (I assume that obviously finished copies will be fine, I don’t know about finished ebooks though?)

Bottom Line: The June Boys is thought provoking, full of love and mystery and intrigue, full of what we lose and what we have yet to find.

About Courtney C. Stevens

Courtney “Court” Stevens grew up among rivers, cornfields, churches, and gossip in the small town south. She is a former adjunct professor, youth minister, Olympic torchbearer and bookseller at Parnassus Books. These days she writes coming-of-truth fiction and is the Community Outreach Manager for Warren County Public Library. She has a pet whale named Herman, a bandsaw named Rex, and several novels with her name on the spine.

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What would you do if a loved one was accused of a heinous crime?

Posted March 9, 2020 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review / 18 Comments


18 responses to “The June Boys by Court Stevens: Review & Giveaway!

  1. I also have not read a Courtney Stevens book I did not love, but I wasn’t sure about this one. I am very encouraged by this review, though I still think it’s a bit too dark for me. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  2. Ahh this makes me excited to get started on this one!! I’ve been reading a few more thrillers lately and loving it. I never guess anything right though 😂 i will not be Sherlock any time soon.

  3. I’m about 70% of the way through this one and am really grateful I was lazy (lol) and didn’t start reading my egalley until after this came out. I’ve been mixing the audio and an ebook from Hoopla – they take the Elizabeth letters and make them look like actual letters on lined paper!

  4. The June Boys by Courtney C. Stevens is quite intriguing and interesting ” who is the Gemini Thief? ” and when I am reading the book some question pop up to my mind how did the Gemini Thief kidnapped all of them and yet they are all related to each other.

  5. I have this one on my to-read list already – it sounds fantastic. I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed it, and I totally entered the giveaway. I like a good mystery, and it sounds like this one is really character focused too.

    Lauren

  6. Debra Branigan

    Whoa, this sounds like an intense read all wrapped up in a great cover. Definitely adding to my TBR and hope to read soon. Thanks for the opportunity. Best wishes to the author on the novel.

  7. Beth W

    Sounds delightfully intense! Considering the publishing imprint, does it have strong Christian themes or messaging?

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