June 9th by Emha Goliesh
Publication date: June 9th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
June 9th: a night to love or a night to hate? A night to embrace or a night to erase? College freshman, Lacey Shyver, has no clue. Growing up with a neuromuscular disease, Lacey knows people only pretend to be nice—pity her, really, for looking different.
That is, until graduating senior, Blake Nivey, enters her life. Breaking down her walls and lifting her spirits with just one touch, he’s not like the others. He cares about her well-being and makes her laugh. He unlocks something within Lacey that captures her soul, yet Lacey’s internal struggles surface. Is she just a charity case for him?
Blake can’t possibly like someone with limited mobility when there are prettier girls wrapping their arms around him. Or can he? But when Lacey finally sees where Blake’s heart truly lies with her, everything changes.
Because once June 9th begins, it never ends.
Goliesh’s characters all seem very real and unique. She takes extreme detail in her characters and gives them all a very differentiated sense of self and motivations in life. I did really enjoy each new character in this book and the ‘between the lines’ life they led.
Lacey is just a girl that wants to fit in and experience normal things in her life but with her disability, this has always been difficult for her. Especially with her controlling aunt and the family she said goodbye to long ago.
Being completely honest, I did have a bit of trouble connecting with Lacey due to her emotions changing so often. Lacey is a very impassioned individual which could be overwhelming at times and what did irk me a bit was her tendency to cry in situations that weren’t really that upsetting. However, it did seem warranted that at this troubling point of her life with discovering her feelings for Blake, not to mention school…well I would spontaneously cry too. In fact, I have now that I think about it. Her emotions drive her physical reactions often in the book. Very driven in her school work she finds it frustrating when the people around her do not take school seriously, something to which is the basis of her life and future.
I was a bit confused at first with Lacey’s predicament since she describes anyone touching her as painful and burning. Therefore, after a time when she enjoys Blake’s touch, it threw me for a loop. It did become clear that her pain was not only from her disability but her actual uncomfortableness with her own skin and therefore didn’t like anyone touching her directly. Especially without her permission.
This book takes a different route to the classic love story you might often read. First, there is no love at first site but Lacey does fall very quickly. I was a little taken aback by her sudden feelings actually and had to get used to her sudden declarations but at the same time I could understand Lacey’s sudden change in feelings. She is struggling with changes in her life including a man actually showing her affection. With the female influences in her life, she’s able to see very opposite opinions on women looking for love and tries to come to terms with her own sudden affections for Blake.
Surprisingly my favorite character was Blake. Lacey and Blake’s interactions are very interesting to say the least and I was honestly surprised at times by their witty banter with one another. Blake is first described as a popular ladies man and perpetual flirt and when he starts to interact more with Lacey, you really discover more about him. I liked how you were able to discover more about his character; the odd quirks and history into his family and what drives him. He had some very funny one liners as well.
Despite the difficulties I first had, I did come to understand Lacey in a way. After all, her situation is so different than my own or what I’ve read from any other main character and it did open my eyes to many things disabled people experience. For this, I did enjoy the book quite a bit. It’s not often that a book will make you contemplate your morals and experiences one usually takes for granted. Overall, this book shares some very interesting and original experience. It’s main premise is to open the eyes of the reader and show the struggles of a smart but struggling woman looking for acceptance, understanding, and love.
About the Author
Shy and introverted, I never felt like I fit in, even though everyone saw me as a “social butterfly.” I moved around a lot in California, left people and met new ones, but nothing felt like home. Ever. Expect for writing. I grew up loving to write in small journals, under a desk, in a secret place. A place known to me and only me. I built a relationship with words in order to escape the reality that wrote about me—documents filled with all of my flaws and weaknesses. The reality that I didn’t understand at a young age and wanted to hide away from because my writing was something I could control. I could live in a secret place where every dream, fear, joy, and risk could be mine and only mine. My home. My safety. My love.
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