“When June Met July” by Mikayla Rose

“When June Met July” by Mikayla Rose 166 265 Reader Views Kids

When June Met July

Mikayla Rose
Tellwell Talent (2023)
ISBN: 978-0228882497
Reviewed by Stephanie Elizabeth Long for Reader Views (06/23)

As soon as their eyes met from across the room, Elle was fascinated by the charming but unpredictable Alexandra Price. They dated briefly until Elle was blindsided by Alex’s change of heart. The break-up hit Elle hard, and to make matters worse, Alex was cruelly spreading rumors about her. Elle begins to heal after forming an unlikely friendship with June Reeves, who also dated and was hurt by Alex. June proves herself to be a loyal best friend, and the other girls in their group—Jade, Quinn, Ava, and June’s girlfriend Scar—share a mutual disdain for Alex.

Everything is going well until Alex manages to weasel her way back into Elle and June’s lives, causing friction between the girls. In this coming-of-age book, Elle navigates tumultuous relationships, explores her sexuality, and unearths a shocking secret.

“When June Met July” by Mikayla Rose is an engaging young adult drama about navigating relationships. Told from the first-person perspective, readers follow Elle Rosendale as she experiences the ups and downs of surviving high school, including falling hopelessly in love and experiencing her first heartbreak. Strong themes of friendship, love, and identity pepper the pages of Rose’s all-encompassing teen saga, and readers can expect to be fully enamored with the main characters.

Mikayla Rose has done an excellent job of pulling readers into this propulsive book. As soon as I finished the first chapter, I was immediately invested in the drama I had a strong sense was about to unfold. A complicated friendship/love triangle that pins two best friends against each other as they vie for the attention of an indecisive love interest and a brave coming-out story? Yes, please! I had high hopes for this character-driven book, and I can happily report it delivered and surpassed my expectations. The multidimensional personalities brought something unique to the table—Elle’s caring nature, June’s wavering heart, and Alex’s dark side resulted in a book I didn’t want to put down.

It was impossible not to be intrigued by the elusive Alexandra Price, who was charming, mysterious, and had a penchant for toying with emotions. Whenever Elle thought she was finished with Alex, she would manipulate her way back into Elle’s life, playing games with her heart and convoluting the truth. I think the author did an excellent job of creating a character who got under people’s skin. Alex obviously had demons in her closet and comforted herself by wielding power over Elle and June—lying and gaslighting, which made them feel small. It reminded me of some toxic relationships I entertained in my youth, drawn to broken people I believed I could fix. Like Elle, I was naive and too trusting, and it took me years of re-learning the same painful lessons before I developed a thicker skin.

Elle’s coming out experience was aptly illustrated, highlighting the excitement and trepidation of revealing the truth to her parents. Despite surrounding herself with accepting friends, many of whom were also part of the LGBTQ community, the author proves there is still a stigma surrounding individuals who don’t subscribe to the heteronormative lifestyle; I applaud the author for effectively illustrating this.

“When June Met July” is a thought-provoking book that will have readers questioning what it means to be a friend. I highly recommend it to young adult readers who enjoy books about self-discovery. Between the strong character development and emphasis on embracing sexual identity, this story is worthy of five stars!

1 comment
  • Tina Pedone

    I loved the book. I couldn’t put it down. I read the book in 5 days. Mikayla Rose did a fantastic job in writing this book! Looking forward to reading her next book!

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