Nick and June Were Here by: Shalanda Stanley
Publish Date February 12, 2019 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Nick and June were best friends for years, until their relationship suddenly turned into something more. Now, June is coping with a new diagnosis of schizophrenia, a secret she asked Nick to keep for too long. Between managing her symptoms and her parents, June is just trying to keep it together. Nick is a reluctant car thief, supporting his aunt with the money and focusing on his art whenever he can.
But when June’s condition sends her to the hospital and Nick’s latest crime threatens to land him in prison, the two decide to run away. When the world is trying to tear them apart, can Nick and June find a way to stay together?
A special thank you to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this ARC. This one took a bit to read because of health reasons and other books, ha!
I really don’t know anything about Schizophrenia other than bits and pieces of what I read in a book or see on a TV. The story starts off with June having this habit of writing down everything. She asks for the exact time of the thought as she’s writing. Nick is more than happy to tell her.
June knows something is wrong, but can’t bring herself to tell her parents. She can’t sleep. Some voices just won’t leave her alone. She had one psychotic break and she goes to the hospital so that she could get the diagnosis and treatment she needed.
Nick is a great guy who just happens to be in a not so great situation. He steals cars for someone so that he could help pay his father’s debt, and then help with living situation with his aunt. Unfortunately, Nick caught yet again and is now facing a trial sentence.
I love these two, but there were decisions that I just had a hard time dealing with, like Nick begging June to go with him to a cabin so they could be together – knowing that she can’t just simply leave because of her mental state. Their friendship/relationship is so complicated, but I can’t help but hope for the best for the both of them.
I’m not sure if it was the ARC I received, but there were a couple of chapters that were labeled incorrectly. Each chapter is labeled June or Nick. I believe one was meant to be Nick but wound up being in June’s point of view.
Most chapters of the story were exceedingly long, while others incredibly short. I’ve always preferred shorter chapters, but that’s just me. That doesn’t take away from the story.
I read the author suffers from anxiety and depression. I can totally understand. It’s a one step at a time kind of thing and we have our good days and our bad ones. I can’t comment how accurate or realistic’s June’s mental state is, but the story was beautifully written. While I don’t agree with some of the choices made in the story, that’s just teenage life, isn’t it? Weren’t we all there at one point in our lives? I know I was.
I’m grateful to get this opportunity to review this ARC and be sure to keep an eye out for the release in February.