Nick and June Were Here by Shalanda Stanley

I have been reading a lot of heavy mysteries and thrillers lately, so I figured this would be a good light read for me. I was wrong, but in a different way…

Thank you Knopf for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Nick and June have been best friends for many years. A recent relationship change has happened due to the fact that Nick and June are closer than ever: boyfriend and girlfriend. The two of them are struggling with big issues on their own. June is experiencing some scary mental illness symptoms, only to be diagnosed with schizophrenia not much later. Nick is trying to make up for lost money from his father’s poor decisions by involving himself in illegal matters. Can the two of them work through these big changes on their own? Can they come out on the other side of this stronger than ever?

I don’t know why I thought this book would be lighthearted. The synopsis mentions the mental illness issues, something that is never lighthearted in itself. This was an emotional, deep read, but very well written. The only thing that deterred me from this was that I felt like it was a typical good girl/bad boy runaway novel. There are a lot of young adults like that out there in the world. I didn’t feel like this was unique enough to distinguish from others. Regardless, I think Shalanda did a wonderful job sharing the importance of mental illness care.

3.5/5 Stars

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