by Kate Karyus Quinn
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Pub Date 01 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 03 Feb 2023
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HI/LO format, written in VERSE
June’s secret eating disorder has been exposed to her whole school, and she knows there’s no going back to the way things were. Plus, her mom has started dating again—and it’s serious. What’s worse, her big sister Mae leaves for college early after a big fight. While taking refuge at the local bowling alley, June gets roped into joining the girls’ bowling team. As she improves her bowling game, June finds a newfound appreciation of all her body can do, a surprising group of outcast friends, and even a new love interest. But June must find a way to deal with her eating disorder—or risk losing everything else.
-Sequel to Not Hungry
Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Pick
Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Pick
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 13 members
I can feel the struggle of the character so much! Eating discourse can range from what others consider not as some disorder that seems normal to extremes where nothing much can help.
This story speaks to me with the loudest voice that a book can ever speak to me.
The lines hit hard. The bullying and the body shaming are as real as it gets.
I feel for you. This is hard to read as everything is so relatable.
Thank you so much, author and publisher West 44 Books, for the advance reading copy.
It means so much.
Thank you #NetGalley for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.
After the "happy ending" of "Not Hungry", I wasn't sure where this story would go. I was pleasantly surprised that the story not only picked up right where the first book left off, but it continued to tackle eating disorder recovery in an honest and realistic way. June isn't living her best life or the hero but she continues to deal with her eating disorder and other teen issues. The book moves at fast pace like its predecessor but dives into new themes and adds new character. June continues to find her self and her way. This continues to be a relevant and engaging story.
June struggles with an eating disorder amid the turbulent environment of high school and changing home life. Through the worst of it, June find herself surrounding by a group of people that help to lift her up and out of the darkest parts of her mind.
What first stood out to me about "Always June" was how much of a visual story it was without the presence of any images. Kate Karyus Quinn is incredible at molding the verses that flow in a manner that form a clear image on the page and in the reader's mind. Being thrown into the dark corner's of June's mind leaves the reader feel her shame and guilt has she works towards acceptance of being a fat girl with an eating disorder.
This pair, an overweight person with an eating disorder, is rarely acknowledged in any form of media. There is a stereotype of how people with these illnesses should appear. June comes onto the scene to rewrite that standard and sends the message that *anyone* can struggle the way she does.
Such few words leave a huge impact on the reader. At the age of kids attending middle school, exposure to this story will be invaluable in molding how they perceive others so close into entering high school. This book will absolutely be joining its sister in the library.
I read the first one last year and loved it, and I loved this one just a much.
I will put a warning- if you struggle with eating, have an ED, or anything of that sort please be cautious reading this review and book.
The main character June struggles with keeping her stomach full, and not binging and throwing up what she’s eaten.
This book is written in verse which is cool, you get to follow the words and read in between the lines. Overall I relate to this book, and I love how far June has come through these books.
Another great novel in verse dealing with body image for teen readers! Short, sweet, and an easy read. Perfect for reluctant readers who just want something fast but good.
I really enjoyed this book! The story was really good and I loved the characters! I hope to read more by this author in the future. I enjoyed the poems!
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and to the author for the ARC!
Thanks to NetGalley and West 44 Books for the review copy!
"Always June" by Kate Karyus Quinn is a piece of poetry for teens or young adults.
June has an eating disorder, but one day, it has been exposed to the entire school. At the same time, her mother has started dating someone again. Also, her sister, Mae, is leaving for college after a huge fight. June joins the girls' bowling team, and she learns a lot about herself fromt his. At the same time, she tries to control her eating disorder.
June is gong through so many hard things in her life. She is a true fighter, but it is not easy for her. She learns so much in this book, and she develops into an even stronger character. A beautiful storyline for her.
It is an easy read, which it is supposed to be. It is a strong and hard story, but at the same time a beautiful story.
"Always June" by Kate Karyus Quinn is a very well written book. I will surely recommend this for all teens and young adults out there. I will however say, that June deals with an eating disorder in this book, so if you struggle with something likewise, please be careful reading this book and talk to someone you trust about it, who can help you <3
"Always June" is the latest release by author Kate Karyus Quinn and publishing company West 44 Books. “Always June” follows teenager June as she navigates the highs and lows of high school, being a member of a quirky bowling team, and maintaining interpersonal bonds both inside and outside her home.
The title of the book itself comes from a quote by acclaimed novelist and poet L.M. Montgomery in her novel "Anne of the Island," where the protagonist Anne exclaims that she "[wonders] what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June." This image of pondering and dreaming fittingly describes the aura of the protagonist, June, as well as the thoughts that plague her mind. Early on in the story, the idea of being "free" is thrown around and debated, and to June, it is considered the golden standard for living. Furthermore, freedom is a standard she has yet to reach.
The closest she's ever gotten to said freedom was found in the mastering of the art of being invisible to those around her, but after an embarrassing video showcasing her trying to make herself vomit spreads around the school, she begins to get recognized, mocked, and withheld from the joy she once found in being ignored. June, though, is a character grounded in ideals of hope, as she believes that her eating disorders, anxieties, and feelings of embarrassment will be alleviated and stripped from her reputation the minute she walks across the stage and finally graduates.
June’s biggest adversary in the novel is neither her eating disorder nor her peers’ perceptions but rather the unrealistic standards to which she compares and holds herself to. A catalyst for these expectations is her sister, Mae. Mae personifies the word "perfect" and is every accident-prone little sister’s worst nightmare. Mae has mastered the art of meticulously crafting and "[creating] the world she wants to live in.” Furthermore, Mae has been able to find the golden ticket to freedom that June has been searching for her entire life. In turn, June envies her sister's constant state of comfort and peace and her inability to succumb to peer pressure or social norms.
As the narrator tries to adjust herself to the metaphorical turned physical idea of "fitting in," recurring themes of dividing, fitting, and squeezing into intrinsic and extrinsic molds are discussed throughout the novel. The idea of fitting into molds of happiness and pique physicality has never been appealing to her, but under recent stressful circumstances, June is learning to grapple between ideas of space and conformity.
Throughout this journey, June constantly tries to convince herself that she is better than her bulimic habits, but every time she begins to gain ground and make progress in developing healthy eating habits, she once again begins to fall under the influence of her self-deprecating inner critic. She begins to cut out foods that contain "sugar, fat, dairy, or carbs," fast on "Wednesdays and Sundays," and prefer "fruit and veggie smoothies as meal replacements." She also begins to deliberate over whether her hunger is a sickness or if she is sick because she is so hungry.
June’s habits also create issues within her household, with her sister Mae’s college acceptance seen as "tidying up all the loose ends" and her mother’s boyfriend Bill having an aversion to the phrase "respecting one’s privacy."
After taking a walk to escape these issues, June finds herself coming across the old Ten Pin bowling alley she once frequented as a child. After walking into Ten Pin, a wave of nostalgia washes over her, and memories of her father flash like spotlights across her mind. Believing that she can reincarnate these experiences, June forks over enough dollar bills to play one game. June is confronted on her poor technique while playing alone by the hearing-impaired, painfully “woke” Ricki. However, despite her initial annoyance, June allows Ricki to invade her personal space and provide her with the company she has been deprived of for the last few months, as she is "sick of being alone." Ricki proposes that the cure for this feeling of isolation is to join the bowling team, but after meeting the gangly, awkward members of the team, June initially does not accept her proposal. Weeks later, though, following an interaction with her neighbor Tony, June winds up at one of the team’s practices. She begins to find solace in their comfort, as they, unlike her other classmates, don’t perceive her to be a mentally ill spectacle.
June’s newfound self-confidence, a product of being on the bowling team and dating her teammates' older brother Benny, gives her the strength she needs to reconcile with her mother, Bill, and Mae; and, at their request, she begins to see a counselor for guidance and mental wellness. During these sessions, June begins to find self-fulfillment and understand that no matter how hard she tries to get skinnier or become someone she is not, she will always take up space. She also pledges to become, once again, "honest, open, and brave enough to embrace who she is."
The biggest issue that plagues the novel is the lack of a climax and back story. Without these two crucial components, it feels as though the ending is rushed and there is a lack of character development. Otherwise, though, "Always June" is a relatable, fun poetry novel that is sure to engage most young readers.
Going back to June's story was definitely more intense with the aftermath of her video.
The story not only picked up right where the first book left off, but it continued to tackle eating disorder recovery in an honest and realistic way. She doesn't really have any friends to connect with until she stumbles into the girls on the bowling team.
This time we see more of June's family story, her mother also deals with something similar to eating disorder.
Towards the end she begins to form friendship with her bowling team and also goes on a date with someone who actually cares for her.
Such a realistic and relatable expression of eating disorders. I truly appreciate this collection and the authors tone with their work.
A continuation of June's story from Not Hungry, again focusing on her eating disorder, except this time there is a light at the end of the tunnel, in the form of all things: Bowling! June still struggles with her disorder, fights with her sister and mother and now mother's fiancee', who truly seems to be the only one with his eyes open to June's addiction. I was surprised at the addition of Bowling to the mix. An interesting way to distract her from her addiction and a path to a healthy life.
In this stunning sequel to 'Not Hungry,' we see June continue to find herself, and deal with her ED ... which I'm glad doesn't just magically disappear at some point, as if all you need is a friend or whatever.
I actually enjoyed this more than the first book (though I also gave that 5 stars) - it just seemed to have more depth to it, and I dunno whether it's because it's a sequel or not, but the author seemed to dig deeper in this story, and I really appreciated that!
As always, I love how these stories are short and to the point. No wasted words.
I kinda want a book three haha
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