Nick and June Were Here by @shalandastanley


Tera’s 3.5 Blush Review

Nick and June Were Here is the perfect YA title alone to pull me in. The blurb made me slightly more skeptical, but YA books dealing with mental illness are one of my favorites so I figured I’d give this a go!

I’ll preface by saying the writing was exceptional as I was able to read the story very quickly. And it was overall enjoyable. The parts I didn’t like are parts other people may really enjoy.

June is ridiculously smart and comes from a supportive and loving family. Nick is the boy from the wrong side of town with an unsavory upbringing believing he had no choice in the matter of his future.

But once June gets diagnosed with schizophrenia and Nick gets arrested again, the story fell apart for me. These two smart, but troubled teens just repeatedly make poor decisions. It didn’t seem to fully fit the characters that had been built up so far.

Bethany (the best friend) and Nick broke their promise to June to keep her safe, but once Nick and June take off together, it seemed like a moot point.

In the end, the choices were finally the right ones, in my opinion, but this book felt like it was screaming for an epilogue. I think that alone could have tied up my feelings.


Product description

Girl in Pieces meets All the Bright Places in this heartbreaking story of two teens who are determined to stay together in a world tearing them apart.

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?

This emotional, lyrical novel will tug at your heartstrings and make you think twice about what you would give up for love, even if it’s a piece of yourself.

About the Author

Shalanda Stanley grew up in Louisiana and earned her BA in creative writing at Florida State University. She has a MEd in special education from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a PhD from LSU in curriculum and instruction, with a focus in reading curriculum and research. She’s an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe in the School of Education. Follow her on Twitter at @ShalandaStanley and learn more at

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