The June Boys

The June Boys

by Court Stevens


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The Gemini Thief could be anyone.

Your father, your mother, your best friend’s crazy uncle.

Some country music star’s deranged sister. Anyone.

Someone is stealing Tennessee’s boys.


The Gemini Thief is a serial kidnapper, who takes three boys and holds them captive from June 1st to June 30th of the following year. The June Boys endure thirteen months of being stolen, hidden, observed, and fed before they are released, unharmed, by their masked captor. The Thief is a pro, having eluded authorities for nearly a decade and taken at least twelve boys.

Now Thea Delacroix has reason to believe the Gemini Thief has taken a thirteenth victim: her cousin, Aulus McClaghen.

But the game changes when one of the kidnapped boys turns up dead. Together with her boyfriend Nick and her best friends, Thea is determined to find the Gemini Thief and the remaining boys before it’s too late. Only she’s beginning to wonder something sinister, something repulsive, something unbelievable, and yet, not impossible:

What if her father is the Gemini Thief?

Praise for The June Boys:

“Not only a terrifying story of the missing, but a heartbreaking, hopeful journey through the darkness.” —MEGAN MIRANDA, New York Times bestselling author of The Last House Guest

“Stunning twists and turns. Hang on tight.” —RUTA SEPETYS, international bestselling author

“A gripping suspense that hooked me from the first sentence.” —COLLEEN COBLE, USA TODAY bestselling author of One Little Lie and the Lavender Tides series

“I was hooked and couldn’t stop reading.” —CATHERINE BOCK, book buyer for Parnassus Books

  • Full-length, stand-alone Young Adult suspense novel
  • Includes Discussion Questions for Book Clubs

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780785221906
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 03/03/2020
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 139,293
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Court Stevens grew up among rivers, cornfields, churches, and gossip in the small-town South. She is a former adjunct professor, youth minister, and Olympic torchbearer. These days she writes coming-of-truth fiction and is the community outreach manager for Warren County Public Library in Kentucky. She has a pet whale named Herman, a bandsaw named Rex, and several novels with her name on the spine: Faking Normal, The Lies About Truth, the e-novella The Blue-Haired Boy, Dress Codes for Small Towns, and Four Three Two One. Find Court online at; Instagram: @quartland; Facebook: CourtneyCStevens; Twitter: @quartland.

Customer Reviews

The June Boys 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
diane92345 22 days ago
“The FBI found a body in Baxter, Tennessee, this morning. Juvenile. Male. Dumped on the side of the highway and phones in by a motorist who had to pee and couldn’t wait.” Could it be the first death among The June Boys? Could it also be narrator Thea’s cousin Aulus? Called the Thief, a kidnapper snatches three boys in Tennessee on June 1st every other year. The victims are held for 13 months in an underground bunker. Then, they are left alive on the side of the highway. This year, four boys are taken and one is far. Why is the Thief changing his m.o. and why now, eight years and 14 kidnapped boys later? The pacing of The June Boys seemed odd. The conclusion was rather farfetched. Unfortunately, not one of my favorites and not recommended. 2 stars. Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
HeidiBee 26 days ago
I really enjoyed this book. The pace was fast and I really had no idea how it would end. I finished well into the night, just couldn't put it down. I had to know who the Gemini Thief was. The ending did not disappoint. there were several twists near the end that i really did not see coming. The characters are honestly flawed, but it a good way. It made them all seem more human. It also made it really hard to figure out who was taking the boys. I usually can figure out how a book is going to end, at least a little. I truly did not see this ending coming. I really loved the fact that this wasn't like every other thriller/mystery out there. It has a very unique plot and I found it very entertaining. I can't wait to see what comes next from the author. Thanks to the publisher for the free copy, I was not required to leave a review.
ShesGoingBookCrazy 20 days ago
I'm excited to be a part of the THE JUNE BOYS blog tour with The Fantastic Flying Book Club from March 3rd - March 9th, 2020! I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review. All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication. Content Warning: Kidnapping, Death of a minor, Imprisonment, Abandonment, Shooting by gun, Survival "We live in a strange world where women walk men to their vehicles, where we are worried their safety might be compromised before our own." June 1st is a feared date for young men. The Gemini Thief has kidnapped boys for a decade--always on June 1st. After his disappearance, Thea believes that her cousin, Aulus McClaghen, had become one of the Thief’s captives. The boys are always returned home the following year on June 31st. That is, until one of the kidnapped boy’s body is found along the notorious highway where the kidnappings take place. The Gemini Thief is very good at what they do. They never leave tracks. They kidnap without a hitch. They do it all for…? Why would someone kidnap boys only to return them thirteen months later, for the most-part, unharmed? This mystery employs all matters of investigation when it comes down to uncovering the truth of their identity. Unfortunately for Thea Delacroix, she believes the kidnapper may be her father. "You meet Noah after the flood, you think, That brave, faith-filled, visionary man. You meet him before and you’re like, What a nut job. Perspective and timing matter. Sometimes you have to accept that you might not be able to see the truth from here." As Thea partners up with her boyfriend Nick to uncover the truth behind the kidnappings, they also uncover strange secrets that Thea’s father has been keeping from Thea for years. Abandoned by her mother long ago, Thea’s father and his eccentricities has left her somewhat abandoned by him as well. The secrets and obsessions all begin to point to the true question, could he be the kidnapper? The June Boys reads like one big conversation--but not a pleasant one due to the content discussed. In truth, the e-ARC was not very reader-friendly, which hopefully won’t be the case with the completed Ebook (which I can’t imagine that won’t be formatted differently). The story is written in third person and alternates between the main character Thea, and “Dear Elizabeth” letters written by Aulus, Thea’s kidnapped cousin. The June Boys ultimately touches on several important aspects, but focuses on desires that emerge from past hurts combined with mental health, and how those desires can turn into something dangerous. Several important discussion starters are brought up throughout the entire investigation of this story, that I wish overall were delved into more deeply. When the kidnapper is revealed, the motivation behind the kidnapping is heart-wrenching and much more complex than someone looking for a twisted “thrill.” The discussion questions at the conclusion do offer the opportunity for deeper personal examination on some of the points touched on throughout the story. Overall, this riveting read offers a complex look at some of the most difficult scenarios life can throw at unsuspecting individuals. Vulgarity: None. Sexual content: Kissing. Violence: Minimal to Moderate considering the nature of the story. My Rating: ★★★
Shannon_Miz 20 days ago
True story, I have never read a Courtney Stevens book I didn't love. That's it, that's the review. I jest. Seriously though, this was another hit in a long line of fabulous books. The June Boys is a gripping mystery, but it's also a lot more. It's such a love letter to friendship and family bonds, and asks the really hard questions. Like what would you do if you thought your family member might be capable of kidnapping boys every few Junes? This, along with her own cousin/close friend Aulus being potentially one of the kidnapped, has Thea in a real bad spot. Not only is she absolutely freaking out over her missing cousin, but her own father has been listed as a suspect. And there's the rub: He has been lying to Thea all over the place, so she has no idea who she can trust at this point. So this book was, like I said, far more than just a whodunit. Thea has such a deep and complex story to tell, and we get to see her story develop with her best friends and boyfriend, too. They support her so much through this, and are great characters in their own right. There were a few points in the middle that seemed maybe a little long? But for the most part, it moved along nicely, and I was constantly trying to guess who the baddie was. For a few minutes, I was sure I had the culprit. (Spoiler: I was wrong. So wrong.) But I was engaged throughout, and couldn't wait to read the outcome. We even get little glimpses into Aulus's traumatic time in captivity, as he writes letters to Elizabeth Smart. Now, if you are reading an eARC like I was, these will look like mushy rubbish that you cannot decipher. Good news, when I got a physical ARC, they are readable, and I definitely think they add something to the story- especially if you know Elizabeth's story, as Aulus does, and commiserates with. (I assume that obviously finished copies will be fine, I don't know about finished ebooks though?) Bottom Line: The June Boys is thought provoking, full of love and mystery and intrigue, full of what we lose and what we have yet to find.
Anonymous 20 days ago
I have passed on most thriller/mystery novels over the past few years due to them all sounding like the same plotline, and they usually are. This one, however, seemed pretty intriguing. Court Stevens does a great job setting up the storyline of boys being kidnapped and then release a year and month later. Can you guess what month? The part that piqued my interest was why they were being returned? Most thriller/mystery ends with the kidnapped dying or some epic way of being found, they, in this case, were being released. The main character Thea narrates the whole story. She is strong, brave and thinks through everything. Court Sevens also adds in letters that one of the kidnapped boys writes. This definitely allows us as the reader to get to know the boys on a more personal level and what they are going through. I would try and guess who the kidnapper was and the motives, but there were so many twists and turn that I was surprised who it was at the very end! It was a great quick read. I hate most people gave low stars based on the formatting of the PDF ARC and not the story itself. Highly recommend for high schoolers and up.
Terhill 21 days ago
I was delighted to receive this book as an ARC and to read it earlier than its release date, unfortunately I feel like I had too high expectations and left out of it a bit disappointed. The book read like an episode from the TV show Criminal Minds but instead of following a team of adults that know what they're doing we were stuck with teenagers. We follow Thea, Nick, Gladys and Tank while they try to find their friend, and Thea's cousin, Aulus that had been kidnapped by the Gemini Thief. I think my major problem was the writing, it was definitely not for me as I found myself most of the times lost and also had a hard time to memorize who was who and what role they played in the story therefore having a hard time trying to connect with the characters. Though I must say the book started to get way more interesting half-way through it, the pace started to pick up and I was actually curious and enthralled on what was happening, unlike in the beginning that I found myself quite bored by it. I didn't find the reveal of who the Gemini Thief was that far-fetched as it had crossed my mind once. I just thought that it was a couple thing and Griff and Ruby were on it together. I like what the author did with it and how she decided to play it out. I would say I was shocked by the reveal that Aul and Tank were alone in the bunker and that Zared and Rufus were all inside Aul's head (as they had died in the flood of their previous bunker). If I had to choose a favourite "thing" from this book it would have to be The Elizabeth Letters that Aul wrote in case they were found dead or never found. I really enjoyed the format as it was something new to me and how it gave the reader the insight of what the June Boys were doing and going through.
HollyLovesBooks4Us 24 days ago
This was such a slow starting book that I had to DNF it. I try not to do this, especially if I plan to leave a review. There were issues with the writing, in terms of consistency with plot and what people knew about the mystery. I also was not sure about the formatting or the pacing. Just not for me. Thank you for the eARC and hopefully the finished version will address some of these problems. #TheJuneBoys #Netgalley I've seen that possibly the final version is edited to address some of these issues, so if it sounds intriguing to you, do not let the early negative posts dissuade you from picking it up.
PreppyBookQueen 26 days ago
I hadn't personally head of The June Boys before stumbling across it on NetGalley, but once I read the synopsis I was instantly intrigued. I have loved a lot of young adult thrillers in the past, and I knew I needed to read this one. I was prepared for a spine chillingly, scary story that would keep me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. However, that wasn't the experience I ended up having with this one, and I have to say that it left me extremely disappointed. To start with, I really couldn't get into the story. I found the beginning dragged heavily, and it never really did pick up. While it does get a bit more interesting as more details of the kidnapping are revealed, the plot never really did grab my attention, and I basically had to force myself to want to keep reading this one. I've never personally read any of Courtney C Stevens' other novels before, so I'm not sure if this book is characteristic of her usual writing style or not. However, I found the writing in this one to be too character driven, especially since most of the characters are never developed enough to make the reader truly care about them. The writing was also extremely confusing for me, and I felt a lot of description occurs for details that never mattered, but actual information that would have helped to better engage me with the plot was left underdeveloped and on the sidelines. I basically forced myself to keep reading this one, as even though I was not enjoying it, I still wanted to find out who the mysterious Gemini Thief was. However, I thought the ending was so disappointing, and not the huge surprise reveal I was wanting. While I don't think the thief was completely obvious, it definitely wasn't what I prepared for, and I think anyone paying close attention throughout will probably end up feeling the same. I'm also usually a fan of when extra storytelling details are scattered throughout stories, since I'm a huge fan of books that are told in epistolary style. However, I didn't think the letters used to tell part of the story worked well within this one, and only left this reader more confused than anything. I will say that since I did read an advance copy of this one, I'm hoping most of the formatting issues with the letters will be fixed before it's released, but I still didn't think they added much to the story. When the ending does happen, and part of the big reveal is made, I didn't think that all of the questions I had were truly answered, and I ended up still feeling confused on certain parts of the story. Plus, I really could have done without the various letters devoted to giving the reader details on how the boys were surviving on drinking urine. All in all, when I picked this one up, I expected a thrilling, and exiting story that would have me thinking about it for weeks to come. However, I wasn't expecting the story I got, and I'm honestly disappointed as I think so much more could have been done with this amazing story idea. I personally don't recommend this one, and I can't say that I will prioritize reading a book from this author in the future. Final Rating: 2/5 Thanks so much to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the opportunity to advance read this! I received a complimentary advance reader copy of this novel that I voluntarily read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to give a positive review.
Jennifuhr 26 days ago
The Gemini Thief is a serial kidnapper who takes three boys from June 1st to June 30th of the following year. The June Boys are held for thirteen months before being released. They aren’t harmed, only observed and cared for except for this year when one of the boys turns up dead. Along with the death of this boy another has been taken which is out of the ordinary. Thea Delacroix’s cousin Aulus is missing and she believes he has been taken by the Gemini Thief. Together with her friends Thea tries to piece together what has happened to Aulus and tries to save him and the other boys before it’s too late. This story sounded so interesting and so promising. Unfortunately it fell a bit flat for me. I think part of the reason is because of the formatting of the e-arc. There are letters in this which are almost unreadable at times because of how it was formatted. I would have to skip ahead a few pages to finish a sentence, then backtrack to read the next paragraph. This would take me out of the story and honestly leave me a bit frustrated. Besides that I did enjoy the mystery of the story and trying to figure out who the Gemini Thief is and where the boys were being held. Part of the plot is that Thea’s father could be the Gemini Thief and it was interesting to think what if someone that close to you could be this horrible person? I didn’t enjoy that aspect at first, but as the story progressed I liked how Thea wasn’t sure who to trust and she started to second guess everything. I did have trouble at times remembering which characters were which. There were quite a few who didn’t have much of a personality which left it hard to distinguish who they were just by their name. As well as some of the relationships just didn’t make sense or weren’t explained well at all. Also, I felt like the amount of information the FBI was giving to Thea and her friends was unrealistic. Thea’s boyfriend's sister is in the FBI and she would basically give them evidence and help them along the way, which would never happen in real life and made it hard to believe. If this was formatted correctly I think this would have been more of an enjoyable read. It had such an interesting concept and I enjoyed the writing when I was able to follow it. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.