It's 1987. June Elbus is a sensitive and lonely 14-year-old girl living in New York. The only person she is close to, who understands her, is her best friend Uncle Finn. The story begins just as Finn's life is cut short from AIDS, which at the time was a mysterious and misunderstood disease. After his death, June forms an unlikely friendship with Finn's partner Toby, a man she never knew existed until now, the same man the rest of her family blames for Finn's illness. June and Toby connect over their profound grief and love for Finn. Along the way, June also learns some revelations about her family, her uncle, and herself. This quiet yet heartbreaking novel touches upon so many themes: loss, grief, jealousy, missed opportunities, and redemption. A sweet, sad, and unforgettable debut book.
Recommended by Leah Staab