June struggles through her teenage years with a truly terrifying step-mother who torments her. And it wasn't just nasty comments and the occasionally back hand, it was over-feeding, making June eat dog food off the floor, nearly drowning her with ice cubes, sneaking into her room and cutting her hair. These are the parts that made me physically sick, it was just awful what June suffered through. The one thing that June could count on was her best friend Blister.
Living a few miles away, Blister was June's secret and she went there to escape home. But June didn't tell Blister how bad things were because she was scared he wouldn't believe her. Especially at age 10, I just felt so sorry for June, how the world had completely turned against her with her absent father, horrible classmates and untrusting teachers. No one should go through any of this, definitely not a child.
Quite a lot of the taunts were incredibly racist. At some point, you've got to wonder what happened to June's stepmother that made her so utterly horrible. But it was also the kids at school; June must have been the only kid in town with dark skin and that must have been a foreign concept to the school kids because they tormented her - pulling her hair, calling her names, painting her skin. It made my skin crawl and all I wanted was to pull her out of their and give her a hug.
The whole story made me sick and super uncomfortable; even though it was very compelling and well written, I really struggled to pick it up and plough through. I'm glad I did, it's a very important story, especially how June feels trapped and limited in who she thinks she can tell.
Published 30th June 2016 by Electric Monkey. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.