Book Review: Shannen Camp’s Finding June

16161787Title: Finding June
Author: Shannen Crane Camp
Genre: YA
Series: Yes / Book 1
Rating: 4 out of 5
My Copy: Purchased

Can we take a moment to discuss the cover? It’s beautiful! I love the vintage and Hollywood feel to it and it definitely goes hand in hand with the premise of Finding June. What I really like about it, are the clothes worn by the cover models because it is something June and her friend Joseph would wear.

Imagine for a moment having the opportunity of a lifetime: working alongside Hollywood’s heartthrob, Lukas Leighton. For sixteen-year-old June Laurie, her dream of being an actress is about to come true when she’s given the opportunity to audition for her favorite television series, Forensic Faculty. When she lands the job, she’s thrust into the Hollywood lifestyle and quickly learns the business. June believes everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt and soon finds out not everyone in the business, is who they appear to be. June is tested several times and she has to come to grips with her beliefs and the expectations of others.

It’s refreshing to read a book that goes behind the scenes of a television show, but isn’t too technical and you can tell Camp did her research. Although I have a slight theatre background, what goes on behind the camera in terms of filming or a table read (a little different from my own experience of a theatre table read) was pretty new to me. Camp takes us on June’s journey and every new experience she had, I felt it. I could feel her anxiousness while waiting see the casting director and when she first sees Lukas up close during her audition, I think I fainted alongside June! On her first day on the set, I could feel her butterflies and when she made friends among the cast, they became my friends too. It’s rare for author to evoke these feelings and I do believe readers will associate with June.

Finding June is Latter-Day Saint/Mormon centered with the mention of June and Joseph attending seminary. A good friend of mine explained seminary as a daily class you attend before regular school classes and it’s a way to study the scriptures in-depth. Camp doesn’t fully explain this, but you do get an idea of what it is as you read. Although the Mormon religion is at the center of the book, it is by no means preachy and I believe if you aren’t religious, you can still enjoy this book.

Character development is solid and I loved the fact June was strong and was able to stand up for herself on numerous occasions. For example, she’s uncomfortable with her clothes on set and asks the costume designer if it is possible to get something a little more modest. June daydreams of Lukas like any teen girl, but she isn’t your typical naive teenage heroine. Joseph points out that she’s too smart to go out with a man who is into bar hopping and has a different woman on his arm. June responds to him saying Lukas might be not be at the bar drinking and is there for the atmosphere. She’s careful to take in her settings and realizes her mistakes quickly. Furthermore, she doesn’t sit back waiting for things to happen, rather she makes them happen.

Overall Finding June is a charming read and you’ll thoroughly enjoy it.

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