The Fifteenth of June by Brent Jones #BookReview

I love to read! Growing up, my mom’s way of “punishing” me was insisting I put down my book for a moment and go outside to play in the good ol’ Georgia sunshine. I’d grumble to myself while reluctantly placing a worn Harry Potter paper bookmark into whatever romance or fantasy book I was reading at the time. Outside was fun, but diving into an imaginary world of heroes, love, and mischief was even more exciting.

Fast forward to present day, and I still manage to read about 25 books a year. Not so shabby for a 27-year-old business owner. Not too shabby at all.

So last November when my husband Brent Jones said that he was thinking of writing a novel, I was all for it. I mean, what bookworm doesn’t like having her very own in-house author? I’ve already submitted a half a dozen book requests but I have a funny feeling that his ideas are much better than mine.

I’m pleased to introduce Brent’s debut novel The Fifteenth of June! Before I dive into what it’s all about, can I brag about my husband for a bit?

Who Is Brent Jones?

Besides being my devilishly handsome partner, Brent has launched his career as an independent author quite successfully, if I do say so myself. His experience in sales and marketing gives him an edge that very few other authors can claim.

His writing style seems to focus on an anti-hero style of main character, displaying their chance to change/grow/improve. This is his first novel so I’m looking forward to seeing how his overarching style develops.

Oh and, he’s killing it on social media right now. Check out his Instagram.

I’ve put his official bio below:

From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his freelance career as a social media manager to pursue creative writing full-time. The Fifteenth of June is his debut novel.

Jones is working on his sophomore release from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, (mostly) vegetarian, the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex, and a devoted “Instagram husband.”

Brent Jones Fifteenth of June collage

What It’s All About

The Fifteenth of June is a coming of age story featuring a guy named Drew. Drew is in his late twenties and he’s going through some character defining lows: a 5 year relationship ending, his father being diagnosed with terminal cancer, and losing his job.

To numb his pain (and his depression) he turns to drugs and alcohol, meets this sex bunny, and gets in a fight with his brother. Overall, he’s down in the dumps.

Things start looking up for him when he randomly meets this awesome person who helps him turn his life around. All in all, it’s a story about second chances and learning to be happy with yourself.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Twenty-eight-year-old Drew Thomson is haunted by a troubled past. After struggling for years with alcoholism and antisocial behavior, he ends a stable relationship with his girlfriend and finds himself without a home, job, or purpose.

Just as he learns that his father is terminally ill, he meets a stranger who offers him a flicker of hope for a better future. But is he ready to bury the past?

Rich with dark humor and a keen insight into the human condition, this debut fictional release from author Brent Jones delves into life’s most pressing trials–destructive relationships, love, loss, and pursuing happiness.

Click Here to Learn More

Brent Jones Fifteenth of June

My Thoughts

I feel like ya’ll are going to think I’m biased, but I challenge you to read this review from the perspective of a book nerd and not the wife of an author. K?

I thoroughly enjoyed The Fifteenth of June. Overall, I felt like the story was a compelling read in that it was easy to go from chapter to chapter, the characters were nicely developed, and the plot was enjoyable with a few nice surprises. So far, I’ve actually read the book three times in total.

Character Development

The character development was on point. One of my favorite things about reading is getting to see a character react to life as it happens.

Drew’s internal dialogue was spot on in this book! His dry humor and self-deprecating wit read as very realistic. He was actually kind of an unlikeable character in the beginning because of his “I don’t give a shit” attitude. By the end of the book, I was rooting for him to get it together!

Honestly, I feel like his whole experience was a relatable one. The way his character goes from super bummed out to… well, not so bummed out was fantastic. As a reader, it was easy to see the progress and the changes he made. He definitely had a lot to overcome.

My favorite character was Sierra. I’m not going to give any spoilers but I will say that she was super funny and I loved her confidence. My least favorite character was Kara. God, I felt like she was so childish and oversexualized. Can anyone say daddy issues? Jesus. I didn’t understand why Drew was so hung up on her. It definitely spoke to his self-destructive state of mind.

The author did a great job of developing the personalities of the minor characters as well. A few of my favorites were the drug dealer Marcus and his co-worker nicknamed Bubbles.

Plot and Setting

The novel starts off in a crowded bar and the juxtaposition of that and Drew’s overall demeanor was very good. Even the name of the bar — the “Stone Goblin” was a fabulous choice. Despite the town being fictitious, the names of the other places in the book like Hillcrest Cemetery, Northwood Park, and Transtel felt strangely familiar.

Overall, the plot surrounds the tragic events that happened on The Fifteenth of June. By the end of the book, you’re left wondering what impact that date had on Drew’s life choices and if things would be different if he didn’t let it impact him so much.

Favorite Quotes

“He pondered his turmoil, wondering which he feared most — losing his father or being alone in the world. Both were inevitable. Neither could be stopped or slowed down. All he could do now was brace for impact.”

“It’s like everyone has their own little recipe for happiness, but no one really seems all that happy.”

“Happiness isn’t something you work toward, the same way misery isn’t something you work toward.”

Where Can You Buy It?

The Fifteenth of June is available on Amazon and in local bookstores & libraries here in Niagara Region.

Click here to get a FREE SAMPLE of The Fifteenth of June

Visit Brent’s website for more information: http://authorbrentjones.com/

Don’t forget to follow Brent Jones on social media as well.

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Andrea Jones - OnlineDrea - Headshot

Author: Andréa Jones

Hi, I’m Andréa — an inspirational and lifestyle blogger determined to live a life that doesn’t just look good, but one that also *feels* good. As a digital & social media enthusiast determined to create a life that I look forward to every day, SimplyAndrea.com is a digital journal chronicling my advice, adventures, and attempts at living fearlessly.

What do you think?

  • What a wonderful review, my love! Thank you. I appreciate the appearance of my book next to King President Gibson, as well.

    I never thought of describing Kara as a “sex bunny” but I like it. In truth, she was one of my favorite characters to write because her actions had so few consequences. One reviewer on Amazon described her as the “bad girl” in my story, but that wasn’t how I intended to depict her. She’s neither good nor bad—morality is all in the perspective—she just has her own issues to sort out, and she serves as a distraction to Drew while he sorts out his own.

    As far as writing flawed characters and antiheroes, I think that will always be central to my writing—sin and atonement, the road to redemption, and all that. I think it’s a universal theme most of us can relate to, and truth is always stranger than fiction. Battling our own demons is much more interesting to me than battling external forces… vampires or zombies, for example.

    You know I love your ideas for stories, by the way. Take my next novel, for example, that I’m currently writing. Yes, I had the plot points in my head, but it was you who suggested setting the story over the course of a road trip. I immediately identified with the symbolism of the idea, especially considering that one of the protagonists is a dog.

    Thanks again for spreading the word about my work. Your love and support means so much to me.

    Brent