Title: No Place Like Here
Author: Christina June
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Content Warnings: depression, parent in prison
Don’t have time to read the entire review? That’s okay! Scroll down to the very end for a TL;DR.
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Life leads you to unexpected places. Love brings you home.
Ashlyn Zanotti has big plans for the summer. She’s just spent a year at boarding school and can’t wait to get home. But when Ashlyn’s father is arrested for tax evasion and her mother enters a rehab facility for “exhaustion,” a.k.a. depression, her life is turned upside down.
The cherry on top? Ashlyn’s father sends her to work with a cousin she doesn’t even know at a rustic team-building retreat center in the middle of nowhere. A self-proclaimed “indoor girl,” not even Ash’s habit of leaving breadcrumb quotes—inspirational sayings she scribbles everywhere—can help her cope.
With a dangerously careless camp manager doling out grunt work, an overbearing father trying to control her even from prison, and more than a little boy drama to struggle with, the summer is full of challenges. And Ashlyn must make the toughest decision of her life: keep quiet and follow her dad’s marching orders, or find the courage to finally stand up to her father to have any hope of finding her way back home.
From Christina June, author of It Started with Goodbye and Everywhere You Want to Be, comes No Place Like Here, a modern twist on Hansel and Gretel.
No Place Like Here was the first book I’ve read by Chrstina June, and while I didn’t love it, I’m definitely interested in reading more. Her writing style was light and care-free, making this a quick story perfect for a lazy summer day. It reminded me a lot of Leah Konen’s Happy Messy Scary Love, but a much better version of it.
The characters were really great. I was worried at first because we’re thrown into things very quickly. Ashlyn finds out some upsetting news about her family and her world starts to crumble, but without having any background information on her or getting to know her beforehand I had a hard time feeling any sympathy for her. As the story went on and we came to know Ashlyn more this changed and I ended up only wanting the best for her.
The things we’re afraid of are almost never as scary as they are in our imagination.no place like here by christina june
June’s main protagonist doesn’t completely steal the show; she also gave readers a great cast of side characters. Hannah, Ashlyn’s cousin, felt spunky and full of life. I also loved the majority of the others working at the retreat and felt they each had something unique to add to the book. It was really great to see that while romance was something Ashlyn pursued, it didn’t take over everything. She spent a lot of time focusing on herself and who she wanted to be.
You’re more capable than you think.no place like here by christina june
One of the biggest themes in No Place Like Here was family. The dynamic of the Zanotti family felt so realistic and I related to a lot of it. I’m so glad that Ashlyn’s mother’s depression was talked about and dealt with instead of being brushed under the rug. We also see Ashlyn struggle with the anxiety of trying to live up to all of her father’s unrealistic demands and impossible expectations. Despite things not going great with her parents, Ashlyn is able to reconnect with her aunt, uncle, and cousin which really warmed my heart.
Do what makes you happy.no place like here by christina june
Overall, No Place Like Here was a book I’m glad I read! The passage of time was a little weird to me. It seemed like the majority of the summer was supposed to have passed but things felt like they were happening close together so I’m not entirely sure. If fluffy, quickly read, family themed reads that deal with important issues are your thing though, Christina June’s newest novel is definitely one you’ll want to pick up!
TL;DR: A quick read with some really great family themes and wonderful characters. Perfect for a lazy summer afternoon!
A finished copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
What: five finished copies of No Place Like Here + book poster
Who: US residents
When: starts 5/27/19 and ends 6/7/19
How: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter and don’t forget to read the rules!