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.
What I Liked: You guys know I can’t resist a good summer camp book, despite never having gone to summer camp myself and never actually wanting to go. But make me feel like I’m there from the comfort of my couch, and I’m in. This one had me thinking of
the whole time (If you’re too young to know what I’m talking about, I’m so sorry you’ve missed this masterpiece film during your formative years and I beg you to rectify it by finding somewhere to stream Heavyweights immediately),
even though they have nothing at all in common, except they’re both being run by someone completely unqualified.
♥ I love that Ashlyn is a quote nerd, since I’m one myself. The ones that inspire her are very different than the ones I like, so I liked being exposed to some different stuff. One thing I didn’t like about this was her obsession with writing them down everywhere, in essence vandalizing the world. She was forever writing, or digging, or carving her quotes into door jams, chairs, tree trunks, the inside of drawers. I like the idea that someone else might see that right when they need it, I just don’t like messing up something that doesn’t belong to you. Like, maybe it could go on a sticky note or something? I don’t know.
♥ Ash & Hannah–I adored watching this cousin relationship grow and flourish, maybe because it reminded me of my cousin who’s graduating high school this year and how close we’ve been getting the past few months (hi, Charlotte!). Like Charlotte and me, Ash and Hannah didn’t spend much time around one another growing up, all due to their parents. So when they finally reconnect it takes them a bit to get their bearings, but once they do, their relationship really takes off and nothing comes between them.
♥ This book isn’t about a romance, even though there are two in it. Neither of them take over the story. This is actually a story about family, and it’s pretty heavy. There’s a lot of verbal abuse from Ashlyn’s father, and it takes her awhile to call it what it is. There’s also talk of depression, and a parent in prison, if any of those are a trigger for you.
Favorite Quotes: “Even small tasks can be useful and make a difference in someone’s day.“
“He’d shown me what was out there, and I knew I’d carry that with me.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters. Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and daughter.
She is the author of IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE, EVERYWHERE YOU WANT TO BE, and the forthcoming NO PLACE LIKE HERE.
Prize: 5 Finished copies of No Place Like Here + book poster (USA only)