Published by Blink on May 21, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Retellings
Source: The Publisher, Blog Tour
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
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.
Ashlyn has lived her life trying to measure up to her father’s expectations, but it’s always been a losing battle. So, even when he ends up in prison for tax evasion, he somehow still has a hold over her that she can’t quite break. She’s shipped off to work at a wilderness camp with her cousin—something she never would have chosen for herself—and she spends the summer wishing she could just go back home again. But the camp teaches her a few things about how capable she truly is, and she starts to realize that if she wants change, she’ll have to learn to speak up—as terrifying as that is for her.
I felt for Ashlyn, and I could relate to her inability to speak up and her desperate need to avoid conflict. And I think almost any teen will understand Ashlyn’s sense of powerlessness in a situation that feels out of her control. There’s a teensy bit of a love triangle involved in the book, so if you absolutely hate those, you’ve been warned—though honestly, in this case it’s more about Ashlyn growing and learning what type of guy she really wants in her life and why. So it’s less about the actual romantic decision than it is about Ashlyn figuring out how to take charge of her own life and not just let a guy lead her along.
One note: This book is billed as a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, but I’ll warn you that it’s a very loose retelling—you’ll have to really search for tenuous connections between the fairy tale and this story.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read with an MC I was rooting for. I’m hoping that June will revisit these characters in future books.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
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. Chris-tina 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.
5 Finished copies of No Place Like Here + book poster (USA only)