No Place Like Here
Published May 21, 2019
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About NO PLACE LIKE HERE
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.
My favorite thing about Christina June’s writing is the way she voices her characters. I found Ashlynn, the main character in NO PLACE LIKE HERE, cute and funny and awkward, all super endearing qualities. She shows a lot of growth through the story, too, which I enjoyed.
I thought having her domineering, perfectionist dad in jail for tax fraud was an interesting element to the story, too. While I’ve read a couple other young adult books featuring characters with a parent or loved one in prison, it’s always for murder. I thought it was cool that NO PLACE LIKE HERE follows a family dealing with white collar crime and all the shame and weirdness that a kid might feel when she has a parent involved in something like that.
If you’re a big fan of summer camp stories, you’ll probably like this one. While it’s not a camp for kids, the retreat center where Ashlynn and her cousin work for the summer creates a lot of the same vibes as summer camp counselor stories. Ashlynn and her friends watch over kids in the pool and supervise activities like a zip line course and scavenger hunt. They develop a team spirit and share inside jokes.
NO PLACE LIKE HERE is the third novel in the story world created by Christina June. Each book features a different character from the first book, IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE, but you don’t have to read one before another, so if you’re unfamiliar with the collection, you can start with any book you want.
Recommended for Ages 12 up.
Ashlynn is Italian. Most other characters are white and straight.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
A girl and boy kiss.
Note: I received a free copy of NO PLACE LIKE HERE by Christina June in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links which cost you nothing but which help support this blog.