No Place Like Here by Christina June
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.
Expected publication: May 21st 2019 by Blink
Order from Amazon HERE. *This is an affiliate link and I get a very small commission with a purchase from there.*
Author Guest Post:
Collected wisdom tells authors to steer clear of reading reviews. And, generally, I follow this advice. I no longer read reviews on Goodreads and retailer websites and I send up a little prayer that the review is a good one when a blogger tags me in a social media post. I believe my books are no longer mine once they land in the hands of readers, and that’s okay. I’m thrilled to share them. But, we authors still want readers to like our books and connect with the characters. Finding the balance between preserving my mental health and “just checking to see” can be tricky.
But what about when a book is brand new and you’re not sure if anyone will like it? This is something I’ve worried about with my latest novel, NO PLACE LIKE HERE. In the past, I’ve been praised for writing relatable characters, and knowing that the hero of my third book may not be come across as sympathetic has been something weighing on my mind. I cannot lie–I have been afraid to read reviews. No spoilers, but here are some things about Ashlyn Zanotti:
- She’s privileged. Ash has grown up with a rich father, a big house, expensive clothes, and fancy vacations. She’s never had a job. She wants for nothing in the way of tangible things.
- She’s smart. Ash has gotten straight A’s easily her whole life. She’s won awards and competitions.
- She makes poor romantic choices. Readers may remember that Ash’s boyfriend in IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE was instrumental in getting her, and her BFF, arrested, and subsequently banished to boarding school. In NO PLACE LIKE HERE, she’s attracted to an arrogant coworker and acknowledges he’s part of her pattern.
- She’s timid. Ashlyn keeps most of her thoughts to herself, and actively takes verbal abuse from her father without speaking up to herself.
She’s not terribly funny, she’s afraid of a lot of things, and she doesn’t take risks, ever. But, over the course of NO PLACE LIKE HERE, Ashlyn begins to realize that she is a lot more than that laundry list of not-amazing items. She starts to let people in and confront the things that need to be changed in her life. And she also realizes she has the power to become anything and anyone she wants. I kind of love her and it has been an absolute delight to see that she DOES resonate with readers. I’ve been told by earlier reviewers that they’ve felt just like she does, that they too had troubled relationships with adults in their teen years, and that they’ve felt powerless and just wanted to duck and cover from whatever is falling on top of them. Sure, there have been others who don’t connect with her as well, which is totally fine and to be expected, but knowing that this prickly girl made more than one reader feel seen—well, my heart is bursting.
I’ve read enough reviews at this point that I’m giving myself permission to let them go. My hero has found her readers and if she doesn’t find any more, that’s cool with me. I wrote her to give all those students of mine, and others like them, who have felt they don’t have a voice in their homes a hopeful ending. I hope you’ll give Ashlyn a shot!
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.
Thank you for taking the time to write a post for my blog, Christina. I really appreciate it.
Is this book on your TBR yet?