No Place Like Here

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

I do love to read coming-of-age YA novels, so I was intrigued by the blurb to this book. I was also intrigued by the idea of it being related to the tale of Hansel and Gretel. I have to admit that I had a hard time following that parallel, but it has been years since I last read that. But I didn't need the connection to appreciate this book and inhale it in one sitting.

Ashlyn made a mistake in her past choices. She has spent the last year repenting in a way, and I dislike her father a lot for being so hard on her. The more that she reveals about her father's demands for perfection out of her and her mother, the less I like him and the more I feel sorry for her. She's had an easy life, relatively speaking in a financial sense, but has to carry around this burden of that omnipresent voice in her head telling her that her thoughts and actions are inappropriate. She doesn't know how to be true to herself, but you can tell that she wants to discover how to do this. 

She also wants to reconnect with her family and her home live after having been sent away to school for the past year. But of course, her father has now been arrested and is going away to prison for a while. Her mother is completely unable to cope and sinks into a deep depression, so she is going away to a rehab facility of sorts to help her through this. Meanwhile, Ashlyn is being shoved off onto her aunt and uncle briefly until she has to start work at a resort that specializes in helping people to learn how to trust and to empower themselves. 

As expected, Ashlyn goes through incredible growth and discovers so much about herself and her strengths. She develops incredible leadership skills and forges relationships with some people she may not have otherwise. I love watching her journey and how she grows. 

I also love how much she loves words. She memorizes quotations, which she keeps in a quote journal. She has a tendency to write them down all over the place, thus leaving little breadcrumbs of inspiration for others to discover. I found myself even taking note of some of them.

I would also like to give kudos to the author for addressing mental health via Ashlyn's mom and how too often we like to sweep it under the rug and not acknowledge what is really going on.

I need to know where Ashlyn goes from here. And I am going to have to check out the rest of the series to find out more about her and her friends. (But fear not, this book definitely stands on its own.)

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This is my second Christina June book and I loved it just as much as the first I read of hers. I think that she is very underrated and her books need way more hype.
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NO PLACE LIKE HERE is about a girl trying to find herself after her life implodes when her dad goes to prison for tax evasion. It's a coming-of-age story full of interesting characters and a plot of self-discovery. Themes of family, friendship, self-worth, depression, and emotional abuse woven through the story make for a read with depth and plenty of heart.

It took me a little bit to love Ashlyn, but she eventually grew on me. I think some of that was because she's so different from me and she had a fairly cushy life in so many ways, but is so devastated by what happened while also being completely submissive. However, as the story moved on and more comes out about her family, I could see why she was like she was. Thank goodness she wasn't stuck-up, rude or bratty. She was used to being rich, but it didn't really go to her head. She also had this openness and vulnerability to her that I think fit this age and the circumstances really well. I liked seeing her open up to her cousin and some new friends at the retreat, which helped her to start to figure out what she wanted. I thought the author did really well with Ashlyn's voice as well as with her dreams and worries - perfect for the age and for what she was going through. The camp was a fun setting and added some nice twists to the story. I also liked that there was romance, but it wasn't the focal point of the story. The budding romance at the end felt genuine because the author didn't try to tie up everything all perfectly, which I appreciated. Having said that, the ending was really sweet and perfect for this story.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I really enjoyed reading this! It was interesting seeing how the classic Hansel and Gretel fairy tale was twisted into this contemporary story. The author made it her own and created a story easy to relate to, handling some difficult subjects, and creating a likable protagonist and some fun side characters. Recommended to contemporaneity YA fans, especially those who like their stories light on the romance.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Prism Book Tours, which did not require a positive review nor affect my review in any way.
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No Place Like Here was different than I expected. I don't know if it was because of my reading mood or what, but I found myself easily bored with the story. I didn't connect with the characters and couldn't even tell it was a retelling. The story was written well, it was just that I personally didn't connect with the story.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
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That cover is so beautiful I cannot stop staring at it! This book is both heavy and heartwarming. Ashlyn was a wonderful main character.
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A bit too fluffy for my liking. But I guess this was that sort of book. It's good if you're into cheesy feelings.
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No Place Like Here has a likeable lead female character who is sent off to camp when her Mom goes into rehab and her Dad is sent to prison for tax evasion. Ashlyn isn't happy about joining her cousin Hannah at a wilderness retreat, mainly because she wanted to stay home and hang out with her friends. Add in the fact that she has to work with an unorganized and careless camp manager, and you have a very unhappy camper. The novel was well written and will appeal to high school students.
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Basically, all of the teen drama you want in a summer read without the cringey scenes that sometimes comes with it. Very enjoyable read.
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I really feel for the MC's emotional neglect. Her father kept her arm's length in actions and wlrds and that still impacts the MC even when he is not near her. Her relationship with her father is honestly toxic.

I wish her relationship with her mother was more fleshed out though. It feels like they didn't have much of one."
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This was a fun easy summer read! I thought the characters were well drawn and I felt very connected to them. I don't always love YA but thought this book was not too juvenile.
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No Place Like Here is a thought-provoking coming of age story of finding your path in life when your parents want you to be something that you’re not.  I adored Ashlyn as she faced the challenges of having an over-bearing parent and trying to deal with the tremendous changes that was occurring in her life.  She was strong, smart and someone that you definitely wanted to have in your corner as a friend.  No Place Like Here was a story that made me laugh and cry at times and I hope everyone gets a chance to read this beautifully written story.
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Again, Christina June has turned a classic fairy tale into a turning point of realism with high school students. With a strong feel for teenagers today, this book has given students an avenue to be able to relate to. She includes strong character, some pretty funny antics (love the zip line episode), and of course, one liners we can all highlight. Our high school library will be proud to have the entire set of Christina June's books on our shelves.
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What a fresh breath of air! This kept me turning till the end! This was my first book by this author and I can't wait to read more!
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Cute read! I love books set at summer camp - they provide the perfect cosy background while still having some adventures.

Ashlyn's character development was really nicely done, and I especially appreciated two things. 1) The book emphasised how important therapy can be to improve your mental health. 2) There was some light romance, but mostly the story focussed on building friendships and improving family relationships.

I caught a few Hansel & Gretel references, but don't immediately see how it's a retelling. I did like the idea of Ashlyn leaving quotes everywhere like breadcrumbs (though not gonna lie it totally bothered me that she was technically defacing someone else's property). I loved that she was a quote hoarder like me.

I didn't realise that Tatum was a character in another book by Christina June until after I finished reading, but that was a cute touch. Fans of June will appreciate the cameos.

Thank you to NetGalley and Blink for providing me with a copy
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I have to admit, I didn’t love this book. While the moral of the story — the importance of finding your voice and standing up for yourself — is important, the plot was somewhat unremarkable.
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What better way to find out your father has been arrested for tax evasion than a Facebook post from your schoolmate's mother? Ashlyn's summer is already off to an awesome start with that news, but there's more: her mom's going to rehab for depression. And clearly she can't be trusted on her own, so Ash is being shipped off to relatives she barely knows. Forced to work with her cousin at a wilderness retreat, Ashlyn can't seem to escape her father's controlling hand even with him behind bars. But as summer throws its own set of challenges her way, Ashlyn is finding more and more of herself and the courage under the surface. 

I loved this book from the start. First of all, I am a sucker for a good girl/rich girl fall from grace kind of story. This wasn't *technically* that, because it was her dad's fault, and it's not like the story focused on the fallout at school or something. In a way, it felt the same, though. She's shipped off to relatives who barely know her, and her cousin is basically waiting for her to be a spoiled brat. And on top of that, she has to work at a summer camp. Er... sorry, it's a wilderness retreat for businesses and the like. Team building and stuff. But you can see why it has that "punishment" factor to it. 

Next, I love books that take place in the woods. Camps, wilderness retreats, the middle of a forest, you name it. So, I especially enjoyed the setting. I almost wish that the book had focused more on that! 

I liked the relationships that developed between Ashlyn and Hannah and Baxter, and even her parents. 

No spoilers. Just read it.
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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.
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This was such a cute book! I rather enjoyed it. 

*thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me this free ebook in exchange for an honest review*
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I would like to preface this review by saying that I love that this is a pseudo Hansel and Gretel re-telling. That being said, let's dive right in. While this a modern twist on the story you may know, it transcends what you might expect. While I never really understood Hansel and Gretel's parents in the original, June brings new life to these figures - allowing us a fascinating look both at Ashlyn's mother and also the relationship with her father. There are times we stand by and say nothing, afraid of rocking the gentle balance we've come to know, and when expectations pile up. 

While Ashlyn's story in No Place Like Here is very much one of self-discovery, finding one's strengths, and becoming in touch with speaking our feelings, I couldn't help becoming charmed with June's exploration of family. Ashlyn's mother checks into a clinic for her depression, while her dad is also in jail for tax evasion and this distance forces Ashlyn to look at all the spaces in between them. The heaps of expectations, stunned silences, and ways in which the family danced around each other.
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This was an excellent read, worthy of attention. Entertaining and poignant, I couldn't put it down. I will be reccomending this book!
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