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.
No Place Like Here really hit me right in the heart. I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did. We started off with Ashlyn as a kind of an unlikable character. She won’t tell her mom and dad what she wants and instead lets them make plans for her and just goes along with it, even if it’s something she doesn’t want.
So this is how she ends up staying with her aunt and uncle she barely knows and working with her cousin at a corporate camping retreat. My favorite thing was Ashlyn’s growth. She starts off not making great choices, but the further into the book the better choices she makes. She gets closer to her cousin and the two of them are a great team.
While this is going on, she’s struggling with her dad being in jail and her mom being in rehab working on managing her depression better. I thought these topics were handled really well. My mom did some time in jail and it was really hard on me. I thought this aspect of the book was portrayed thoughtfully and I could relate to the things that Ashlyn was feeling and going through.
I loved the way things ended in this story. Hopeful for better things, with Ashlyn and her mom reunited and trying to be more of a team. I loved the friendships and familial relationships. I will definitely be reading more of this author’s work.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.