4 STAR REVIEW
Thank you so much to Blink Publishers and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
This was my first novel by Christina June and I was hooked right from the beginning. I know a lot of people said it was a modern Hansel and Gretel retelling, which loosely put it could be, but I thought of it more as a YA contemporary.
Ashlynn can’t wait to be back home after spending a year at boarding school away from her parents. But then she finds out her dad is going to prison for tax evasion, and she found out not from her parents but from social media. And to add the cherry on top, her mom is going to rehab for “exhaustion” aka depression. She gets shipped off to spend the summer with her relatives that she barely knows and starts a summer job at a wilderness camp that their daughter Hannah works at.
I automatically fell in love with the main character Ashlynn. I felt so bad for her at the beginning when she found out both of her parents were pretty much abandoning her and she had to go live with her Uncle and Aunt that she hasn’t seen in forever. The way her tyrant Dad treated her about made me want to cry and then the sweet way her Mom acted toward her when her Dad wasn’t around made me want to cry again. But then when she actually started becoming happy and finally made friends with Hannah my heart just soared. You can’t help but want to root for her the whole novel. Yeah, she messed up once but what happened to her was really not her fault at all and her Dad just couldn’t drop his ways and see that.
I also really loved the character of Baxter. He was so tentative with her and soft-spoken at first and then really opened up at Ashlynn. He didn’t try to be the macho douchebag like Marcus, he actually helped with Ashlynn’s family problems and was always there to help her (and rescue her!) and was an amazing friend.
This is definitely a perfect summer read about family issues and learning how to trust new people even when you can’t trust your own family.
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. 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.