Blog Tour – ARC Review for No Place Like Here by Christina June

blogtourHello loves and welcome to my Blog Tour stop for No Place Like Here by Christina June hosted by TLC Tours. I really enjoyed this book and thought it was an adorable and lovely story.

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aboutbook

Published: May 21, 2019 by Blink

Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Retellings

Format: Ebook, Paperback 272 pages

purchaselinks

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

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synopsis

From Christina June, author of It Started with Goodbye and Everywhere You Want to Be, comes No Place Like Here, a modern twist on Hansel and Gretel.

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,” 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.

Fans looking for clean teen fiction, with elements of drama, romance, friendship, and an unflinching look into navigating and improving even the most difficult parent-teen relationships need look no further.

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mythoughts

Wonderfully Touched My Heart

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I think this story is simply beautiful. No Place Like Here by Christina June is a delightfully entertaining, fascinating, and riveting story that wonderfully touched my heart.

I haven’t read any books by June before, but that’s definitely something I’m going to change ASAP. This book is light, warm, and fluffy, but also really emotional in the loveliest way. I truly had an amazing time reading this book and cannot wait for you to meet Ashlyn, follow her on a life-changing journey, smile and swoon, and feel empowered.

This book is a gem! June blends adventure, friendship, drama, romance, forgiveness, and love in perfect harmony. I really enjoyed her writing style and felt this sense of wonder throughout the entire time I was reading. The storyline is charming, engaging, surprising, and so full of heart. It’s also a bit quirky, quite hilarious at times, whimsical in some ways, and even heartbreaking, but so genuine, real and incredibly moving. It definitely has all the best FEELS and I loved it!

I liked Ashlyn and her character development. She’s smart, hard-working, funny, and kind. She has a good heart and I rooted so hard for her. I thought Hannah is awesome. She’s actually my favorite and I just loved her personality. She can be blunt, but I admired her honesty. I adored Baxter so much. He’s encouraging, supportive, and really sweet. I was really hoping for more swoons, but I definitely enjoyed the cute and heartwarming moments he shared with Ashlyn.

I loved so many things about this story. I thought the setting is beautiful, the characters are likable and relatable, the plot is exciting with plenty of fun bread crumbs, the romance is sweet, and the overall message is important and inspiring. I loved the bond that blossoms between Ashlyn and Hannah, the friendship that forms between Baxter and Ashlyn, and the family relationships that are slowly healing. This is such a beautifully heartfelt story and an absolute joy to read.

No Place Like Here is utterly precious and unforgettable. I loved the story, the writing, the lessons, and the all the wonderful feels. I honestly can’t recommend it enough and I really hope you grab a copy of this charming book!

I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughs and opinions are my own. divider4

abouttheauthor

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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, eats too many cupcakes, and hopes to one day be bicoastal—the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives just outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and daughter.

authorlinks

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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tourschedule2

Monday, May 20th: Bookworm for Kids

Wednesday, May 22nd: @createexploreread

Thursday, May 23rd: @the_readers_nook

Thursday, May 23rd: ReadWonder

Tuesday, May 28th: @thegraduatedbookworm

Tuesday, May 28th: @booksandjil

Wednesday, May 29th: Amy’s Book-et List

Thursday, May 30th: Becca Leighanne

Monday, June 3rd: Teachers Who Read

Tuesday, June 4th: @_ebl_inc_

Wednesday, June 5th: The Book Return

Thursday, June 6th: @lovelyreadergirl

Sunday, June 9th: Sincerely Karen Jo

Monday, June 10th: Run Wright

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Thanks for stopping by bookish friends. Hope you have a fantastic Sunday!!!

sincerelykjologo

ARC Review – Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

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aboutbook

Published: May 7, 2019

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: Hardcover, 336 pages

purchaselinks

AMAZONB&NKOBOGOOGLE PLAYBOOK DEPOSITORYCHAPTERS INDIGO

synopsis

10 00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she’s just performed her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She’s about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She’s in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.

11 00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She’s very cute. He’s maybe curious.

12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.

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mythoughts

A Delightfully Fun, Adorable and Moving YA Contemporary

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Somewhere Only We Know didn’t completely give me ALL the swoony heartwarming FEELS I love, but it was still fun, whimsical and quite moving.

I really enjoyed reading I Believe in a Thing Called Love and Maurene Goo is one of the sweetest authors I’ve met. She’s just as adorable as her characters and her writing is easy to read and has its own quirky charm so of course I was excited for this book. I mean that cover is so cute and just screams swoony fun romance. I also like instalove every now and then depending on the story and 24 hour romances are pretty entertaining. Maybe it doesn’t quite work all the time, but I have enjoyed them in the past so I thought I would too with this book. While Somewhere Only We Know was delightful and entertaining, I didn’t wholeheartedly fall in love with the story. It just never quite hit that sweet spot. I will say this though… the ending, while a little too convenient for a HEA conclusion, still made my heart melt and I even teared up a little bit.

I thought Lucky and Jack were wonderfully intriguing characters. They weren’t always the best versions of themselves, but their flaws and vulnerabilities made them real for me. Lucky was talented, genuine, sweet, quirky and just so funny sometimes. She seriously had me laughing a few times. But, she was also struggling to find herself and the courage to do what makes her happy. With Jack… well at first I liked him, but then I was back and forth for a long time. His motives weren’t always in the right place. He acted selfish, but then he would do something quite noble and kind. He was protective of Lucky, but he was also lying to her. I was quite frustrated with him, but I guess that’s just how teenagers are when they’re trying to figure out who they want to be. Jack did eventually win me over and what he did for Lucky in the end was sincerely so sweet.

The supporting characters seemed pretty interesting even though they weren’t really there for most of the story. I liked Jack’s best friend Charlie and thought he was quite funny. I think I would have liked to get to know him more and see more interactions between him and Jack. It seemed like they had a great friendship. I also really liked the parents and how they were amazingly supportive of their children. I loved the sibling relationships too. I wish I could have known the side characters a bit more, but I do understand that the story had to focus on Lucky and Jack.

I liked the romance and I thought it was cute and adorable. I just wasn’t completely convinced with Lucky and Jack’s feelings for each other and honestly, I never really felt that spark between them. I didn’t feel that they were really and truly in love with each other. To me, it seemed like they were perfect as friends who deeply care about each other… But as a couple, I just didn’t feel it. That being said, I thought their bantering was fun and they shared some heartwarming moments. Their dialogues and most of their interactions were silly and absurdly amusing. They made me laugh a few times and I thought their 24 hour romance adventure was entertaining. I also really liked that they shared thought-provoking and emotional conversations. I liked that they challenged each other and also inspired each other to go after what makes them happy.

It’s quite difficult for me to really LOVE a book when I can’t get into it right away and/or for most of the story. The beginning of this book was a bit slow for me and the plot, while interesting to some extent, didn’t completely captivate me. I did like exploring Hong Kong with Lucky and Jack and really enjoyed their food trips. I loved that Lucky was adventurous with her food choices and that made me really hungry. I enjoyed the hilarious moments and all the wonderful mishaps. It was a fun story.

This wasn’t my favorite from Goo, but all in all, I thought the story was an enjoyable, hilarious, and adorable whirlwind teen romance. I laughed quite a bit, swooned a little, and had a wonderful time going on this delightful adventure with Lucky and Jack. Do I wish it was a bit MORE? Yes, absolutely. But, it was a lighthearted, easy, and fun read. It was also meaningful and I loved the message about chasing your dreams and ultimately living the life you want and doing what makes you happy. Would I read more books by Goo? Definitely! Just because I wasn’t entirely in love with this, doesn’t mean I won’t be with her upcoming books.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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favoritequotes

(Quotes taken from the ARC and might slighty differ from the final publication)

The whole point of love was that you truly  felt it, that it was so strong that you had to  be with that person, as if drawn by some otherwordly force.

It’s not a gift, it’s work. That’s what you do when you have a dream, Jack. When you care about stuff. You go for it. You don’t take the path of least resistance, and you don’t give up!

Pursuing your dreams was worth it. That your dreams could change and that change might be hard. But you should still try. Because anything short of that wasn’t a quality life.

This feeling right now? The tingles and light-headedness? It was the anticipation of something extraordinary. Something special with another human being who was going to leave an incredible mark on your life and change you forever. Drawn together by an otherwordly force. I recognized it for the first time in life.

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abouttheauthor

maurenegoo

MAURENE GOO is the author of several acclaimed books for young adults, including

I Believe in a Thing Called Love and The Way You Make Me Feel.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and cat, Maeby.

authorlinks

WEBSITEGOODREADSFACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM

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sincerelykjologo