guest post by christina june, author of no place like here – ashlyn’s camp essentials

a big, big thank you to the fantastic flying book club and blink for letting me participate in the blink summer reading tour!

guys i’m so excited because we have a guest on the blog today! she’s christina june, the author of several popular young adult novels – it started like goodbye, everywhere you want to be, and most recently, no place like here. *flails in excitement (am i going to find a synonym for “excitement”? no, no i’m not.)

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.

in no place like here, ashlyn, the protagonist, is sent to a remote retreat center. being an “indoor girl” myself, i want to know how ashlyn copes with the difficulties she encounters when she tries to adapt to this totally unfamiliar environment.

i love traveling, but sometimes i still feel a bit intimidated by all the unfamiliar things i encounter, and i imagine that ashlyn must feel the same way when she starts working in the retreat center. it’s always comforting when i bring something i love along with me on these out-of-comfort-zone endeavours, and so i asked christina june this question:

what are the things that ashlyn cannot survive without in the retreat center, and why?

in response, christina june listed nine of ashlyn’s essentials, and explained why they’re so important to her:

  • Nail polish, all colors, at least 3 different shades of purple + manicure tools
  • Quote book and a selection of pens with different colored ink
  • Paperback novels, likely contemporary romance and celebrities’ memoirs
  • Sunscreen
  • Cute hair ties
  • Monogramed stationary, given as a gift from her father but never used before
  • Framed photo of Ashlyn and her BFF Tatum
  • Refillable water bottle, purple
  • Hiking boots for inspiration

Ashlyn is very much an indoor girl and has zero job experience.  She would want to be as prepared for this new situation as she can, without anything to guide her as to what she would actually need.  She collects quotes and loves to read, so she would take some comfort items, as well.


  • my phone (since i don’t own a dslr camera, i usually take photos on my iphone 7. it’s lightweight and the quality’s okay.)
  • hair ties (not necessarily cute though, i just need to tie my hair up to avoid getting it dirty when i eat)
  • snacks (to munch on when i’m hungry but can’t find any restaurants)
  • sunscreen (i have really weird skin which never tans but always gets sunburnt)
  • my kindle (with downloaded contemporary romance novels :DD i’m starting to realize how much ashlyn and i have in common)

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.


@ChristinaJuneYA, author of NO PLACE LIKE HERE, talks about what the main character would bring with her to the retreat center she’s sent to, and @chloeisblushing shares her list of traveling essentials in this post:


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have you read no place like here? what were your thoughts? and what are your traveling / camping essentials? let me know in the comments below!


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