Published by Blink on May 21, 2019
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.
To the untrained eye Ashlyn Zanotti’s life probably would look pretty perfect. Unfortunately not all is what it seems to be. Though she just finished her junior year at her posh boarding school her summer vacation is going to be no fun at all. Her father is going to being serving his time as a white collar criminal. He is a huge narcissist who has controlled every aspect of his daughter and his wife’s lives. His arrest and conviction coupled with that kind of emotional abuse ended up landing his wife in a wellness retreat with “exhaustion”.
Since both of her parents are away Ashlyn is sent to a wilderness retreat for the summer. She had hoped to spend it with her best friend back home.
I enjoyed reading this book. At first, I was annoyed at the somewhat unaffected attitude of Ashyln at the start. You soon realize though as you progress through that she is not as vapid as she appears to be and that in truth you are looking at a child who was told for years by her overcritical father that she was nowhere near good enough a child for him to be proud of.
It’s a hard dose of reality to realize your parents are just like you are. They are just people who are trying to do their best and are not as perfect as you saw them in your younger days. I think Christina did an excellent job describing the wool coming off Ashyn’s eyes and her evolving into a stronger person. Mix that and a little romance and you got a pretty good novel so definitely worth the read.