Everywhere You Want to Be by Christina June
Published by Blink on May 1, 2018
From author Christina June comes Everywhere You Want to Be, a modern tale inspired by the classic Red Riding Hood.
Matilda Castillo has always done what she was told, but when she gets injured senior years, she watches her dreams of becoming a contemporary dancer slip away. So when Tilly gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend the summer with a New York dance troupe, nothing can stop her from saying yes--not her mother, not her fears of the big city, and not the commitment she made to Georgetown. Tilly's mother allows her to go on two conditions: one, Tilly will regularly visit her abuela in New Jersey, and two, after the summer, she'll give up dancing and go off to college.
Armed with her red vintage sunglasses and her pros and cons lists, Tilly strikes out, determined to turn a summer job into a career. Along the way she meets new friends ... and new enemies. Tilly isn't the only one desperate to dance, and fellow troupe member Sabrina Wolfrik intends to succeed at any cost. But despite dodging sabotage and blackmail attempts from Sabrina, Tilly can't help but fall in love with the city, especially since Paolo, a handsome musician from her past, is also calling New York home for the summer.
As the weeks wind down and the competition with Sabrina heats up, Tilly's future is on the line. She must decide whether to follow her mother's path to Georgetown or leap into the unknown to pursue her own dreams.
Once again, Christina June inspires delight and fuzzy lovey feelings in her audience. I thought that this was a light and entertaining piece that encourages the audience to take a good look at both their choices and their dreams.
What I Liked
- Tilly is a very lovable character. She definitely fills the role of the heroine in this novel because of her need for both confidence in herself and the ability to be much easier on herself. She is a truly relatable character who struggles with very universal issues.
- I loved the instant friendship with Charlotte who really brought Tilly out of her shell. My best friends in college were just as instant and just as meaningful. They are still very important to me. Once again, June did a terrific job giving breath to a universal topic. This is one of my favorite things about her writing. No matter who or where you are, you should be able to relate on some level.
- I've never been to New York. And yet, June was able to take me sightseeing through this novel. This required terrific world building skills and I was not disappointed in the slightest.
What I Didn't Like As Much
- The relationship between Paolo and Tilly felt very forced and overly cute. No person I have ever met would forgive so easy or fall as hard as Paolo does after what Tilly did to him.
- Throughout the novel, the mom is described as a strong-minded and opinionated woman. At the end, she falls to mush. It felt like June simply gave up on her characterization at this point.
- What was the main conflict of this novel meant to be? Was it resolved? I'm not entirely certain.