Author: Christina June
Publisher: Blink YA Books
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
Labeled as a retelling of Red Riding Hood, Everywhere You Want to Be goes deeper with life lessons that hit home and should be taken to heart.
After a serious injury takes Matilda Castillo away from her dream of becoming a dancer for a year, she is afraid all hope of achieving her dream is lost. But when a once in a lifetime chance comes her way, she jumps at it. She has been offered the opportunity to spend the summer in New York and perform. She has already made a commitment to go to Georgetown in the fall and doesn’t want to disappoint her mother but also knows she can’t pass up the chance to finally chase down her dream. Her grandmother has given her a pair of bright red sunglasses as good luck and she uses them to help her launch herself into her new career. Day one finds her making herself a target as the one to beat and Sabrina Wolfrik is intent on doing everything she can to stop her competition. Matilda also has a second chance at love when the boy she lost her chance with is in the city for the summer and willing to give them another shot. Not only is Tilly’s future with dance on the line, but also much more, and she is going to give her all to make her dreams come true.
For me, the best thing about this novel was the lessons taught. I loved how June brought bullying into light but in such a different way than would be expected. Tilly was able to show that even though it might be hard, being the bigger, better person always pays off in the end. She had some tough choices to make but showed how it can still be done. Her interactions with Charlotte and Paolo were well played out, as well as the dynamic between her and her family. The teenage years are hard with many life decisions that need to be made and learning to deal with what comes your way can be very difficult. I loved the way the story line with Sabrina played out. Very different than I would have first expected, but still very natural. I recommend this book especially for teenage readers, they will gain a lot from what is written on the pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.