Everywhere You Want to Be by Christina June
An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: With elements of Little Red Riding Hood, Everywhere You Want to Be is a delightful, if a bit predictable, summer read set in every teen's dream city - New York.
This book thrives on three things: the city, dance, and romance, which I'm sure many teen readers will love. Tilly, the main character, doesn't have a lot of depth, but she's relatable enough, and it's likely that readers will root for her and her love interest, Paolo. Charlotte and Tatum work as friend characters, although Arden and Ella definitely didn't feel fleshed out enough. I wanted to see Tilly exploring the city just a little more because her list of things to do is featured towards the end of Everywhere You Want to Be, and a bunch of adventures are checked off that weren't even referenced earlier in the novel.
Overall, the dance plot wrapped up pretty nicely. I appreciated the happy ending, and it wasn't terribly cliche. However, I felt like the plot with Sabrina came to a very typical ending. I'm not sure how it could've been better, but it was very expected.
I've also noticed this trend of dialogue in YA books that sounds super stiff and unrealistic. Teenage characters definitely say "yeah" and "hey/hi" more than "yes" and "hello" and they use contractions most of the time unless they feel the need to be formal or they're angry.
The Verdict: I didn't hate this book; I just didn't love it either. But it's definitely a fun read.
Will I be adding this book to my library?: Nah.