When Erin Cerise steps off her plane in Christchurch, New Zealand, she is focused intently on her mission: do something unique that will erase the mess she made of her life on her 17th birthday. She’s already lost her swim team captainship, her boyfriend Ben, and her reputation. Her mother is certain studying abroad will regain Erin’s chances of a good future. Once Erin sees her uninspiring host family and city, though, she’s not so sure.
Before Christchurch, Erin wasn’t always intense and focused. Years ago, a mission sounded like a fun adventure, and the only ivy she cared about was the stuff growing around her grandparents’ back porch at their peaceful Upper Peninsula home. When had her priorities gone upside down?
Now Erin balks at NZ’s itchy school uniforms, cold houses, and her hosts’ utter inability to pronounce her name correctly. Christchurch does boast amazing rock climbing, gorgeous scenery, and at least one guy who could make her forget Ben if she lets him. With months ahead of her, Erin slowly begins to draw on the years behind her, one step back into her memories at a time. As she rebuilds her life from the other side of the world, she finds that when life turns your world upside down and you’re far from home, every way you move takes you closer to where you came from.
Sky Pony Press
Release Date: April 3, 2018
If you are in the Seattle area, be sure to pop over to Secret Garden Books on April 3rd for the Antipodes Launch Party!!
I hear there will be excellent cake!
More details can be found here.
I have read hundreds of books that have taken place in lands that I have never visited in my real life, but I have never read a book that so tempted me to pack my bags immediately and just “go”. Seriously. Moments after reading the last sentence of Antipodes, I told my husband that I had to visit Christchurch, NZ. It is now on our bucket list. This is how special Antipodes is – it reached out into my world and shook it up a bit. Fantastic!
You can probably see where I am going with this. I loved this book. Antipodes is about letting go of everything you thought was important and finding your true self. Shed the unnecessary stuff. Toss the baggage. I loved Erin Cerise’s journey and I really felt her struggles to be both believable and relateable, especially in today’s world of high expectations and constant scrutiny.
After a disastrous celebration of her 17th birthday, the loss of her swim team captainship and now a severed relationship with her boyfriend, Erin is desperate to find a way to fix her future. In order to stand out to college prospects and make a good name for herself, she has decided that she will study abroad. Though when she first lands with her host family, she’s not so sure she’s made the right decision. Reading how Erin’s character stumbles, pushes back, grows and reflects on her mistakes was great. But what I enjoyed most was when she reflected on her youngest and truest self, her relationship with her grandparents and seeing how she learns to find herself again.
Michele Bacon writes her characters honestly – flawed, familiar and real. I fell in love with Pippa and Hank right away, Erin frustrated me at times, Hammish grew on me… each character brought something real to the story. That said, what stood out the most is Michele’s obvious love for New Zealand. Exploring Christchurch through the eyes of Erin (Michele) only made me want to visit for myself. Without actual pictures, Michele paints Christchurch and the people there so beautifully and so vividly. I am inspired to find a bit of myself in Christchurch, too.
I gave Antipodes 5/5 stars!
Michele Bacon writes novel-length fiction for young adults and older adults. When she’s not writing, she’s skiing, playing tabletop games, traveling, or dreaming of travel. She lived in Christchurch, New Zealand for over a year, and is eager to return. Today, Michele lives in Seattle with her partner and three children. She is also the author of Life Before.
Prize: 1 copy of the book (US Only)