Title: I'll Meet You There
Author: Heather Demetrios
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Received via NetGalley
If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.
Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.
Ahh this book. This book was so real, so honest, so unique. If you have seen any buzz about this book, then you know that most frequently, people have been saying that they don't know what to say. And that is so true. This book is so much MORE than a love story. This book is everything. Demetrios deals with so much in this book, but in such a powerful way.
This book takes place over the course of a summer. Skylar lives in a little nowhere town, just counting down the days until she can get out of there. She has a scholarship to an art school, her ticket out of this place. Until things start going downhill. Josh Mitchell is also back in town, after his time in the army caused him to lose his leg. But he's no longer the same person he used to be before he left.
The characters in this one. Man, were the so real. I'm not saying they're the most likable. Definitely not. But that's what's part of what makes them so real, so well-written. They make the same mistakes, the same decisions, that real people would make. They were honest, transparent.
Demetrios writes very gritty. This isn't a pretty story, but it's one that needs to be told. There are a few pages in between chapters from Josh's perspective and they were written perfectly. They captured the mindset of someone just back from the war. When Josh gets back home, people expect him to be the same he was. But he isn't. No one else has seen what he has seen, and they don't understand that. They can't understand that. I think Demetrios did a great job of bringing to light the fact that so many of our young men are going off into the Army and such, and coming back changed, but are we really doing anything to help them?
And Skylar herself is going through some pretty big issues. After all this time of planning and finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, her mother goes downhill. Suddenly Sky doesn't know if she's getting out of there. You may not like Sky, you may not agree with her decisions, but you have to admire her as a character. There's a lot of issues that are dealt with in this book, but they're dealt with in an open and honest way, that I think all of us can relate to.
This is, in a word, a powerful book. And I think there's something for everyone, from great friendships, to deep issues, to a swoony romance. And while I didn't loooove this one in the way the most others did, I still really, really liked it. You won't want to miss this one.
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