Release Date: February 3, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Review Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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.
Wow. If you’re looking for a beautifully written book, I suggest you check out I’ll Meet You There. When I first started this book I hadn’t read the description in a while, so I had forgotten that the love interest was a wounded veteran. Considering this character (and the related subject matter) the book got pretty deep and sad at times, but it was so well done.
As much as this is Skylar’s story (more on her later), this is also a book about Josh and his journey. Josh has a lot to deal with: the death of his friend, the loss of his leg, just being home, etc. That’s heavy stuff, but I feel like Heather Demetrios did his story justice and told it with respect. It’s not that I haven’t read books about similar scenarios (Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins comes to mind), but Josh himself felt unique and real. I was very moved by his character and his circumstances.
Skylar’s story was also tough to read about at times, and was sadly realistic. Her character deals with poverty, a deceased dad, and a mom with drinking problems. Skylar has had so much responsibility in her life for so long, and just when she thinks she’s getting out for college, things start going wrong. It was sad to read about, but I also liked that it put me out of my comfort zone.
I think what was tough about this book and what was great about this book at the same time is that both characters make bad decisions (or fail to make decisions). They both did things that drove me crazy. For instance, Josh doesn’t seem like a great person for Sky to rely on at times. On the other hand, Sky is often too willing to sit back and use her mom’s situation as an excuse. She’s almost too giving and doesn’t prioritize her own well being. These were great characters, they were flawed characters, and I empathized with and cheered for them even more because of that. I would also be remiss not to mention the chemistry between Josh and Sky. Woah. Like seriously. Major, major sparks.
There were so many other great things about this book, including the setting and the secondary characters. The motel setting was a lot of fun, especially with the themed rooms. The owner of the motel was an amazing character, a steady influence on both Josh and Sky.
I highly recommend I’ll Meet You There to all YA contemp fans, especially to those looking for a moving, meaningful story and an incredible romance.
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