I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Macmillan Children's Books on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
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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.
It’s been a little bit since I have read a contemporary, especially one that sucked me in and I read the book in one day. This book did just that. Well, almost. I actually started the book late at night and only got a few chapters in, then when I picked it up the next day I didn’t stop until I was done. I really liked the characters and their stories were hard, but amazing. I understood where both the MC’s were coming from, even if sometimes their behaviors did irritate me. Most of all, the overall story was just great. All of it, from beginning to end. And I loved that it was dual POV so we get to be in both Skylar and Josh’s head.
Skylar was one of those characters that I wasn’t sure if I was going to like at first, but I ended up adoring her. She is one tough cookie, has a bright future ahead of her, but her crappy home life may keep her from getting away like she has always dreamed of. She has a full scholarship to an art school and can’t wait to start college. She has always been the good girl, not getting into trouble, so she wouldn’t mess up her dream of getting out. When her mother falls apart again, she doesn’t want to leave her. She thinks that she should stay and take care of her. She is also falling for Josh, who has his own issues. She really cares about others and doesn’t put herself first, but she isn’t a pushover who will deal with a lot of shit either. I loved that she held her own really well. It was just sad all the things she has been through, and is still going through.
Josh lost a lot more than his leg in the war. He lost his best friend, other friends, and mostly himself. He lives with a lot of guilt and what ifs. He suffers from nightmares and feels like he is worthless. He’s known as a ladies man in town and has been with lots of girls. The thing is, Skylar is different for him. She sees the real him, even if he doesn’t know who the real him is anymore. Even if she isn’t sure who he is either. He really cares for her. She’s not just some other girl or a distraction from his messed up life. She is fun, honest, and makes him feel like he is worth something. She believes in him.
The romance was very tense, but not in a bad way. It felt real. It’s not like they were strangers. They knew each other since they grew up in the same small town. They even exchanged a few letters while he was away. They were never really close though. While both of their lives seem like they are breaking beyond repair, they find comfort and friendship in each other. They grow close and start to fall for each other, but they both are pushing the other away for their own reasons. Sky, because she doesn’t want the attachment and is very aware of his reputation. And Josh, because he feels like he is so fucked up and doesn’t want her to have to deal with all of that. It’s not easy for them while they both fight what they are starting to feel and it made it very believable for me.
This was one of those books that just wrapped itself around me and didn’t let go. I needed to know what would happen. I wanted so much for Skylar to be able to get out of that town, but also wanted her and Josh to find happiness with each other. I was hoping that Sky could help Josh through his post war horrors and that he was really a good guy and not just some douche like he was before he left. There was so much heart in this story and I really just felt it deep inside. I felt like I knew the characters and I ached for all that they both were dealing with. I was looking for a great contemporary and this hit the mark. Though it left me with a bit of emotion, it also had me smiling. This was a great book that I would highly recommend.
4 Hot Espressos