Published by: Henry Holt & Co. BYR on February 3, 2015
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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.
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Also by this author: Exquisite Captive
One Line: An emotional and gripping story of two lost souls who just happened to find love.
In My Opinion: Add to cart!
I’ll Meet You There was beautifully written and definitely tugs at your heart. My heart broke for Josh so many times while reading his chapters. I feel like this story is more about these characters coming to terms with how their lives have changed and figuring out what to do next as opposed to this being a love story. Yes, they find love and understanding in each other, but this book was so much more than that and I really respected the story the author was trying to tell. Sky can’t seem to escape the seemingly toxic nature that surrounds her and Josh can’t get past his inner demons. In addition to that, you get a slew of other secondary characters that turned this into a well-rounded ensemble who each had different and meaningful stories to tell.
Sky is basically a “trailer trash” kind of girl who worked her butt off in school and is about to say goodbye to her crappy life because her hard work paid off and she got a university scholarship. I liked the message that it truly doesn’t matter where you come from, as long as you’re willing to put in the effort, good things can happen to you. She is from a small town where the people who live typically just stay there and live in their complacent lives. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it was good to see that Sky wanted more for herself. Her father passed away and her mother is a pretty crappy mother who really got on my nerves. It always ticks me off when a parent gets so self-involved that they can’t be a good parent. Yes, you lost your husband, but your daughter lost her father, too. Don’t go and drink yourself into a stupor, lean on a jerk of a guy, and make dumb excuses for yourself. When the they mess up and the roles are reversed, the child taking care of the perfectly capable adult, it really pisses me off.
Anyways, with Josh, it was different. After losing a leg, and so much more, during the war, he has returned to his home to pick of the pieces of his life and figure out where to go and what to do next. His chapters were fragmented. We were in his mind and in his dreams for the most part, but I liked the way his story was told. You could literally feel his pain and sadness over all that he’s faced and lost. Of course, I don’t know any of this first or even second hand, but I think Demetrios did a spectacular job of portraying a character like Josh. I always hear stories of war veterans and how they’re just never the same after coming back from war, especially if they’re injured. The physical changes are taxing enough, but it’s the emotional pain that is hard to manage and you could clearly see that with Josh.
I liked that despite all the crap these two characters are dealing with, they find solace in each other. There wasn’t really one particular moment that I could say changed everything, but moments that just happened gradually and steadily between the two. They don’t necessarily even do anything for each other to help their individual problems, but I think just the fact that they fall for each other gives them a new perspective on life and helps them face things about themselves.
I don’t think I’m much of a realistic contemporary fan in general, but I really enjoyed this one. I think the author tackled the emotions and characterizations very well and she kept the story flowing smoothly and seamlessly. A lot of times with these books, things feel scattered and frivolous, but it wasn’t the case with this one at all. I’ll admit, in all honesty, it didn’t grip me AS much as it did others, but I think that has more to do with the fact that I don’t generally get emotional even in real life, let alone from a book. I could definitely appreciate the emotions the author was trying to stir in the reader and I think the majority will be riddled with emotions while reading this one.