Publisher: Henry Holt and 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’ll Meet You There was a cute contemporary romance. Josh Mitchell has returned to his hometown after getting injured in the Marines and Skylar is trying with all of her might to get out of their hometown and away to art school. She just has to work through the summer and she’s out—until her mother loses her job and starts spiraling. Suddenly, Skylar has to make the choice of whether to pursue her dreams or to stay. I’ll Meet You There was not only an amazing romance, but also a heartwarming story about a girl struggling to realize her dreams and a boy whose dreams were shattered. This book gave me so many feels, something that hasn’t been happening much with the books I’ve read.
Skylar was an amazing female lead. She was compassionate and determined. She wanted to get out of her hometown but was willing to stay in order to help her mother. I really enjoyed Sky’s character because she was real. She had her ups and downs but she didn’t give up. She was friendly and loyal to her friends, her family, and others in her community. And yet, she refused to settle for less than she deserved.
Josh was lost. He was angry and sad that his way out of their town had been lost. Josh was a very deep and very layered character—many things from the war he lost his leg in had happened and emotionally scarred him. Like Skylar, Josh felt real. We wasn’t tough as nails like you’d see another veteran—he was shattered and I loved seeing him as vulnerable. He had his problems and his strengths. Both of their characters were very dynamic and personal. I enjoyed reading Josh’s POVs just as much as I enjoyed reading Skylar’s. They were so different yet so similar and their distinct voices made for a very touching read.
The romance in this novel was absolutely beautiful. You’d think that it wouldn’t work out—Skylar was intent on getting out and Josh was stuck in the town that they were both trying to escape. Skylar was a goody two-shoes and Josh was an angry veteran. And despite these things, they meshed incredibly well. Their relationship was sweet and based off of emotions rather than attraction, which made their relationship all the more real (are we sensing a pattern here?)
The final thing that I adored about this novel was the complex secondary characters, specifically Dylan, Chris, and Marge. Marge was Sky’s boss and became a symbolic mother figure for Sky, helping to guide her through her emotional troubles and concerns throughout the novel. Dylan was a teenaged mom who was fine with staying in their hometown. Although her and Sky wanted different things, they didn’t really let that get in the way of their friendship. And Chris wanted to get out just as much as Sky. Although he wasn’t my favorite of secondary characters due to a few things that he does and says in the novel, you could tell that Sky’s relationship with her friends was genuine.
A heartwarming and sweet story about two characters finally growing into themselves, I’ll Meet You There levels out as one of my favorite contemporaries this year. I haven’t read any other Heather Demetrios novels, but I will definitely be checking them out. If this book is any indication, Demetrios is an author you don’t want to miss.