Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review: I'll Meet You There

I'll Meet You There
Author: Heather Demetrios
Published: February 3rd, 2015
Hardcover, 400 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary 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 has 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.

Small town America always has the best stories to tell. Those who are bound to be stuck in them forever with babies and a crappy job, and those who actually found a way out and will do anything to make it happen. Skylar and Josh both found their outs, but fate had other plans for them. Skylar has a full scholarship to an art school in San Francisco, her collages one of the few things she loves, but her mom losing her job and spending time with a creep makes Sky rethink her plans. Josh joined the Marines to get out, but a bomb in Afghanistan sent him home long before he wanted to and without a leg. Now the two of them must survive the summer before they can even think of what will come next. Their days are spent at the Paradise, Skylar collaging and Josh cleaning and fixing things up. The more time they spend together, the closer they get to each other. Sky learns that not everyone in Creek View is the same and Josh is a different guy than she once thought. Josh learns to live the regrets he's made and the people he's lost and trying to find a way to keep going.

This book sent me through the emotions. Skylar was sweet and sarcastic, but was also going through crazy emotional drama that would make me want to cry. Josh was in even deeper. His mind was messed up from the war and his segments worth of chapters brought me to tears each time while hoping that he'd turn out okay. I loved how Heather played up his short chapters. They were mostly letters, usually about a page long, where he would talk about Skylar to an unknown person. They were about him coming to terms with his new life without a leg, without the Marines, and the chance that he may have to stay in Creek View forever. Heather captured Marine life nicely (from what I can gather). The brotherhood and feeling of family in an unknown country with your lives at stake. There were perfect moments in the story that crushed my soul, knowing that men and women are putting their lives on the line every day.

The romance flowed smoothly through the book. There was no insta-love, in fact Skylar tried to stay away from Josh because she knew love would get her stuck there. Their connection spoke to me, two lost souls finding light in the darkness. The closer they got together, the happier I was and when everything I could ever hope for happened, I was ecstatic. This book wove a story of two people needing an escape and instead finding each other between the walls of a rundown motel. Whenever Josh asked how the sky was, I'd smile, and when Sky finally broke the barrier he kept around himself, I wanted to read it over and over again. This book was spectacular and I'd read it again in a heartbeat and recommend it to everyone I know.

"'If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?' I opened my mouth to say San Francisco or maybe Madrid - somewhere exotic. But what came out was, 'Here. Right here.'"

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