Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co, Macmillan
Date: February 2015
Buy the Book • 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.
This novel destroyed me. It destroyed me in the most amazing way possible. I was not prepared for how great this book would be and how it would attack all of my feels. This novel deserves all of the hype people are saying about it. If you read only one contemporary book this year, it should be this one. This novel was emotionally draining and I thanked the author for doing that.
I’ll Meet You There is the heart-breaking story of Skylar and Josh. Both are from a small town in the middle of nowhere California, both looking for ways to escape the hold this town has on them. Josh does this by joining the Marines and ships overseas directly into the war. Skylar graduates high school with a full scholarship to an art school an hour away. Their paths cross again at a welcome home party for Josh. Skylar knew Josh as a jerk, a-hole jock in high school that loved to party and loved the ladies. This isn’t the Josh Sky runs into. She wasn’t prepare for how much being in the war changed him. Josh is a completely different person, in more ways than one. Skylar was the only person who didn’t treat Josh differently because of his injury yet didn’t baby him.
The character development during this story is incredible. I felt I connected with all of the characters and their situations. The author does an amazing job of building their friendship slowly by letting them discover who they are together and separately. Both main characters actually learn and grow as the story continues. Skylar has had a rough upbringing dealing with a dad who died while she was young and a lazy mother who doesn’t want to be a mother but her friend. This means Skylar had to grow up way too fast. Does Skylar give up her scholarship to the school of her dreams to stay in the small run down trailer to take care of her mother or does she leave to let her mom clean up her own messes? While dealing with issues at home and about her future, she develops a powerful friendship with Josh that is turning into more than friendship. He is becoming someone Skylar wants around all of the time, someone she needs in her life. At the same time, Josh is trying to deal with being at home with this new war injury that has changed his life forever. He finds himself haunted by what happened during the war and struggling with how to deal with it all. He comes to realize that Skylar is the bright spot he needs and wants in his life. Does Josh become the man the Marines has shaped him to be or does he give in to self-pity?
This novel was beautifully written. It was so descriptive and perfect that I could almost smell the cigarette smoke in Skylar’s home. The emotions between Skylar and Josh were expertly written, they tugged at all of the right feelings. This book just felt REAL. It felt like the author nailed all of the emotions, the feelings, the thoughts, the sensations, the awkwardness, the scenery, all of it. She wrote about the bad parts as well as the good parts of a new relationship. I just really cannot say enough great things about this book. I want to scream from the rooftops that everyone needs to read this NOW. I will forever be a faithful reader of Heather Demetrios and encourage everyone to pick this book up immediately. Your heart will thank me later.