by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) Release date : February 3rd, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Source: Library | Format: Hardcover
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link)
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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 had me terrified to read for two reasons. 1) Hype. 2) Military. If there was ever a book for me to stay away from for those two things alone, it’s this one.
I am glad I made the decision – after much deliberation – to read this. It’s such a powerful, gut-wrenching, emotionally charged book that left a pretty large mark on my heart.
One thing I want to discuss first is how authentic I felt Josh’s character was. This story was even more powerful to me because of my close relationship to the Military and the soldiers that have touched my life and are now gone. Not to mention, my husband. The battle with PTSD is not an easy one – and being someone on the outside trying to help and put those broken pieces together is not an easy task. Often times, we find ourselves swimming in helplessness too – because we can’t fix it and once we realize that, it’s hard to deal with. Yet, we continue to try anyway, because watching someone you love succumb to those demons is tough.
I read a few lines to my husband from Josh’s POV – and after about the third time – and seeing his glazed expression – I had to stop. That alone, told me right there that his voice, his pain, was accurately expressed.
The building friendship between Skylar and Josh that turns into more felt real and right. I was scared too, because no matter what happened between these two, Josh couldn’t be “fixed.” The relationship will be a life long journey of love, compassion and compromise. The nightmares, skittishness and general zoning out will be something that Josh will always have to deal with. Skylar was right for Josh because she knew she couldn’t FIX IT. She knew that her being there, with him, was enough. It takes a strong woman to be a soldiers girlfriend, wife and even friend, and I know she is cut out for it.
I loved how Skylar remained true to herself, all the while, being a loving, strong and loyal friend. She has so much heart, so much love to give and watching her hurt was just utterly painful. Sure, she made some bad decisions and acted out here and there, but that makes her character so much more real and likable. Also, shout out to the secondary characters. I loved Dylan and Chris.
The ending left on a bitter-sweet note for me. I want more, Heather! Still, where it left off was perfect.
Overall, if you couldn’t guess, I loved I’ll Meet You There. I am so glad I finally made the decision to pick this one up. I was laughing, I cried and closed this book with a smile and a heart full of hope. Skylar and Josh’s story will be with me for a long time to come. Highly recommend.
Tell Me Your Thoughts
- Have your read I’ll Meet You There? If so, what did you think?
- If not, WHY?