I received this Book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Company (BYR) on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Social Themes, Family, Parents
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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 by Heather Demetrios is a book that I read because of peer pressure. I mean, first Fierce Reads tweeted about it. And then Andi was like this is one of my favorite books ever. And I responded, OF COURSE. So, the twitter conversation basically had this component where I said, FINE I WILL FINALLY READ I’ll Meet You There, it will be my very next book. Y’all, when people pressure you into reading things while on twitter, go with it. I found that I completely enjoyed my time reading Demterios’s book.
Heather Demeterios’s I’ll Meet You There follows main characters Skylar Evans and Joshua Mitchell over one summer. Skylar has just graduated high school and is looking to shake the dust. Joshua Mitchell is a Marine who is home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan sans one leg. The two work together at the Paradise Motel and have this teasing sort of friendship. Much of the book is spent in a will they won’t they dynamic between the two as we the readers wonder if they’re actually going to get together or not. The chemistry is totally off the charts, FYI.
Skylar is one of the few YA characters that I could relate to on a special sort of level. So, okay, I feel like almost every contemporary YA character that I read about is upper middle class or rich. Skylar is POOR. Hallelujah. I mean, girl lives in a trailer park with her mom in the middle of nowhere. Her mom works at Taco Bell. Her dad is dead. While my dad is not dead, growing up my mom worked at Burger King and my dad is a custodian. They’re both still together. I started my life out in a trailer park then we moved into a house then my parents had the house foreclosed on and now they live in a trailer park again.
Also, like Skylar, I was the first to go to college thanks to financial aid. I know, in this book it’s not her mom who pays for her college! She has to figure that out for herself. I am just so glad that this book exists, I feel like it’s a book for people like me. Skylar is never portrayed as being trashy for where she comes from, same with her best friend Dylan who also lives in the same trailer park. So, anyways, because I could relate so intensely to Skylar, I just wanted her to catch a break while reading I’ll Meet You There.
As for the love interest, Josh, he’s got point of view chapters too, sort of. In between a few of Skylar’s chapters we get Josh’s point of view as he talked to his dead friend. So, you know how I was all I CAN RELATE TO THIS BOOK. Well, another coincidence is that my husband’s name is Josh and he’s in the military. He still has all his limbs though and was deployed to Qatar which is so much safer than Afghanistan.
However, as I was saying the Josh character is super real. I mean, there’s parts where we see how intensely he misses his military buddies (something that my Josh experiences with his old unit like ALL THE TIME). He has zero filter when talking — and says things that I know people would find offensive. However, if you spend like twenty minutes in the company of a young marine or military guy, you’re going to hear language that certainly is not PC. It’s reality. And well, I like that this book wasn’t sanitized but instead accurate portrays the people that it is about. I just say that, because if he was any different, I’d call bullshit on this book.
So, not only did I love both Josh and Skylar’s characters, but I also loved the secondary characters! There’s Marge who owns the Paradise Motel, who has her own special role in the story but that I don’t want to spoil and tell you. There’s also Dylan and Chris who have been Skylar’s life long best friends. Chris is Mexican-American and leaving for college in Boston. He’s got a pact with Skylar to not get into any romances or fall in love, otherwise they’ll never get out of the dead end town of Creek View. Dylan grew up in the same trailer park as Skylar and she’s got a son, but managed to graduate high school on time with Skylar. Dylan has different expectations out of life than Skylar and Chris, but she’s a true blue friend and I loved her and she reminds me of some of my friends that I had growing up.
I am so glad that I was essentially forced to read I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios. In fact, I regret reading it later rather than sooner. This book just read as so authentic to me. I could see so much of the people I grew up with and the town where I grew up in this book. It’s set in California, but it may as well have also taken place in Upstate NY. This is a book you will not want to miss, that is if you like books that are absolutely real with endearing characters and excellent dialogue.
Other reviews of I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios:
- The Perpetual Page Turner – “perfect storm of a great plot, dynamic & flawed characters“
- There Were Books Involved – “excellent from page 1“
- Andi’s ABCs – “so beautifully good and poignant and emotional“
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