Review: I'll Meet You There

12:00 AM Serena 0 Comments

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Format: Owned, hardcover
Rating: 5 (million)/5 stars 
Part of a series? Nope! 
Buy links: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - The Book Depository

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 finished I'll Meet You There a week or so ago. I was sitting on my bed, hunched over my copy, crying. No, sobbing is a better word. There were wadded up tissues all around me, tears EVERYWHERE. I'm sure I was quite the picture of beauty. I thought that since I didn't write my review immediately, I would have a difficult time with it, but I'm not having that issue. This book has stayed with me, and I'm not likely to forget it soon. 

"And maybe people were like collages - no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered.'

I loved both Josh and Sky. I fell in love with watching them fall in love. Their relationship was a wild rollercoaster ride filled with ups and downs and twists and turns, but it was beautiful. I heard someone say once that there's no such thing as a flawed character; there are only real, human characters. I had never thought that statement to be so truthful as I did when I read I'll Meet You There. Josh and Sky were far from perfect. Both of them were carrying such weight on their shoulders. But they helped put each other back together and found themselves in the process, and it all felt so real, like I could feel their heartbreak and their triumphs through the pages. (I was feeling the swoony bits too, and trust me, there are a lot of those in here as well.)

Speaking of heartbreak, let's talk about Josh a little bit more. Josh is a military veteran at only nineteen years old, and he lost so much fighting overseas. Now, I don't have any family or close friends in the Marines, but I did grow up watching and loving NCIS, so I'm really fascinated by the military, the Navy and Marines especially, so that was a big part of why I was so interested in reading this book. Now that I've read it, I can wholeheartedly say that YA and NA fiction need more military-centric novels, especially if they can be written with half as much raw emotion as this one was. Mental illnesses are difficult to talk and write about, but they should be talked and written about. PTSD affects so many men and women today, so characters like Josh are so, so important. 

Of course, this book would not have been as wonderful as it is if it were not so superbly written. Ms. Heather Demetrios is a master of words, my friends. Not just anyone could have pulled this off, but she did and she deserves the highest praise for it. Even her acknowledgements made my heart swell. I cried. She gets mad props for that. 

Oh my goodness, you guys. This review is a mess. I tried to get all my thoughts and feels organized, but it was really hard for this book. Anyway the bottom line is, I'll Meet You There is beautiful and amazing and charming and feelsy and all the other good things I could possibly say about a novel. I loved it an infinite amount. I hope you do too. 

Also, you can make a contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project to benefit veterans. Help out the Joshes of the world.