“Maybe people were like collages—no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered.”- Skylar, I’ll Meet You There
Synopsis via Goodreads: If 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 separating Skylar from art school is three months of summer…until Skylar’s mother loses her job, and Skylar realizes her dreams may be slipping out of reach.
Josh had a different escape route: the Marines. But after losing his leg 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 Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and, soon, something deeper.
Compelling and ultimately hopeful, this is a powerful examination of love, loss, and resilience.
It’s the summer before Skylar Evans heads off to college and she can’t wait to pack her bags and leave the small town life for good. But road blocks emerge when her mom loses her job and Skylar has no choice but to pick up the slack in order to keep a roof over their heads. Things become even more complicated when Josh Mitchell returns home and the two start spending time together. Feelings start to develop and a connection forms between the two and Skylar realizes that leaving her small town life behind may not be as easy as she had hoped.
I’ve had I’ll Meet You There on my TBR for a while now and I wasn’t too sure about when I was going to get to it, but after seeing four 5-star reviews of this book within the span of two weeks, I knew I had to start this book ASAP. Let me tell you, those 5-star reviews did not deceive me because this book was AMAZING. I’m kicking myself for not starting it sooner because this book reminded me why I fell in love with the YA contemporary genre in the first place. It was simple, yet powerful and left me wanting more.
I’ll Meet You There deals with a number of important themes. From poverty and alcoholism, to PTSD and self-identity, Demetrios does an excellent job at tackling these themes. There was no sugar-coating and that is what made this book such an emotional read. After losing her father at an early age, Sky was forced to take on the role as the responsible adult when her mother falls into a depression and turns to alcohol to deal with this loss. She struggles to keep a roof over their head, while still holding on to her dream of becoming an artist. We also have Josh who is suffering from PTSD after returning from Afghanistan with only one leg. He blames himself for the death of his comrades and he is no longer the go-happy guy he once used to be. It was NOT easy reading about these two struggles and I didn’t even realize the tears were flowing until I could no longer make out the words on the pages. This book will make you SOB LIKE A BABY WITHOUT A BOTTLE so TISSUES ARE A MUST!
If there were ever two characters to root for it would be Sky and Josh! I loved Sky right from the beginning. She has such a big heart and is always putting everyone else’s needs before her own, especially her mother’s, who I felt took her for granted. She has nothing to lose, but everything to gain and dammit I wanted so bad to see her go after her dreams and leave this town of heartache behind. Josh’s chapters broke me down. Seeing him relive his memories, trying to come to terms that he was not at fault was brutal. It was a rough road to recovery for Josh, but in the end, I felt like he was going to be alright.
I especially loved the romance in this book and I liked the fact that it wasn’t the main focus throughout this book. While you can definitely feel the chemistry between these two, nothing is rushed. It’s a slow and steady build up until this platonic relationship turns romantic and I felt like these two were a really good match for each other.Everyone saw Josh as a war hero, but they never wanted to talk about what he saw while at war and Sky was the only one willing to hear him out. She was that ear he needed to help him talk about what he saw and in turn, he too helped her when she was need it. It was the little things, like helping her deal with her mother and even buying her a meal when she was on a tight budget that really touched my heart. Like I said, it there was ever a pair to root for it would be these two right here!
I’ll Meet You There was an emotional and realistic YA contemporary that left me wanting more. I really wish I would’ve read this sooner and if this book is still sitting on your TBR, MOVE IT UP because you will definitely want to read this well DESERVED 5-star book!