by Heather Demetrios
to be published on February 3, 2015
by Henry Holt and Co.
Source: Thanks so much to Macmillan for sending me an ARC for review.
Synopsis from 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.My take: I loved Heather Demetrios' first book, Something Real, and I was very excited to read this.
I loved it. I'll Meet You There is both poignant and romantic. I love stories that featuretwo people who absolutely shouldn't fall in love, but (of course) are perfect for each other. Skylar doesn't want to be tied down. For years, she's been dreaming of escaping her small town and attending art school. Josh is trying to accept the fact that some of his dreams have been shattered along with his leg.
What I loved:
The setting. I love small town stories, and I'll Meet You There really makes use of its location. Skylar thinks of Creek View as a place that people stop in on the way to somewhere else. Josh, returning home with a combat injury, has to face everyone's reaction to his news. This story shows how small towns can be a place of tremendous support, but also a place in which it's hard to reinvent yourself.
The way this turned the player/innocent dynamic upside down. I've seen many other bloggers moan about their weariness of this trope, but I'll Meet You There proves that familiar things can be reinvented. Skylar's no shrinking violet, and Josh may have been a ladies' man in his former life, but his injury has shaken his confidence in ways that puts them on more even footing.
The way the book handles families and relationships. I loved the way that Something Real presented family life in all its joys, frustrations and imperfections, and this book did the same. Skylar and her mom have a difficult relationship. Josh and his brother (and Skyler) also have a bit of history. Marge the hotel manager serves as a surrogate mother to them both. Dylan the teen mother also defies stereotypes: she and the father of her child are deeply in love.
The ending. I'll be honest: books in which it seems like teenage girls might give up all their dreams for a guy make me very nervous. But I loved the way this ending was handled. It wasn't too open-ended, or too saccharine, or too sad.
If you like YA realistic fiction that's moving and romantic, definitely check this one out. I highly recommend it!
Eep! I'm so happy to read this review. I'm reading this one soon.ReplyDelete
Karen @For What It's Worth
Can't wait to hear what you think. Hope you love it too!Delete
I adored this book too. Great review and she has become an auto read author for me :)ReplyDelete
Same -- well, her contemporary books at least :)Delete
This one has been getting all the praise lately! I really want to read it but I'm a little wary about the sad parts so it's definitely good to know the ending's not too sad :)ReplyDelete
It's realistic in a way I like -- it has a good balance of sad and happy!Delete
I loved this book SO MUCH! I love seeing that others enjoyed it as much as I did. :)ReplyDelete
Gahhh. I am so glad to hear you enjoyed this Jen! I've been hearing plenty of good things about this one and having read and loved Exquisite Captive, I don't doubt the author's ability to enchant me. I think the one reason the whole player trope doesn't work for me at least is that there is too much emphasis on the player aspect of a love interest and the females tend to be shrinking violets (which it seems Skylar is not so that's a good thing!). I think every trope can be done well, it just depends on how the author uses it. :DReplyDelete
Fantastic review, Jen! I hope I'll love the book as much as you did! :)
Rashika @ The Social Potato
I loved this one! I still have a boo hangover over this one and I read it last week :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for the great review. I am anxiously awaiting this one. I was bummed to have my ARC request denied but oh well.ReplyDelete
I'll Meet You There was so, so beautiful. I really feel like Heather managed to capture something wonderful with her story. Plus, Josh + Skylar are just so well written! I wanted to befriend them both.ReplyDelete
I haven't read too many reviews of this one to have formed an initial opinion, so I'm glad yours is mostly positive.ReplyDelete
This makes me happy! I LOVED Something Real but really didn't like Exquisite Captive by her. I think contemporary might be her strong point, so I'l have to pick this up!ReplyDelete
Fantastic review! I cannot wait to read it.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad this is a good read. It was my Waiting on Wednesday for this week and now I can't wait even more! I've been really getting in to stories like this lately. Thanks for the great review :)ReplyDelete
Oh wow. Based on that review, I need this book. NOW.ReplyDelete
Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG
OK, give it to me. Small town setting and gorgeous romance = my type of read at the moment. Lovely review, Jen :)ReplyDelete
I absolutely loved this one as well so I'm really happy to see more and more readers loving it. It's a truly special kind of book and you can tell that it took a lot of courage for Heather to write it. I'm so glad she did! I loved the characters and the friendships that existed especially.ReplyDelete
Beautiful review, Jen!
Wonderful review. This sounds like a great book. I don't read many contemporary books like this, but I think I may look into this one. Plus it is in a small town, I do enjoy small town settings.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad to see that you liked this one! I've heard such amazing things so I've already preordered it :-) fantastic review!ReplyDelete
That settles it. I am reading this book next. :)ReplyDelete
I love the bright colors of the cover and have heard nothing but good reviews of the book, including your great one. Definitely going to keep my eye out for this one around publication date!ReplyDelete
Kelly @ Dancing through the Pages
Ahhh, this is why y'all were talking about this book in book club. I feel like I've only read good things about Heather Demetrios's contemporary works whereas I couldn't get through EC.ReplyDelete
"I love stories that featuretwo people who absolutely shouldn't fall in love, but (of course) are perfect for each other." -- Me tooo!!!
Josh reminds me of one of the love interests in Adrenaline Crush (just by your description, that is). "This story shows how small towns can be a place of tremendous support, but also a place in which it's hard to reinvent yourself." -- I can see that. Can't say I'm a huge fan of reading books with small towns at the forefront though because I'm not a huge fan of what you described for Josh -- everyone having to know your news!
I must confess to not being a huge fan of player/innocent dynamics, but some authors can do it really well, so I wouldn't be surprised if Demetrios is one of them. And it makes my heart a little happy to have a YA contemp where there's more exploration of family life than the neglectful or absentee parents. "I'll be honest: books in which it seems like teenage girls might give up all their dreams for a guy make me very nervous." -- Me too! Wait, is that the way this one is handled :OO???