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.
Title: I’ll Meet You There
Author: Heather Demetrios
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Publication date: February 3, 2015
I received I’ll Meet You There from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Skylar and Josh have both grown up in the same dead-end town. Josh got out by joining the military, but when he loses his leg in Afghanistan, he doesn’t have anywhere to go but home. Home doesn’t offer much in the way of a supportive and loving family, but it’s a roof over his head at least. Skylar’s just graduated from high school and is looking forward to going to college when her mom loses her job at Taco Bell and falls into depression. With no one else to take care of her mom, it’s looking like Sky won’t be able to leave after all. Sky has been planning her escape for years, so it’s a crushing blow.
Sky and Josh both have interesting stories separately, but together as a couple? Not so much. They did work together at the Paradise Motel so he’s not a complete stranger, but Josh is a couple of years older than Sky and she doesn’t know him well until his return. Although there are only glimpses into Josh’s home life and who he was before he left for the military, I’m pretty sure I would have hated him then. Sometimes I hate him now.
[su_spoiler title=”Spoiler” style=”fancy”]No, I’m sorry, Josh, PTSD is not an excuse for letting another girl’s mouth touch your dick.[/su_spoiler]
Near the end of the book Sky finally calls him on using PTSD as an excuse and lets him know that she won’t tolerate it any longer. Way too late, if you ask me. I would have been out of there many chapters before that. Their romance is fine, but nothing spectacular. I like their banter, but I question whether either one of them is even in a position to be starting a relationship right now. Josh is way too emotionally damaged and Sky has baggage of her own — and she still hopes to find a way to leave town at the end of the summer. They may come from the same place, but they’re living in two very different worlds and they’re going very different places. What’s Josh going to do, tag along with Sky to art school? He needs to get his own life together and figure out what he’s going to do now, not follow her around. I don’t even see them sticking it out in the long run, which is something I
want demand from couples I ship.
The romance doesn’t work for me, but I love the secondary characters! The town of Creek View is so well drawn that it’s almost a character itself, and the Paradise Motel, with its theme rooms, is too. Sky’s best friend Dylan is a teen mom who’s still with her baby’s father. (Unlike most couples on MTV’s 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom they live separately, each with their own parents, which may be why they’re still able to maintain their relationship.) Her other best friend Chris is bound for college in Boston and he never lets Sky forget that they have a pact: they’re getting out of Creek View no matter what. Her boss at the Paradise is Marge, a woman who lost a son to the war and who’s a better mother figure to Sky than her biological mother ever has been. She’s probably my favorite character in the whole book.
Sky and Chris are constantly down on Creek View and its residents, and it’s not until Dylan points out that SHE isn’t getting out, that SHE is exactly like all the people in Creek View that they’re running down that Sky realizes how elitist they’ve been. That’s something Dylan has to have been carrying around for a long, long time, and it’s about time she said something. It’s one thing to want to leave, but don’t look down on the people who can’t or don’t want to leave.
I’ll Meet You There is one of the most well-written books I’ve read in awhile, ultimately it’s a heavier story than I like with a romance I can’t get behind.