Publication Date: February 3rd 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
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.
God, to say I wasn’t expecting such a powerhouse of an emotional book out of this would be an understatement. I was completely enamoured by Skylar and Josh’s story, and this book quickly skyrocketed to all time favourite level, and absolutely a favourite of 2015.
I posted a status update on Goodreads about how it really reminded me of The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson in the sense that Demetrios’ writing was heartbreaking yet hopeful, and it left me feeling like I had a hand closing around my throat, it was so powerful and I was choked up so much. Skylar and Josh were two characters who were so flawed but so perfect to me while reading them.
Demetrios’ setting, a blink and you’ll miss it town on the side of a highway in California, where the sun beats down and the summer days are long was dreamy, and Demetrios placed me there so thoroughly it didn’t feel like I was in rainy Vancouver. I fell in love with the setting alone and how that that dreamy, hazy feeling reflected the sexy story within. A haze falls over this roadside town, and Skylar’s dreams of leaving it in the dust were amazing because of how she truly put her happiness first. I really find that doesn’t happen often, characters come across as selfish, but I appreciated it and oorah‘ed right beside her. I wanted her to be selfish and have her dreams and see them through.
Josh’s story just ripped me apart. It’s always tough getting in the head of someone who has been to war, and the way Demetrios wrote his p.o.v, in short, harsh and brutally honest snippets, fit the story so seamlessly. I rooted for him throughout the entire book too, to find his peace and his happiness.
The connection between Skylar and Josh was electric but subtle, while at the same time feeling like one of Josh’s trains barrelling into my life and forcing me to feel along with them. Their love story is one that I won’t forget and absolutely one that i’ll return to again and again, just in order to experience the kaleidoscope of emotion and love and pain and beauty that I got while reading I’ll Meet You There.