Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Review - I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Title: I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Series: N/A
Pages: 400 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Dates read: February 23rd to 28th, 2015

Goodreads synopsis:
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.
 Rating: 4/5 stars

As you all now, I recently read (and loved) Heather Demetrios' Something Real. So, when I saw that she had a new book coming out, I was super excited. While I didn't like I'll Meet You There as much as Something Real, it has definitely made me realize that Heather Demetrios is one of my new favourite authors.

I'll Meet You There tells the story of Skylar and Josh, Skylar is a girl who can't wait to get out of Creek View to go to an art school in San Francisco. Josh is a marine who has just come home a few months after losing a leg in Afghanistan. The two reconnect and, obviously, they fall in love.

Josh and Skylar's story was really sweet. I liked how, while Skylar was helping Josh re-adapt to normal life, Josh was also helping her come out of her shell a bit and enjoy her life. For this reason, Skylar and Josh (Skosh? Jylar?) is one of my favourite relationships in YA fiction. Their relationship is imperfect, as are both of them individually, yet they still help each other and just work.

The writing, like in Something Real was just simply phenomenal. Heather Demetrios' writing just has a way of making you feel things. I was close to tears at some points, points where I was laughing just a few pages before.  The characters were pretty great, as was the portrayal of Josh's life after the war. It felt so real, and I know that this is something many veterans feel. I enjoyed seeing this aspect tackled, because it isn't one that usually is addressed in YA books. They were all just so real and unique, kind of in the same vein as SR's characters.

I also really liked the way Skylar connected things from her life to differents artists/works of art (like Frida Kahlo, for example). This is also an aspect that I really liked in Something Real, with Chloe/Bonnie comparing her life to George Orwell's 1982. I don't know if this is intentional on Heather Demetrios' part, but I definitely wouldn't complain if something like this were to be found in her next books.

The only thing I would complain about in I'll Meet You There were the short chapter-ish parts that were in Josh's point of view. One, the run-on sentences made it kind of hard for me to follow. But then again, I know that it was necessary to show Josh's state of mind. I would have also wanted to see more of Josh's point of view. I would have liked to have a bit more insight on what he was thinking at certain key parts in the story.

All in all, I'll Meet You There is a cute love story about finding yourself and following your dreams. It's beautifully written, but it's a bit of a heavy book to read, because of the subject matter of Josh's storyline (depression, PTSD, etc.) But it's also an important book, because there aren't many opportunities to read about that kind of stuff. I think this is a book that everyone should read. I definitely recommend it! Heather Demetrios is definitely one of my new favourite authors.

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