I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published in 2015 by Henry Holt and Company.
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. (Goodreads)
This book really surprised me. I’m not sure if it was because I was completely clueless what it was about (I received this book in my Uppercase Box Subscription in February) or what, but I really enjoyed this one. It wasn’t until I read the entire book that I really appreciated what Demetrios did within this YA contemporary novel. The setting of Creek View was the perfect backdrop for this story. It’s a small hole in the wall town with nothing to do, everyone wants out, but there’s always one or two who stay. Skylar is on the verge of keeping her pact with best friend, Chris. They’re off to college, but first they have to get through the summer. Then Josh happens. Josh returns home to Creek View after his leg was blown off in Afghanistan. Skylar sees Josh at a party and finds herself falling in love with him. Josh suffers from PTSD and isn’t sure about anything.
Skylar faces many conflicts along the way, as do the the other characters. Should I stay? Should I go? Skylar also deals with the death of her father and her mother losing her job and moving on with another man. While her friends support her, they think she is crazy. The friendships in this story are authentic.
Will Skylar keep her pact with Chris and leave for college after the summer is over? Or, will she stay behind to explore her relationship with Josh?
Characters-5 Setting-5 Plot-4 Conflict-5 Resolution-5
The author created a playlist. Here is what she said, “These are songs that inspired me as I wrote I’ll Meet You There. I’ve added some that made me think of the book when I’d heard them. It’s an eclectic mix to put on when you miss hanging out with Josh and Sky.” Begin listening.
When she’s not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real. Her other novels include Exquisite Captive, the first in the Dark Caravan Cycle fantasy series, and I’ll Meet You There. She is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for underserved youth. Find out more about Heather and her books atwww.heatherdemetrios.com and www.darkcaravancycle.com, or come hang out with her on Twitter (@HDemetrios) and any number of social media sites.