I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Sunday, January 3, 2016

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Publication Date: February 3rd, 2015
Pages: 379
Song I Played While Reading: Colors by Halsey
Rating: 4.5 stars

If Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing separating Skylar from art school is three months of summer... until Skylar's mother loses her job, and Skylar realizes her dreams may be slipping out of reach.
Josh had a different escape route: the Marines. But after losing his leg in Afghanistan, he returned home, a shell of the cocksurely he used to be.
What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise- a quirky motel off California's Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into a friendship and, soon, something deeper.

Oh man. Oh man, oh man, OH MAN. I'm doomed. I've already realized this, but I'll Meet You There still managed to punch me straight in the heart: I'm going to fall for a broken boy. Doesn't matter what level of broken he is, I'LL BE A GONER. I turn into a mama cub around guys with previous trauma, which is hilarious since I'm a whopping 5'0 and most guys are massive compared to me. But seriously, it brings me to my knees. And a war hero tops the list for me. Josh Mitchell dug his way into my heart with his easy going attitude, gorgeous looks, old heart, and back story in the Marines. Literally all I wanted to do whenever he had an episode was hug him to my chest and rock him back and fourth.
Thankfully Skylar had the same thinking process. These two were so incredibly sweet together that half the time I had to put the book down just so I could get my breathing back to normal. Their easy banter, long looks, and quite moments filled this book with so much natural sexual tension that I was literally screaming by the time they finally kissed. There was no insta-love here; it was slow moving and tender, building up to something that was beautiful. I loved Skylar for so many reasons. She was witty and honest, with half of her vocabulary consisting of swear words, which I relate to on so many levels. I've got a foul mouth, which surprises most people since I look so innocent.
And doNT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON JOSH. He was the perfect package for me; witty, kind, funny, protective, thoughtful, sarcastic... *grabby hands* And also incredibly attractive with gorgeous eyes.
Creek View hit home with me, since I lived in a small town for most of my life, and it could have definitely been considered redneck-y at times. There was a separate gym class for pregnant girls, we had super sleazy garage parties with beer pong tables made out of hastily-put-together boards of plywood and buckets, parents would get drunk at their kids parties, the same people would hook up like clockwork since there were no new people. We all orbited each other, talking about the same parties and the same people and the same accidents and same drama. There was so much history it was like we were all tangled up, unable to do things without bringing up our same group of friends since we were always with each other. In a way it was comforting, since hanging out and partying was as easy as breathing. You always had someone to talk too. I actually live in a similarly small town now in California, but I'm the outsider, looking in on people who've known each other since they were born, who's families have hung out for generations. It can be bad since you become so used to it that moving somewhere new can really knock you off your feet. I can't even tell you how nervous I was to go to my first party.
Okay, damn, sorry to get off topic there! Can you tell I'm feeling homesick? Anywho, I loved the supporting characters, especially CHRIS. Yes, that is a boy. And YES, Skylar and him were best friends and nothing more. I live for platonic friendships between a boy and a girl. I also just live for great friendships, and her, Chris, and Dylan were so fucking great that I constantly caught myself being choked up. Oh, and Dylan is a girl, by the way. I love boys names for girls. Clearly I just love this book, JEEZ. I also got choked up when Josh would think about his marine buddies. FRIENDSHIPS, MAN. THEY CAN BE BEAUTIFUL THINGS.
Overall, this was a fantastic, fantastic book, with an even balance of the romance and the other drama in Skylar's life. You know how some books can feel like the entire plot revolves around the love interest? This wasn't like that (though I honestly wouldn't have minded), and I loved the real troubles of thinking about school and dealing with her mom and the loss of her father.

"Too late, I realized that I was standing there dripping wet in nothing but my bra and underwear. I instantly covered chest and backed away from the pool.
"Nice panties," he said.
"Turn around," I snapped.
He raised his hands in the air and flipped onto his back. "You need to learn how to take a compliment. Besides," he added, "I've seen a lot less on a girl, believe me."
"Yes, Josh, everyone in Creek View is well aware if your sexcapades."
He snickered. "Sexcapades. I like it."

"In my essay for San Fran, I'd written about how I'd always felt like there was something magical about taking bits and pieces of the world around me and creating something whole. It gave me hope: if you could make a beautiful piece of art from discarded newspapers and old matchbooks, then it meant that everything had potential. And maybe people were like collages- no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered."

"Do it. I promise you'll feel better."
I cursed under my breath and grabbed a bottle. The smell of beer hit me, and I wrinkled my nose.
"There's still beer in this!"
"Well, then you better get it out of here before a cop pulls me over, huh?"
"You hick bastard."
"I love it when you talk dirty."

"I don’t really know what it means to move on, but lately, with Sky, I’m starting to feel like I want to because when I look at her, I don’t see you or the war or any of the shit in my head. I just see her, and it’s like suddenly I can breathe again after holding my breath for so long."

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