I'LL MEET YOU THERE is a contemporary YA novel written by the sweet and extremely talented writer - Heather Demetrios.
This is my first encounter with this author. I have seen many reviews and recommendations all over blogs and accounts dedicated to books. This book has been only published earlier this year, but soon enough, It became book worms' favourite. And after reading this book, I can understand why. I have been no exception and I fell in love with this book deeply.
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 realises her dreams may be slipping out of reach. Josh had a different escape route: the Marines. But after losing his leg in Afganistan, he returned 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 Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into a friendship and, son, something deeper.
As I mentioned, this book has been released only earlier this year. I actually had it on pre-order ever since I read the synopsis on one of the blogs I follow. My copy is a hardback. 379 pages divided into 34 chapters written from Skylar's point of view. Every couple of chapters, there is a page from Josh's diary which gives us a glimpse into what is going through his mind. The sleeve of the book is beautiful. On the front, there is a collage of the title of the book and the author's name. It's designed with the style of lomography and good all american motel signs. Nice touch.
The writing is absolutely fantastic. Easy to read. Modern. Filled with wonderful, at times hilarious dialogues. Talk about slow burn and sexual tension. I swear, Marc Guggenheim (The producer of my favourite show on TV at the moment - ARROW) must have read this book. Because that's the only way I can understand how similar are the relationships of the main characters. Viewers of Arrow have been watching Oliver & Felicity aka #Olicity fighting feelings for another for 3 seasons. Talk about patience. Skylar & Josh are the same in so many ways. One step forward, two steps back. Although I enjoy the tension and the relationship, it's frustrating at times and I just want to shake some sense into the characters. But that's what makes a great relationship and writing (and TV show). It lures you in and keeps you on your toes with many hardships and tests. And at the end you are rewarded with a satisfaction of a great ending.
The story itself is brilliant, smart and life-changing. It's a wonderful love story of two people who went through hell and fought their way back to normality and possible happy ending. Josh's part is absolutely mesmerising. I do appreciate the author approaching the subject of soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq. I admired the way the author described post-traumatic stress disorder and the way of copying with what the soldiers seen and went through. We all think about it and have our own ideas of what is happening out there, but the writer managed to described it perfectly and to the point without making it more colourful or appealing. It's written in truth, describing all the feelings Josh goes through. The whole story is one of a kind. It's cleverly written and you cannot help but keep on reading. It's exciting and you will fall in love with it straight from the start. It won't let you stop reading. And after you are done, it will leave a mark on you and makes you think about it for quite some time.
Skylar is a wonderful character so many of us can relate to. He grew up in a sleepy town where the prospect of your future is teenage pregnancy and your own trailer in massive trailer park. Your dream job is a graveyard shift at Taco Bell. So she does everything in her power to not end up like every other Creek View girl. She wants more for herself. She is strong, beautiful and has her head firmly on her shoulders. She is real. I love her humour. Josh is a strong, very charismatic player who had a great potential. He run away from Creek View and found his true calling in Marines. But then the explosion happen and Josh lost his leg and best friend. He is hurting and needs to find a way to cope with the new reality. Both of these characters are so inspiring and so real. I love and admire them both.
So all in all, I give this book 5 stars without any hesitation. It was a wonderful, thrilling ride and I cannot wait to re-read the book as soon as I can. I would recommend to anyone, regardless if you love YA contemporary genre or not, you should give it a go. You won't regret it.
Well done Ms Demetrios. You found yourself a new, but very loyal fan. I cannot wait to read your other novel SOMETHING REAL.