- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (Feb. 3 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805097953
- ISBN-13: 978-0805097955
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 3.5 x 22 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #217,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
I'll Meet You There Hardcover – Feb 3 2015
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“This well-crafted romance is sure to please fans of contemporary realism, and the witty dialogue may snag a few John Green fans as well.” ―BCCB
“Demetrios' latest will have a huge impact not only on YA fans, but also on booklovers of all ages. Her writing exudes raw feelings, and the characters all have strong, distinct personalities....the balance between giggles and tears will keep your pulse racing till the finish.” ―RT Book Reviews
“*Part coming-of-age, part romance, and part war story. Demetrios' latest is remarkable.” ―Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“Teens who know someone who has returned home from the service disabled, or who long to escape a small town may identify with the novel . . . Add to collections where teen romances are popular.” ―School Library Journal
“Demetrios again focuses on timely issues, interpersing Skylar's account with short chapters in Josh's anguished voice that relive his painful wartime memories . . . A heady, page-flipping romance.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Chilling satire . . . Thought-provoking ideas wrapped in an engaging plot.” ―Kirkus Reviews on Something Real
“[An] addictive yet thoughtful debut.” ―Publishers Weekly on Something Real
About the Author
Heather Demetrios is the author of the critically acclaimed YA novel Something Real. When she's not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, she lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, Heather is part of the Summer 2014 Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA class at Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award for Something Real.
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The storytelling was genuine and made me cry a few times. But don't tell no one.
Skylar's life is falling apart, her mom is drinking again and lost her job. Skylar has a scholarship to go to school in San Francisco but now she doesn't know if she can go.
Josh came back from Afghanistan, he is a Marine. ..but he is not quit the same.
Skylar is a good girl and Josh is the bad boy. Two unlikely individuals become friends but do they become more?
Josh really hated people's pity.. something only a person who went through a horrible and traumatic event can really understand.. however the people on the other side of things just don't know how to act. I liked Josh, I think he really handled his return well, but at the same time, I personally wasn't a fan of his chapters. I think seeing him from Skylar's chapters was how I really liked him. There was so much anger in his own chapters and it was really hard to read that. He has every right to be angry, every right to hate the world. I have to be honest and say that I felt so uncomfortable because it reminded me of many of the young men back home that are pretty much in the same situation. One main difference is that therapy doesn't exist and PTSD doesn't really get treated there.. I guess the transference I subconsciously did just turned it into such an uncomfortable and sometimes bitter read. Skylar however frustrated me at times because she would consider ditching her full university ride just to take care of her mother who lost her job, wasn't in a hurry to find a new one, drank herself to sleep every night, and started seeing a good for nothing guy. This might sound selfish but I just can't imagine what Skylar has been through because of her mother. Her mother checked out of her mom role years ago and ever since, Skylar was the one taking care of everything. It annoyed me that Skylar even toyed with the idea of still getting screwed over by her mother.
I liked I'll Meet You There. I just felt it was a bit too long but I did find the friendship, turned relationship, between Skylar and Josh to be very sweet and raw and slow (in a good way). Both have been hurt in this world and seeing them both try to deal with it and try to make it work was what made the book for me. One other reason is Skylar's friends. I truly loved all their scenes together and they were just such a fantastic trio! I definitely recommend I'll Meet You There to contemporary fans who want more than a typical cute romance.
Skylar has made it her priority to get out of Creek View. Not many people do and she refuses to be stuck there in a mediocre life. Now that graduation is under her belt, she's just got the summer to work at the Paradise, the local motel, and off to San Francisco and freedom she'll be.
Josh is back in Creek View after a tour in Afghanistan. Joining the Marines was supposed to be his one ticket out of the lowly life Creek View was going to offer him. But that's not what life had in store for him. Josh is back in Creek View having lost a leg in Afghanistan.
Skylar and Josh spent high school working at the Paradise together. They sparked up an unlikely friendship during those years. When Josh was shipping off, Skylar knew she was going to miss his company. She thought about him a lot, and now that he's back she can't wait to see him. Skylar really hopes Josh feels the same way. Skylar quickly realizes this is a different Josh. The old Josh was a player and cocky. This Josh is distant and moody. Skylar is determined not to treat him differently though. This is where their friendship turns into something a lot deeper.
The relationship between Skylar and Josh was definitely the most heart warming and heart breaking bit of the book. I adored both characters and how their growth and change in attitude was done, just spot on.
Creek View is a middle on where California town. Everyone lives in a trailer and works a minimum wage job. Skylar and her best friend Chris made a pact to pretty much stay single and get a free ride to university. Skylar has no problem sticking to that. She's straight laced. Having lost her dad to a car accident where he drank and drove, Skylar refuses to touch the stuff. Other kids see her as a bit of a prude for it. I love how she sticks to her morals and doesn't let peer pressure distract her from her goals. I also loved how Skylar showcases Creek View and her life their through her collages. How she puts her life into art is beautiful and one of her stronger personality traits. Skylar works hard at her job but also taking care of her mom. She's worried about her surviving without her. Syklar has had to grow up and become the parent. Which becomes very apparent and almost shatters everything Skylar has worked towards when her mom loses her job and goes off the deep end.
There's not many chapters from Josh's POV, but the ones that are are heart breaking. Josh returns to Creek View a shell of a person. The horrors of war follow him. Having had his leg blown off is not something you're suppose to bounce back from. Josh is understandably surviving from PTSD and feels like he's useless. He should be back with this friends as they're shipping out on another tour. Josh was the high school star. The popular guy. Two years later and one leg short he's still the center of attention. But it's for different reasons. He doesn't know how to handle it, nor does it seem like his friends know how to be around him without pity. Josh also doesn't have the support of his family. He feels like he's disappointed him. Without even the support of his family to help get him through is really hard to read. There's so much heart break with Josh's story, but it also leaves room for hope.
Like I mentioned above, Skylar and Josh's relationship in I'll Meet You There is everything. Of course I totally shipped them. But it was so much more than that. The way Skylar is able to drop all the BS around Josh is exactly what he needs. Josh doesn't want pity. He's already beating himself up enough over what happened in Afghanistan. Skylar is the first person to offer him friendship. She treats him like a person. There's the easy banter about his leg. She doesn't freak out and think he's weak. Skylar is also able to pull him out when he disappears inside himself. In turn Josh is able to trust her and starts to open up about his feelings and experiences over seas; the good and bad. But it is not just what Skylar has to offer Josh, it's also what Josh is able to do for Skylar.
There's also the fantastic bunch of supporting characters. Like Marg, the owner of Paradise. She offers Josh and Skylar a family they are both lacking. And Dylan, Skylar's BFF. She's able to show Skylar that even though she's a teenage mom and will probably be a Creek View lifer, it doesn't mean she's any less of a person. Dylan is happy with her life and helps Skylar see that Creek View is apart of her, not something to ashamed of. But something to grow and learn from. Even Skylar's mom adds depth to the story. Yes, she spirals down in the dark end. But not once does she expect Skylar to give up her dreams and life to take care of her. Everyone has a point and life that helps further the story along.
I finished I'll Meet You There with tears streaming down my face. Which is very inductive of my reading experience. There were happy tears mixed in with the not so happy tears. I think when there's a central story around a war vet, especially one as young as Josh, there is every chance for it go horribly wrong. Obviously Demetrios captured Josh's struggles with learning to deal with what life had dealt him in a strong and emotional way. Add in Skylar and Creek View(yes I see the town as it's own character because it is), both with their own obstacles to over come and I don't see why this book isn't on everyone's TBR's. Pre-order it. Request it at the library. Whatever. Just make sure you read it next month. This is a story that deserves to be heard.
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