Review: I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

November 7, 2014 4 stars, Book Review 10 ★★★★

Review: I’ll Meet You There by Heather DemetriosI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt & Co (BYR) on February 3, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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.

Just finished and I still have no idea how to feel. I’ll Meet You There is one that impacts you that’s for damn sure. It feels so…incomplete, but at the same time, it’s perfect.

Where do I even begin?

The story is very simple, very slow-placed, and very character driven. Some people can be turned off by this, but I wasn’t because I really loved the characters and I wanted to know their story. EVERY. SINGLE. DETAIL. and that’s what I fucking got. It was wonderful.

The characters are so real. There were times where I wanted to wring their necks. There were some scenes toward the end when I just went:

But the thing is, these characters aren’t flawless. They aren’t perfect. They’re as real as you can possibly get from a novel. Obviously, I’m not going to agree with all of their choices, but I can appreciate that they sound and act like real people who make mistakes.

Skylar is just trying to enjoy her last summer before college (and yes, this 400-page book only spans 3 months of summer) working at the Paradise motel. She’s been scrounging for money ever since her father’s drunk-driving death and her mother’s recent unemployment. There’s one point where she only eats a cracker for the whole day. Meanwhile, it’s set in cute little small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. So when Josh gets back from the war with a missing limb, everyone throws him a big party for his return.

But Josh isn’t the same party guy any more. War will do that to you. Losing a leg will do that to you and he really doesn’t know where he’s going in life or if he even wants to go on.

This novel gets pretty deep as it delves into issues like poverty, alcoholism, loss, and suicidal tendencies. There’s just the right amount of angst and I think what really came together for me was that this isn’t a full romance novel. In fact, I’d say it’s about 10% romance–possibly even less. There are about two kissing scenes and that’s it.

I love it because it focuses on each character as an individual…they focus on themselves and love doesn’t triumph over their lives. THIS IS REALISTIC FICTION ALL THE WAY, PEOPLE.

The characterization was done so well and with absolute purpose. There were so many times I teared up and I just felt too much from Josh. I felt like I knew him. His chapters were scarce and only a page or two long, but fuck…they told so much. SO MUCH. And spectacular male POV in my opinion (that’s usually so hard for women to get right).

The things that I didn’t like so much but forgave:

-The super slow pace (It was fine because it was so realistic, slow is how life is! Everything happens with time!)

-Some of the stylistic writing choices in the regular chapters (not Josh’s, I loved all of his)

-Every homosexual diss made my Josh (I told you…imperfections man, they are there)

-Sky’s irrational behavior toward the end (kind of inconsistent with her whole good-girl vibe and not a good enough reason for her to suddenly spiral down)

-The ending (I don’t know why, but I feel like I’m missing something. Maybe that was the point. Maybe I’m supposed to feel like the story is still being written, some books have that type of mentality at the end)

Overall: If you like realism with poverty and war as a backdrop–that will kick you in the feels–then this is the book for you.

10 Responses to “Review: I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios”

  1. Molly Mortensen

    Realistic characters is a good thing, I’m not sure they’re exactly likable though. Yeah I don’t typically like my reading to get too deep. I do like the sounds that they’re still themselves and not defined by their relationship. So many books do that!

    Welcome back Kat! 🙂
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Fallen Souls By Linda Foster Mini ReviewMy Profile

    • Kat

      It’s hard because I like realism, but sometimes people just get on my nerves…like in real life. LMAO. Sometimes you just want to get away from the real and dive into the fantasy. I think that books solely based on the love relationship aspect is always lacking in something more. I like it when my characters aren’t just all into each other that they completely forget about themselves, because really what is that telling the youth? It’s seen way too much in YA.

  2. Danya @ Fine Print

    I’m intrigued! I don’t read much contemporary these days, but I like mine pretty raw – I leave the fluff to PNR. 😉 Tough issues like poverty and PTSD are things are compelling and it seems like Demetrios really makes you care about the characters, although I’m not sure I could ignore homophobic slurs unless Josh realizes what an idiot he’s being.
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Review: Otherworld Nights by Kelley ArmstrongMy Profile

    • Kat

      Are all PNRs fluff? Just wondering, I usually tend to not like them because I’m so picky. They have to be especially good. Anyway, she does…it’s pretty dead on when it comes to all the struggles. Josh really bothered me with that too, but I chalked it up to his character just being that way. I won’t like it happens a handful of times and each time, I’m like…why, dude. WHY?! I mean he doesn’t like go out and bully them or hit them or even call them names, but he does say the word “Faggot” as like a term of some sort of endearment and he does mention not being gay or making it seem like being gay is a bad thing. Other than that though, I really liked his POV and his faults were overshadowed by the story.

  3. Ellen B

    So curious to read this one. I wan’t a fan of Demetrios’s Exquisite Captive, but the synopsis of this just sounds so interesting. Thanks for the review — reading it lessens the pain of the wait!
    Ellen B recently posted…Attachments ReviewMy Profile