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I'll Meet You There

Review

I'll Meet You There

Skylar Evans has only one more summer trapped in the tiny town of Creek View, California before she moves on to her dream life at an art school in San Francisco. But all of Skylar’s carefully laid plans come crashing down when her mom loses her job and sinks into an alcohol-fueled depression. Now Skylar fears she will be forced to reside in the same trailer park for the rest of her life and hold her fractured family together by working part-time at the run down Paradise motel located off the highway.

Also working at the Paradise is Josh Mitchell, the town playboy who enlisted in the Marines a few years ago. Josh lost his leg to an IED in Afghanistan and returns to Creek View a broken shell of the rebellious boy he used to be. After all the pain and difficulties he experienced in the war, Josh is left adrift, unable to return to his old way of life. When he and Skylar reconnect, each of them tries to deny their growing feelings for the other person --- Skylar because she is weary of Josh’s reputation with girls, and Josh because he is too damaged to reveal his true self to another person. But as the summer draws to a close, both Skylar and Josh must find the courage to seek out what they really want in life --- and who they need by their side.

In I’LL MEET YOU THERE, Demetrios provides readers with so much more than a blossoming love story. The anguishing journey that both these characters take to secure a sense of self is momentous and thought-provoking.

I’LL MEET YOU THERE is an emotionally fraught tale of love, self-identity and the ties that bind us. Skylar possesses an impressive amount of courage and perseverance as she struggles with extreme poverty, family demons and her mother’s alcoholism, all while attempting to secure both their futures. But it is Skylar’s flaws that make her real; readers will want to shake her in times of stubbornness and reach out to comfort her when she cracks under the overwhelming pressure of everything life has thrown at her.

Although the novel is mostly narrated by Skylar, the parts that shine the brightest are the brief, one to two page chapters written from Josh’s point of view. These gut-wrenching glimpses into Josh’s shattered mindset reveal the harrowing effects that the war and losing his leg have on Josh’s life. As Josh wades through his grief over his dead comrades and battles with his own survival, author Heather Demetrios artfully brings to life the struggle that real soldiers all around the world are facing today. Josh’s road to find peace will be a long and arduous one, but tender moments with Skylar, where he is finally able to let some of his walls come down, provide reassurance that he is on the right path. 

Reviewed by Sabrina Abballe on February 11, 2015

I'll Meet You There
by Heather Demetrios

  • Publication Date: February 3, 2015
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • ISBN-10: 0805097953
  • ISBN-13: 9780805097955