I’ve been super busy over the past few weeks, and so have struggled to get this review written and posted; but here it is at last!
‘I’ll Meet You There‘ by Heather Demetrios was first published in early 2015. It’s a Young Adult romance novel, and was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Young Adult Fiction in 2015. [you can buy a copy here!]
The novel follows Skylar Evans in the summer before she leaves her little town to go to college, and the romance which she strikes up with the Marine Josh Mitchell, who has returned home after having his leg blown off in Afghanistan.
It took me a little while to really get into this story, but once I did I fell in love. It was a harsh realistic story which let it’s sweet and tender side seep through. I mean, the bones of this story is about a bunch of people stuck in a backwater town where nothing ever happens, and the horrors of modern warfare. It’s about people struggling to find themselves and to accept themselves for what they really are. It’s about two people finding themselves in each other (wow that sounds corny, but it’s not, trust me).
While there were plenty of themes that I personally couldn’t relate to (such as living in the middle-of-nowhere America), I did find myself understanding what the characters were going through, and also feeling for them. While it took a few chapters for the characters to feel real in my mind, once they had they took root and wouldn’t leave. I found myself wishing for Skylar and Josh to be okay; whether they ended up together or not, I wanted them to be safe and happy. And I think that speaks volumes about their characterisation (because I really wanted them to get together).
I really enjoyed the little insights into Josh’s mind which came in between most chapters. They were basically entries in his journal which his therapist recommends to help him deal with everything. It was a really intimate and interesting look into the mind of a young man just about destroyed by war. This approach skillfully added an extra dimension to his character, and made him a lot more likeable.
Honestly, I can get emotional in books, but I really have to connect to the characters for it to happen (cue ugly crying about Sirius Black). There were a few times throughout Demetrios’ story where I got teary, so I think that really tells you something about how emotional the story really is.
Basically, this story wasn’t anything like I expected it to be (seems like that’s happening a lot lately), and I’m rejoicing over that fact. It wasn’t cliché ridden, which is a pleasant surprise given the “I really need to get out of this town” thing that Skylar has going on. If you like realistic YA fiction, give this one a go!
Skylar Evans. She was just a really realistic character, and I really enjoyed following her journey.
I have once again struggled to pick a favourite moment, mostly because the moments all feel like they work better as a whole. I’ll go with the first time Skylar follows Josh to the train tracks and they have a bit of a heart-to-heart. It was a stepping stone in their relationship, and in Sky’s understanding of this new Josh.
“Hanging out with Josh was like learning how to drive stick. It was hard enough just to start and then it was one stall after another. But somehow I always managed to crawl forward, just a little bit.”
I have enjoyed writing the past few book reviews, and hope to continue to write them throughout the year. Please let me know what you think of my review, and also of “I’ll Meet You There”!