Oh this book… THIS BOOK… it’s everything I need from a contemporary fiction. It’s so raw and emotional and beautiful and I fell deeply in love with it. All I wanted to do was hold this book and cry myself to sleep… and that is precisely what I did after I was done reading.
I’ll Meet You There is a story about Skylar and Josh. Sky came from a poor family where it’s just her and her mother. She just graduated high school and counting the days until she had to leave for college, then something happened and her life started to fall apart–even more than it already did. The night of her graduation party, she saw Josh for the first time in 2 years at his welcome party, only to find out that Josh lost his leg in Afghanistan.
Sky is my new favorite protagonist. She’s tough and vulnerable at the same time and probably the most caring person in the world. She cares about Josh even after he hurt her, she cares about her mom even when her mom treated her like crap and everyone told her to mind her own business, and she cares so much for her friends. Being in her head was incredible, it was emotional. I cried every time she cried and my heart hurt for everything that she felt. Her character development is just amazing.
Josh is also my new favorite male protagonist. He used to be cocky and even now you could still see he’s a bit of a jerk. Actually he was being a jerk to a lot of people, saying sexist and bigoted things like ‘that sounds so gay‘ or things like it. BUT it was almost always called-out in-text by Skylar or Nick, so he did’t just get away with it. Besides, you would also know that Josh is actually a good guy at his core.
I could feel everything he feels… his guilt, his frustration, his desperation, his love for Sky… I just, I can’t even with this book. Josh’s chapters were even MORE emotional and it was so raw I don’t even know how to feel. And if Sky’s character development is amazing, then Josh’s is even more so. I’ve heard so much about war trauma, soldiers going home to become a completely different person and all that, but I never really read about it. This book taught me a lot about how it feels to be a Marine, how it feels to keep losing the people you care about, and how it feels to keep seeing war even if you’re thousand miles away from it. Josh’s PTSD was portrayed so honestly and beautifully. It was… raw. Seeing his struggle made my heart ache for him. It was a wonderful experience to see him try to overcome his condition.
And the romance… it’s just so beautiful, so imperfectly perfect. I love Josh and Skylar so much and I’m so so happy with their relationship. It was hard and it hurt a lot but it was so real. I’m also really glad that they had gotten to know each other before Josh left for the Marines because it allowed their relationship to seem even more realistic and develop at a steadier pace. And I’m so thankful this book doesn’t encourage the ‘love as a cure for all’ trope. Being with Sky makes Josh better, but not entirely. Like, he still has nightmare and bad days and all that but he’s trying to be honest and that’s just so heartwarming.
The writing is simple but so beautiful and rich with raw emotion. The plot is very character-driven and I just love the characters so much. But if there’s one thing I could wish to be different, I wish it was dual-narrated. Like, we actually get chapters from Josh’s POV, not just fragmented thoughts like we have right now. But whatever, it’s good the way it is.
And I know I’ve said this a couple times before but it really was super emotional. Like, I cried every other chapter and I had to stop a few times to collect myself. And even when I stopped reading, I kept thinking about it, reliving each emotional moment on my head until I ended up crying again 😂 And I cried (again) when I read the author’s note because I found out that this book was inspired by the author’s own life. She comes from a family of Marines and she mentioned the time when her grandfather died and the Marines handed the US flag to her grandmother and I was sobbing again.
ALL IN ALL, I’ll Meet You There is a beautiful & realistic story filled with raw emotion. It will crush you and break your heart and probably make you cry all night but that’s okay because you will love it—hopefully as much as I do. Highly recommended! ♥
Book title : I’ll Meet You There
Author : Heather Demetrios
Publisher : Henry Holt & Co
If 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 separating Skylar from art school is three months of summer…until Skylar’s mother loses her job, and Skylar realizes her dreams may be slipping out of reach.
Josh had a different escape route: the Marines. But after losing his leg 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 Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and, soon, something deeper.
Have you read I’ll Meet You There? What do you think about it? Also I decided I want to read more books with military characters so as usual, shoot me some recs! YA is preferable, as always ♥
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