“Why is it that some people in the world get to wake up in beautiful houses with fairly normal parents and enough food in the fridge while the rest of us have to get by on the scraps the universe throws at us? And we gobble them up, so grateful. What the hell are we grateful for?”
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.
"If you could make a beautiful piece of art from discarded newspapers and old matchbooks, then it meant that everything had potential. And maybe people were like collages - no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered."
When I started reading I was sceptical. In my case sceptical stands for "already decided that this will be a shitty read". Which means that I was totally fishing for negative things, I went as far as starting to highlight the things I found bad. I'm glad to say I only found one that I really hated. That being said I didn't get into the book at first, or rather I didn't relate to the characters just then. I felt them strange and I couldn't understand them. Thankfully that too completely changed later. As I was reading I forgot about my problems with the characters, I forgot about my mission to hunt down every mistakes, to be exact I forgot about everything but this beautifully written, emotionally-gripping story.
I decided to write down separately what I enjoyed and what I didn't. Let's see how that works out.
My favorite things in the novel:
- The FEELS. Seriously, I went from frowning to laughing to heartbreak to a nervous breakdown and I could go on and on.
- How seriously mental-illness was treated. I'm no expert by far but I did found this part of the novel completely realistic. Josh didn't magically get better when they got together, nor did he was perfect by the end, but he started a path that could lead to a better and calmer future.
- The realistic characters. I'd risk to say that this was a novel with the most real and well-developed characters I've read this year. They were messed up and I didn't understand some of their choices plus at some parts was angry at them for the said choices but I did love them all this time.
- The romance. No insta-love here! Slow-developed, a 100% believable love romance that left me wanting a novella of Sky and Josh in the future.
- The writing. This story sucked me in completely and that says a lot about how beautifully Heather Demetrious writes.
- The friends. Yet again they were flawed, had their own problems but in the long run both Dylan and Chris stood next to Sky and supported her, even if they couldn't completely understand her problems. I LOVED how there was absolutely no romance between Chris and Sky. In most novels the guy best friend is either gay or interested in the MC which is annoying as fuck.
Things I disliked:
- How Chris and Sky insulted everyone who wanted to stay in Creek View, even though Dylan was their best friend who was happy with a simple life there. Not cool, guys, not cool.
- Sometimes the characters crossed the line between a joke/statement and an insultment, slut-shaming for instance was a huge disappointment.
Josh’s eyes widened. “Dylan has a kid?” I nodded, and he shook his head. “Damn. I mean, I’m not surprised, but—”
My hands stopped organizing packets. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Skylar, don’t get all … I’m just saying, you know, Dylan’s always liked to have a good time.”
I'll Meet You There is recommended for everyone who enjoys mental-illness books, about damaged characters. To me it was a better version of Making Faces.
The story idea: 5/5
The realization of the story: 4.5/5
The characters: 5/5
The cover: 4/5
Enjoy factor: 5/5