I prefer to take part on blog tours only for books I really love, and I'll Meet You There is a book I love. Love seems like a weak word for how I feel about this book. It's almost like I'm mad at if for being so good and for making me cry and for being so beautiful. It's gutwrenchingly gorgeous. It's messy and perfect. It's swoony and traumatic. IT'S SO FREAKING GOOD I CAN'T STAND IT.
The main character, Skylar, is stuck in a small nowhere town in California's Central Valley, but she's on her way out with a ticket to art school in San Francisco. She keeps sane by making collages and worries about getting permanently stuck in Creek View more than anything, especially when her mother loses her job and can't get out of bed.
The other main character, Josh, is a wounded vet who's just come home from Afghanistan. He keeps it together on the outside, but inside, he's a total disaster. He's messy and traumatized and can't get back in the swing of things, into the swing of his old life, at all.
This is such a visual book, since Sky is an artist herself, that I thought it only appropriate to make I'll Meet You There collages of my own. First up, Sky's collage and quote:
Sky works at a shabby-quirky motel that features very prominently in the book. I also wanted to capture that dusty, open sky, clear light, wide open field feeling given by all the descriptions of the Central Valley. And also, well, Sky. Duh. Then there's Skylar's trailer and a snippet of one of her collages.
Next up, Josh's quote and collage.
*gets all choked up thinking about Josh's collage* *moves on quickly*
And now... Josh and Sky TOGETHER.
Josh and Sky were so MAGIC together. By no means did all of their problems go away, because their problems were both so montrous, but...oh god, the TEARS as they tried to figure it out and made mistakes and recognized the ugliness inside one another and chose to love it anyway. Argggh damn tree branches all up in my eyes! *blinks furiously*
About the book:
If seventeen-year-old Skyler 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 them 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.
Gritty, romantic, and ultimately hopeful, I'LL MEET YOU THERE explores the complicated lives of an unforgettable cast of characters. This is the story of teens outside the picket fence. It doesn’t soften the edges of adolescence or the individual consequences of war; it’s life on the fringes—maddening, weirdly endearing…and completely screwed up.