I'll Meet You There

400p. ebook available. Holt. Feb. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780805097955.
Gr 9 Up—Skylar has planned her escape from Creek View for as long as she can remember. She wants to go to an art college in San Francisco. The teen hopes that nothing will stop her, but when her unstable mother loses her job at Taco Bell, Skylar sees her plans get more distant. Another hurdle to her departure is a growing attraction to a young man she works with at a local motel who has returned to town after losing a leg as a Marine in Afghanistan. Both are searching for their future and are wondering if there is a way to leave their lives but not each other. Sky evades her problems through her paper collage projects, and Josh through whiskey and random hookups. The relationship gives each of them some stability, but goes through more than one rough patch. Teens who know someone who has returned from the service disabled, or who long to escape a small town may identify with the novel, but most may find it clichéd and reminiscent of many Lifetime movies; this one with young adults as the protagonists. The characters are likable but somewhat stereotyped and one-dimensional. The alcohol use and Armed Services-level swearing make this more appropriate for high school. Add to collections where teen romances are popular.—Suanne B. Roush, formerly at Osceola High School, Seminole, FL
He's just returned from a tour in Afghanistan with one less leg and survivor's guilt. She's counting down the days until she can leave her "blink town" for art school. Nineteen-year-old Josh and eighteen-year-old Skylar find solace in each other's company and develop a complicated relationship. The intimate, vivid dialogue and multilayered characters immediately draw readers into this emotional story.

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