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review 2017-02-01 17:54
I'll Meet You There
I'll Meet You There - Heather Demetrios

There are a lot of things I really liked about I'll Meet You There. I love a good story about two people who fall in love but have a lot to overcome to be together. Josh and Skylar (Sky) certainly had a lot to overcome. 

 

I don't know a lot about PTSD, but I feel this book did a good job of making me more aware of what it feels like to be trapped in that mindset. My heart really went out to Josh and those he loved. It was clear they were all trying to figure out how to function in their new post-war reality. 

 

I also related to the struggle Sky had with wanting to get out of her podunk town. She felt trapped and it seemed that at every turn there was something trying to keep her from following her dreams.

I do like how Sky was eventually called out by her BFF on how she talked about Creek View and how she was basically constantly telling her friend she wasn't good enough in an indirect way. However, I wish Sky would have had a bit more growth in that area. She apologized, but only in a way to tell her BFF that she wasn't included in her disdain. She also did start to see Creek View differently while doing her art, but again I would have liked to have seen more growth in this area. It wouldn't have been too much of a departure from the plot since that was Sky's main conflict - would she get out of Creek View.

(spoiler show)

 

I do wish Josh hadn't been the guy who slept with most of the girls in town, except Sky who was one of the very few virgins. I mean, this plot angle has been done so many times and it's time for something more original to step in. I also didn't like how Josh talked to/about many of the people in the town -- 'slut', 'fag', etc. There's no evolution in Josh for why he shouldn't say these things, he just stops at some point because Sky tells him it's not cool....

 

Bottom like - there were some nuggets of gold in this book, but I had to filter through the cheap costume jewelry to find them.

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review 2016-07-21 03:50
I'll Meet You There
I'll Meet You There - Heather Demetrios

One of the goals I gave myself for this year was to get out of my reading comfort zone. I prefer dark, fast-paced, violent books. If you threw a dystopian or horror story at me, I’d be all over that thing in a second.

 

So, to get out of my comfort zone, I thought I’d pick up I’ll Meet You There, which is a  . . .

 

(*Gulp* *deep breath*)

 

Romance.

 

That’s right. Romance. Romance is really not my thing. I have a hard time making myself care about people’s relationship drama. However, I’ll Meet You There is supposed to be a war romance, so I thought it might have enough blood and guts to get me through. One of the characters is missing a leg. That seems pretty dark, right? I thought I could handle a romance if there is more than just love-related angst going on.

 

There are two narrators in this story, but the main one is Skylar, a recent high school graduate who is working at a motel for the summer. The other narrator is Josh, Skylar’s former coworker. He joined the military, went to Afghanistan, lost his leg, and came home. Now he is working with Skylar at the motel again. Before Josh joined the military, he and Skylar didn’t get along, but the military has changed him—for better and for worse. If Skylar and Josh want their relationship to work, they have a lot of challenges to overcome.

 

The characters are brilliant. I love that they are all underprivileged kids who are doing whatever it takes to survive. It would have been so easy for the author to write stereotypes, such as the “irresponsible teen mom” and the “flawless war hero.” Luckily, there are no stereotypes in this book. Dylan is an awesome teen mom, and Josh is a jerk. I kind of love that I hate Josh. I would never date a party boy who casually calls people “faggot,” but he has enough redeeming qualities that I can understand why Skylar loves him. All of the characters are realistically flawed.

 

“. . . 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.” – I’ll Meet You There

 

“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?” – I’ll Meet You There

 

Even though I like the complex characters, this book reconfirmed why I don’t read romance. The main emotion I felt while reading was boredom. Josh and Skylar’s makeups and breakups didn’t hold my attention at all. The book was very flat for me. I kept waiting for something big to happen, and nothing did. The climax of the story occurs when the characters fail to have sex at the ideal moment. The reasons behind their sex-failure are interesting, but I just couldn’t make myself care about their relationship and the ramifications of their unsuccessful sex attempt.

 

“But my life had suddenly become a Taylor Swift song: breakups and heartache and other girls.” – I’ll Meet You There

 

(I dislike Taylor Swift songs just as much as I dislike romance novels.)

 

Getting back to the positive, one part of the book that I really appreciate is that Josh’s mental illness isn’t a “get out of jail free card.” As someone who has a mental illness, I can’t stress how important this is. An illness does not give you license to hurt somebody. If your illness is causing you to be a jerk, then it’s your responsibility to fix it. Immediately. It’s not other people’s job to put up with your horrible behavior. I was cheering every time Skylar stood up to Josh. No matter what he’s been through, he’s not allowed to hurt her.

 

One of the biggest themes in this book is making peace with the past. Sometimes bad things happen, and you just have to work with what you have. That’s a valuable lesson for young readers to learn.

 

For me, this book was pretty underwhelming, but if you’re a romance fan, you might get a lot more out of it than I did.  

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text 2015-09-16 19:28
I'LL MEET YOU THERE by @HDemetrios
I'll Meet You There - Heather Demetrios

Just finished this. Really great book on so many levels.

 

I'll talk more in depth about the physical stuff on our Body Image episode of The Oral History Podcast.

 

But it's a book that resists a triumphant, happy ending for a realistic look at kids whose lives aren't suburban and middle class. It's a story that's full of whimsy AND shittiness. Economic hardship AND abundant friendship. Romantic scenes & situations of absolute heartbreak and assholery. The uncertainty that accompanies a high school graduate's launch into adulthood. 

 

I recommend yall check it out. 

 

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review 2015-08-29 00:00
Exquisite Captive
Exquisite Captive - Heather Demetrios The only reason I can come up with for this book having a 3.7 average rating is that it must have been marketed to the wrong audience. This book is New Adult not young adult. If you loved Amy A Bartol's [b:Under Different Stars|19504931|Under Different Stars (Kricket, #1)|Amy A. Bartol|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1394758272s/19504931.jpg|26789368] you'll love this book. I'm trying to think of another similar book but can't. The characters, relationships, and emotions were complicated, the world building was fantastic and the MC was bad ass. I loved it.
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text 2015-07-05 21:25
Exquisite Captive - Heather Demetrios

     Can I be honest and say this was one of the most delicious books I’ve read in a long time???? Can I???? I’ve always been a sucker for high fantasy so I never really looked at anything modern, but I now feel like I’ve just been living under a rock my whole life!!! Heather Demetrios weaves a golden, amethyst tale of smoky jinni lore with a steaming love story.
     Nalia was one of the most powerful jinni in her realm, the only survivor of a deadly coup that killed almost everyone she loved. Struggled into a bottle and sold into the lavish Hollywood hills, Nalia’s tremendous power can serve one person and one person only: her master, Malek. Now add in another jinni, this time, it’s Raif, her sworn enemy, but he swears he can free Nalia, but only on his terms.
     All the characters were deep, so much going on, not one of them a pure hero. But those make the best characters, don’t they?? I don’t know about you, but we fight more than just our world’s problems. We fight within ourselves about what to do with the world.
     And the writing was so, so beautiful. I’ve never been to Hollywood, but I feel like I have now!! Details are what makes a story real and this story had lots. And with such a magical plot, that’s exactly what was needed.
Warning: I’ve read so many mixed reviewes about the relationships in this book!!! Will there be a love triangle?? Do I want one? Do I ever want one? Should I even be happy about this? <3 I mean, people told me this book would make me blush, and it sure did!!!!! :)

     A big thank you goes out to Heather Demetrios for making up boys like Raif and Malek. What fine specimens they are!!

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