Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Borrowed from Library, Purchased
Amazon, Barnes & Noble , The Book Depository
If seventeen-year-old 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 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 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 there’s one thing I want to say about this book, it’s that you need to read it. Immediately.
There’s just something about this book… It charms you, it intrigues you, until you have no bloody idea how you’re already 10 pages from finishing at 2 in the morning.
Skylar is such an amazing main character. She’s, I guess you can say, poor, but she works her butt off to get out of it. She takes care of her mother, and despite everyone telling her to take care of herself, she doesn’t. Skylar is fiercely loyal and protective of her only family, to the point where she was burdened down by her mother’s issues. I saw myself in Skylar in a way. I saw it in the way that she fought desperately to not be a stereotype everyone assumed she’d be. In the way that she struggled to look out for herself instead of others for a change. Even in the way she just wanted to be normal for once. Skylar was such a real character, it hurt to see her suffer some times.
Josh is something else. We can see it from the very first moment that he’s not okay, but he puts on this perfect mask because he’s the hero with a leg missing. He suffers from PTSD and so many other things, but he bottles it up because, who would understand?
“What’s it like? It’s seeing your friend die and then trying to scrub his blood off your boots except it won’t come out. The water turns pink and your hands are shaking and you’ve got what’s left of someone you were just standing next to under your fingernails […] and suddenly you’re angry […] and then you’re crying […] and there’s nothing you can do.”
Skylar and Josh’s relationship isn’t about the romance. It’s about them finding something in each other, them bringing out something that the other didn’t have. It’s like they’re real around each other without realising it. Them falling for each other was an added bonus. Their romance is a whirlwind of emotion. Sometimes so strong and passionate that it’s difficult to see where it’s coming from or where it’s headed.
I love how the whole book feels like something bigger. Its not just a romance between two kids, but about two kids growing up. It starts with Skylar’s graduation and continues on to what happens next. I felt like I saw them evolve and grow up. The people they were at the beginning was totally different from the ones at the end.
I also like how it developed their town. A small, relatively forgettable town where everyone knew everything about everybody. Where the main goal was to leave it or be stuck there forever. I like how it felt like a real place, not just a random town from a random book.
There are so many things I liked about this book. From the wonderful writing, the incredibly real characters, and the powerful romance, there’s really nothing you can’t like about it. I recommend this book without a doubt.
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