(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Macmillan on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Family, Love & Romance, Parents, Social Issues, Young Adult
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.
You all know how hard it is to write a meaningful review for a book that you absolutely loved right? Well, that’s the boat I find myself in with this one.
I was late to the Heather Demetrios party with Something Real … and I was positive after reading it that I would never be late to her amazing words again, and when I had the opportunity to grab this one I did so immediately and I’m pretty sure this is going to be among my top reads of the year if not on my all-time favorites list!
Skylar Evans lives in the dead end of town, and she’s counting down the days until she can get out. All she has to do is graduate and make sure her mom has her act together. That last part isn’t going to be so easy and it’s further complicated when her mom loses her job and starts hanging with someone she doesn’t trust.
Josh Mitchell thought he had his ticket out of Creek View… The Marines. But when he loses a leg in Afghanistan and he’s forced to return home, his life is certainly nothing like the one he had when he left. He absolutely doesn’t expect to connect with Skylar… but they find friendship in each other and eventually something even more.
UGH you guys…. These characters that Demetrios has crafted are amazing. They are so layered and complex and relatable and they make you feel things you don’t want to feel and despite the heavy feel of this story, I couldn’t help but feel so filled with hope when I turned the last page.
This story has a lot of ups and downs… the struggles that Josh faces every single day, the things he used to take for granted and his despondency about where his life can go from here was hard to read. But it was also amazing to see him push himself, to not want to give up, to realize that there is more out there for him. And Skylar and Josh together were just perfection. Don’t get that statement wrong. Their friendship is by no means easy… and there was this one time that my heart split in two, but everything that happened felt real and raw and sad… yet beautiful.
There was one quote in this book that I highlighted because it was lovely and I didn’t really realize the significance of it until rereading my notes…
This couldn’t have summed up this story for me any better. Demetrios has taken these characters… the pieces of the story and made them whole, she’s given them a place to belong and it’s true … while they started out beautifully, they are even better when you get to that last page.
If you’re looking for a poignant, touching story of fresh starts and new beginnings a story of finding the people you can call family, even if they aren’t exactly your original family. If you are looking for an unexpected romance and characters who will grab hold of you and have you thinking about them even after you’ve closed the book then this is definitely for you.
Thank you so very much to MacMillan for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.