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.
5/5 (all the stars in the world)
Oh, how I've been dying to read this book. AND RIGHTLY SO!
Really, I loved this book. It's the kind that I will have to reread at some point, because I adored it. It made me cry (sob, wail, tear up, name it) and I was a wreck, simply because of how sad the story is. I must admit I wasn't expecting this, since I just wanted another adorable love story to distract me from school, and while it was exactly that, it was also so, so, so much more. It touches subjects I don't usually read about, which is awesome and really brave.
I loved how the characters both have burdens. There's none of that "my love will save you" crap that some (read: many) YA books promote, which I found quite surprising. It's more realistic to have two broken characters mending themselves together than one perfectly fine character helping the other one out, so even my mind couldn't make me dislike this book because of a lack of probability. I was heartbroken by both of the characters' stories and as I'm writing this, way too long after I finished reading this novel, I still remember countless details about it and I think about it more than ever. It made me see more of a universe I never knew, so I'm glad I read it.
The love story develops itself beautifully, really. I felt so many emotions while reading this book that anyone talking to me during this time would've thought I was the one falling in love, because I was, in a way, with their romance. It was deliciously complicated and realistic and heartbreaking yet heartmending, which made me want to cry and dance and scream. For some reason, from the very first moment I heard about this book, I knew it would be like that, so I'm really happy that, for once, my intuition was right.
If you're looking for a cute YA book dealing with darker subjects, I would recommend this a thousand times. It's definitely one of my favourites now.