What It Is About: Skylar is seventeen and has just graduated from high school. Josh is nineteen and has just returned from Afghanistan where he lost a leg during combat. They both have grown up in Creek View which is a very small town with not much going for it. Skylar has big dreams of getting out of Creek View and going to college in San Francisco to study art. She has a natural talent. All she has to get through is her summer in Creek View before she heads out into the world. When her mother loses her job, turns to alcohol and a man, Skylar isn't sure this is the time to leave town. She and Josh both work at the Paradise hotel which is a goofy little hotel in town. As the summer progresses Skylar and Josh begin to spend more time with each other. Skylar is frustrated with her home life and Josh is struggling to find some sort of normalcy after being in Afghanistan. They lean on each for support and find a special kind of friendship. The friendship is tested on more than one occasion and they must find a way to deal with "life" and move forward in the directions that are right for each of them.
What I Thought Of It: This was a wonderful story and I'm so incredibly happy that I read it. I enjoyed the writing style. The narration changed between Skylar and Josh. What I liked about Josh's perspective was that he was writing a series of letters to a buddy from the war. It was an interesting twist on writing style. The characters of Skylar and Josh were so life-like and real. There were many times when I felt like I was right there with them. I also found the supporting "cast" of characters to be an essential part of the story. They all supported Skylar and Josh to the very end. It was heart-warming. The background of the war and its effects on Josh were honest, raw, and compelling. He was such a wounded man (both physically and emotionally) and it was touching how he found comfort with Skylar. There really wasn't anything I didn't like about this book and when you hit about the last third of it, good luck putting it down. I couldn't!
Who Should Read It: This is the perfect book for both young-adults and adults. It isn't your typical high school "romance" type story. There was so much more to it. If you have know someone that has served in the armed forces, this would be such a relatable story. I could tell the author did her research on it. Readers will find this to be a top-notch A+ novel that will stay with them long after they finish it. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars