Published February 2015. Stand alone. Check it out on Goodreads!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.
Where to start with this book... well I read a contemporary book Heather wrote last year, I think it was her debut novel and I enjoyed it a lot. So I figured I'd give this one a chance and lemme tell you, I was really glad that I did. This isn't a very happy story, I mean yes, it is. But it's not a fluffy story that's mostly happy all the way through. It's pretty straight forward that some of the things in the characters lives suck. It's one of those that's rather on the line between young adult and new adult. I like these as that's almost where I am myself. It felt real and and raw to me and my mood the days I was reading this book felt like it matched the author's style and what was happening just great.
So you have Skylar, who just wants to get out of the dead country town that she grew up in that she feels is holding her back. When her somewhat friend, Josh, comes back from being overseas as a marine he doesn't come back the same. He's lost a leg and he seems different. As things go wrong for both of them they begin to lean on each other and find solace in each other's company. I liked both of these characters, even if they were both idiots at times. They were really cute together as well. And if you're thinking, oh small town girl wanting to get out and then getting caught up blah blah, sounds cliche. It's not. I thought that a little at the beginning and it's not like that. Even if the basic idea is similar this book is its own book and it's great. Skylar's friends are great and her struggles are ones anyone could be going through.
There wasn't really much that I didn't like about this book. There were the odd evil/slightly evil characters that you're not meant to like. A few of Josh's chapters were confusing because you were still piecing together everything that had happened with him and weren't really given all the information until the end. But otherwise I don't think I had any problems with this book, I really enjoyed it. Content wise there is some sexual content but nothing extremely graphic. There is a good bit of language and some violence and death in some of Josh's flashbacks. Also a good deal of drinking, including some underage drinking.
Overall, I really loved this book. I loved the characters and the plot was pretty well developed, there were some nice twists but I think the main focus of the book was on the characters and their relationships. I think it's a relatable book and I found the situations of the characters felt real and I love the author's writing style with this book. If you like a good contemporary romance then I'd recommend this book.