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. @goodreads
This book is on my favorites list. There also may be some spoilers, hell I don't know.
And this book made me cry. The author brought all of these tragic things together into one powerful book. There are plenty out there that will think this book is not that great and some that will love it to death, but none of that matters. It's what makes you happy and this book made me so happy. It is a world I wanted to be in just to meet these people. People that I hated, people that I loved. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be best friends with Skylar, Dylan and Chris. I wanted to know Marge and work at the damn Paradise Motel where she is the owner and where Skylar worked. One of Skylar's jobs I should say. I wanted to be in that small town with them all. I'm not afraid of small towns, my family grew up in one and I love the thought of everyone knowing everyone else.
I tilted my head back and looked at the dusty green leaves dangling above me. I felt like I was in another world, a planet of trees. I drew closer to her as we walked and laid my head on her thick shoulder. Marge rested a hand against my hair for a moment. We kept walking to the sound of her labored breath and hundreds of trees shaking in the wind--all of them whispering, pleading, crying.
"Josh said he told you about my son."
"Yeah". I looked up at her, frowning. "I hope that was okay."
She smiled her sad smile. "Of course, sweet pea. I could only tell the story once, and Josh was the one who needed to hear it. But I'm glad you know."
Marge is a wonderful person to everyone and she did have something tragic happen in her life a long time ago.
Skylar and Josh have known each other all of their life just like everyone one else pretty much. They both even worked at the Paradise Motel together until he went and joined the Marines. But he came home, missing a leg and a best friend who he feels responsible for. Skylar sort of had a crush on him before he left even though him and his family are the trouble maker boys. On his return he is different and why wouldn't he be after what he went through. He has many sides, the same asshole, a calmer guy, and a guy with so many problems. Either way, Skylar wants to get to know him again and she still has a little crush on him.
Not everything is simple for everyone in the book. Skylar is still dealing with her dads death from a few years back. Her mom has lost her job and doesn't want to go back and Skylar has to figure out how to pay on their bills with their trailer and everything else. Then her mother starts drinking again and brings someone that isn't all that great into their lives. Bless Marge because she takes Skylar in and Skylar has to decide if she's still going to university on her scholarship or take care of her mother.
Skylar's best friend Dylan has a child but the father is around and loves her so maybe that will work out. Skylar's other best friend Chris is going off to college as well and while this is all great.. Skylar is starting to think that maybe she doesn't want to leave her little town. She's falling in love with Josh and her mother needs her.
Josh and Skylar have a very hard relationship. Skylar wants to be with him and has this love hate thing going and Josh is having so many problems feeling like a failure and half a man. They have a lot of nice talks and arguments at the motel pool, the train tracks and the creek.
Josh took me to the Paradise pool (or, rather, I took him, since he wasn't totally sober yet), which was perfectly clean after his afternoon with it. It shone like a new toy, and I grinned.
"Look at you, "he said, shaking his head. "You really got a thing for pools."
"They're my first love." Pools didn't get you pregnant, and they didn't die on you. who needed anything more?
Josh really wants to go back to Afghanistan and who knows.. maybe he will. There is something else stirring in his heart though.
Hanging out with Josh was like learning how to drive a stick. It was hard enough just to start and then it was one stall after another. But somehow I always managed to crawl forward, just a little bit.
This isn't a huge romance story. It is about two young people who find each other slowly. Who fall in love slowly. Who fight and cry and hurt each other because neither one knows what to do, but they will make it. They just will. And they do have some goofy times together.
"Yeah, well.."There was the sound of some shuffling, then, "Oh, hey, you know what I ran across last night?"
"Do you mean ran literally or figuratively?"
"Ha-ha," he said.
"Sorry, I couldn't resist."
"Guess you're keeping me on my toes," he said.
"All five of them."
Josh laughed. "I walked right into that one---er, limped."
"A one-legged Marine and a virgin walk into a bar," Josh whispered.
I just love them! Although there is one part I hated Josh for doing to Skylar but they worked it all out and things do get better.
This book took me by surprise. I fell in love with the people, the town, the atmosphere, everything. I felt for each thing the people went through. It's a heart wrenching book and watching everyone fall into a place of peace, most of them, was something I most enjoyed. Thank you little book for making me happy but not making me cry. I love the cover as well.
AMAZON LINK TO THE BOOK: