All the real kids
I'll Meet You There
Set in a small town in Northern California, I'll Meet You There, (Henry Holt & Co., $17.99), a young adult novel by Heather Demetrios, is the story of Skylar, a girl who can't wait to leave town after graduation. That's because of the stress of living in near-poverty with an ever-sicker alcoholic mother, but her plans are derailed by her mother's worsening addiction and the return of good-looking Josh, an Afghanistan war vet who comes home an amputee. He's suffering in other ways as well, and Demetrios manages to depict the obsessions of kids in their late teens in a way that's neither dismissive nor overwrought. The emotional roller coaster of life is accurate, but there's hope for these kids, and that's enough.