I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Meet Me Here by Bryan Bliss
Published by Greenwillow Books on May 31, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Experience, Siblings, Social & Family Issues, Young Adult
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In a single night—graduation night—Thomas has to decide: Do what everyone has always expected of him? Or forge an entirely new path? Bryan Bliss’s absorbing examination of one boy struggling with expectations and realities will appeal to readers of Sara Zarr and Chris Crutcher.
Thomas is supposed to leave for the army in the morning. His father was Army. His brother, Jake, is Army—is a hero, even, with the medals to prove it. Everyone expects Thomas to follow in that fine tradition. But Jake came back from overseas a completely different person, and that has shaken Thomas’s certainty about his own future. And so when his long-estranged friend Mallory suggests one last night of adventure, Thomas takes her up on the distraction. Over the course of this single night, Thomas will lose, find, resolve, doubt, drive, explore, and leap off a bridge. He’ll also face the truth of his brother’s post-traumatic stress disorder and of his own courage. In Bryan Bliss’s deft hands, graduation night becomes a night to find yourself, find each other, find a path, and know that you always have a place—and people—to come back to.
Meet Me Here by Bryan Bliss had some amazing moments and one giant tired trope. Set over the course of one crazy night, Thomas and his childhood best friend Mallory set out to see if they can complete their younger selves’ bucket list before Thomas leaves for basic training. Thomas is supposed to be Army, like his father and brother before him, but his brother came back from fighting different and Thomas does not know if he can go through the same thing.
The plot of Meet Me Here had so many great elements. A last hurrah night out for a teen boy, a veteran with PTSD, a long-lost friend re-surfacing; it could have been magical. And many parts of it were, however the ever-present horrible YA parents were present and I am just so over that. I did like the writing of Bryan Bliss. He was able to keep the action going and he was able to paint a vivid picture of small town life and the citizens in it in a really great way. The world he built was very real and I enjoyed seeing it through the character’s eyes. The pacing, once the story got started was great. Set over one night, the story ebbed and flowed in a very realistic way. There were plenty of emotions in this read, but at times they seemed disjointed. When I thought someone should be angry they were not and this happened a few times. I enjoyed most of the characters in this tale. Thomas and Mallory had great chemistry and I enjoyed their banter. I loathed the parents, and while the other cast members were there, none of them were stand outs.
Meet Me Here is Bryan Bliss’s début. I think it was a strong first effort, but the tired awful parents trope has got to go. I have said before that I really enjoy male leads in YA and I thought Thomas was done very well. Bliss created a character with real feeling and I enjoyed his journey. I also really enjoyed that the ending was very open-ended, as there are so many ways to picture what happened next. I will be interested to see what Bliss comes out with as a follow-up, because I do see true potential in his future.
Favorite lines – We stand there, facing each other, the skeletons of our childhood buried in the ground beneath us, the smell of the pine trees, the promises of everything we were to each other coming in every sound, every smell, every tiny speck of dirt that floats through the sunlight.
Biggest cliché – I have to do what my family wants.
Have you read Meet Me Here, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 Debut Author Challenge
- 2016 Diverse Books Reading Challenge
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge