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.
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.