Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.
It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").
But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.
Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be. (courtesy of Goodreads)
Sometimes you just can't help loving a book. Meant To Be is one of those books that you should pick up when you're having a bad day. You'll laugh and roll your eyes at the characters' antics. Best of all, you will squeal with joy when the happy ending finally appears - this isn't a spoiler - we all know there's going to be a happy ending.
Most of us bloggers can relate to Julia. Good girl, bookish, organized. She's an extreme version of the ideal student. I found her obstinacy quite annoying. I also thought it was strange that she was so obsessed with the concept of a "Meant To Be" soulmate. Such a fervent belief in one true love seemed at odds with Julia's practical nature. As much as Julia irritated me, I could see that she was a good person beneath all her type A baggage. I couldn't help rooting for her.
Jason is the opposite of Julia. A jokester who lives for today. He was also annoying but less so. He could be a jerk at times and frustratingly irresponsible. But it quickly became clear that there was a nice person underneath. I look at Jason as a great guy who hasn't quite grown up yet, like many teenage boys. Soon, his recklessness and jokes seemed charming rather than annoying.
I loved the book's London setting. London is probably my favorite city in the world. I haven't been there in seven years and I really miss it. I'm always happy to get a tourist glimpse of the city.
The romance is just as satisfying as you would want it to be. The opposite of insta-love. The book takes place over a limited time period, but there's plenty of time for Jason and Julia to really get to know each other. Each character has to break down inner barriers that hides their compatibility. At times I wanted to smack their heads together, but I was ultimately pleased with how Ms. Morrill made sure Jason and Julia were each in the right place to make their relationship seem realistic.
Meant To Be is a funny, joyful romance. Just as in the great romances, two flawed people learn to be more from the other person. It's an easy quick read that will bring out the warm fuzzies.