Friday, August 1, 2014

Meant to Be

Meant to Be is a contemporary YA novel by Lauren Morrill.

Straight-A high school junior Julia has marked her guidebooks and re-read the travel itinerary multiple times – she is ready for this Spring Break school trip to London!

As a literature lover, this is the perfect place for her to go. She’s ready to soak up the history and read Pride & Prejudice for the umpteenth time in a perfect London spot, meanwhile daydreaming about her MTB (Meant to Be) Mark back home, who has yet to really notice her.

However, it’s not long after they get to their destination that she finds out all students have to have a partner – a travel buddy that must be with them at all times outside of the place they’re staying.

And Julia’s happens to be her personal nemesis, class clown and attention-seeker extraordinaire Jason. He tends to bring her accident-prone life into the limelight, which she hates. She much prefers to be under the radar.

Of course, the very first night they’re partnered Jason pulls her to a wild party – in which she manages to get terribly drunk – and the next morning she begins getting flirty texts from someone she can’t place a face to.


Unable to deny that the thought that a guy is actually interested in her – possibly a British guy, at that – excites her a little, she allows Jason to help her find him, but he only does so if she agrees to let him teach her the ways of breaking the rules and having “fun”.

Julia knows she’s probably doomed for disaster, but she decides to take a chance…

I’ve heard of Meant to Be and Lauren Morrill quite a bit. I’ve noticed a lot of high ratings on Goodreads, also. So, I decided it was about time I joined the party!

Meant to Be has some funny moments right from the start and throughout the entire novel there is some pretty hilarious narration by Julia. As a book-loving, rule-following gal, I could relate to her quite a bit.

As the story evolved, I have to say I did not expect the destination it came to. It’s a different sort of romantic comedy and features an ultimate hero that I initially did not see that way AT ALL. Don’t want to say too much and give it away, but I’ll admit this was refreshing – even if I was doubtful at first.

I really liked the more intimate characterizations Meant to Be mixed in with the humor. We see the layers peeled back, more and more, on what might be holding Julia back – and how she deals with her own disillusionment.

For me, Meant to Be has a surprising but satisfying conclusion with some real emotional growth in all the characters. It was sort of like we didn’t know anyone fully at the beginning, that it took time and effort to learn about them in an honest way – just like in real life.

Meant to Be was certainly a fun read, and an unexpected one too. I look forward to reading the next Lauren Morrill book, Being Sloane Jacobs.


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