Saturday, February 2, 2013

Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant to BeAuthor: Lauren Morrill
Publication: November 13, 2012 (Read in Jan. 2013)
By: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
3 Stars

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.

What I Loved: I was really excited to read this because not only does it have a colorful cover and a great summary, but everyone I've talked to loved it. This is a cute story and the characters are entertaining but it didn't go exactly how I thought it would, which is really ironic given the main characters views on love. I also loved the backdrop of London and having been there myself, I could picture many of the places mentioned. Julia and Jason both learn to redefine what love means to them and there are some very funny moments.

What Left Me Wanting: The first half of this book flowed easily but then the pace seemed to stall, followed by a speedy last quarter and an ending that felt rushed. Julia is uptight and doesn't deal well with people who don't fit into her "big picture" and I get that, but neither she nor Jason deal with their issues which essentially influence the way they behave. For example, I'm not a fan of crying either but doing a hundred crunches just to avoid feeling the emotion seems a bit extreme and odd to me.

Jason's immaturity was cringeworthy and his constant teasing, name calling and need for attention was annoying. I'm all for redemption but by the time he gets his chance the story ends. There were a few questions left unanswered too, like what happened for the remaining trip?  How about after they got home? 

Final Verdict: Light-hearted, cute love story that doesn't go too deep.

Review also posted at YABC.

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