Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Meant to Be - Lauren Morrill

Meant To Be book cover
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: November 13, 2013
Source/Format: Gifted by Ashley || Hardcover


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. (from Goodreads)

Meant to Be is just so… adorable. It reminds me in many ways of some of my favorite romantic comedies – Clueless, Never Been Kissed, She’s All That, Drive Me Crazy, and the like – because of the various shenanigans that occur which all lead up to the sweet, meant to be (you know I had to go there!) happy ending for the couple in question. I enjoyed reading it, though I didn’t quite connect with it as much as I would’ve liked.

Before anything else, and even before I read it, the book already earned MAJOR points with me. Why? Because it’s set in LONDON. In case you guys didn’t know, London is one of the places I’ve dreamed of visiting ever since I was in my freshman year of high school. I still haven’t been able to do it, but it is going to happen soon (*coughs* 2014 *coughs*).

Anyway.

Since Julia and Jason and the rest of the class are on an “educational trip”, they do get to experience some of the tourist spots (like the Tower of London and Stratford-upon-Avon and the Globe Theater). Each time a new landmark was named, I squealed internally and imagined I was right there with them. I obviously had loads of fun reading about the setting!

I’m still on the fence about Julia. There were times I liked her and found her relatable, because I used to be very much like her – an introvert, a good girl who follows the rules, a major bookworm and history buff (oh wait, that’s still me until now!), and constricted by all of those things. But there were certainly moments when she just got on my nerves with her attitude and her assumptions. Obviously, I got over it enough to root for her quest to find her “meant-to-be”.

Speaking of romance, I happened to like Jason a lot. He was funny, irreverent and such a smart*ss, but he definitely made things happen. That’s one kind of friend we all need in our lives – one who will push us to change for the better, to do things we’d never thought we could or would or to thinking about things from a fresh perspective. I thought he was the perfect foil for Julia and her attitude.

The entire story plays out like a Shakespearean comedy. There are tragically funny moments and random twists of fate and surprising turns of events. I really enjoyed going back and forth between serious and funny, because it kept me on my toes and very entertained indeed. Plus, the romance was super cute! I rooted for them to be together from the very beginning, despite the other parties who shall not be named.

If you’re looking for a contemporary novel that’s fun, sweet and all about the romance, then Meant to Be would be your meant to be (I totally meant to do that!). Julia does have an experience that transforms her, but this book is primarily focused on how she discovers that her meant-to-be might be the one she never expected it to be. It’s no less of a charmer for that, and I highly recommend it!

13 comments:

  1. Yayyyy I'm so glad you liked it!!! I totally identified with Julia too. Yeahhhh she got a bit on my nerves at times, but overall, I really enjoyed her character!
    I love how the romance came together in the end! You knew it was coming, but still was able to keep me on my toes.
    Wonderful review!

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  2. I really loved the setting too-definitely my favorite part (oh and also the gorgeous cover!)

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  3. Alexa! I loved this one but haven't gotten to my review yet. I think the romance was sweet and not too overwhelming. It slowly developed, and I loved the setting of the book [obviously!] it made me want to take a trip !

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  4. I still need to get this one, everyone seems to love it. I love books set in London too, hopefully one day I'll make it out of the states. If it reminded you of all those awesome romcoms from the 90's then this is definitely a must read. Need to get it now!! I love those movies too! =D

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  5. This one! It was so cute. Not life changing, but a super fun read that made me giggle and smile and cheer for the main characters. I wasn't a fan of Julia at first, but she slowly grew on me. Definitely can see this being up there with the great movies of the 90s (because seriously, can anything be better than those movies?!); so glad you pointed them out! Yay for this book and I'm so glad you enoyed it!

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  6. This book sounds cute so I need to quit putting it off! And I love that it reminded you of those movies because I love those! Awesome review, Alexa!

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  7. I have this on my shelf and seriously need to pull it out and read it. It's one of those books I've been DYING to read but I'm scared to start it for some dumb reason. Thanks for the great review!

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  8. There were some moments I really loved about this book, but there were also things about it that just didn't live up to my expectations. I think I went into expecting to ADORE it, and then was disappointed that I just liked it. I'l be interested in future books from Lauren Morrill, especially to see some of the unevenness I disliked in this one will get better in future stories.

    I do agree with you that it reminded me of some of my favorite romantic comedies! That was a really good comparison :)

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  9. = D I love how you compared it to your favorite comedies. It is so true! I really thought this book was beyond cute.

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  10. I love the cover for this book -- it's just so gorgeous! I had heard so many mixed things about this book, so I'm still not sure if I'm going to read it, BUT your review really makes me want to! I love a good YA romance!

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  11. OH MY. I have had this sitting on my Kindle for months now, and have been thinking of it always. I am SO glad you loved it! I think I might just have to read it next. :) Fabulous review!

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  12. Oh, you had me at Clueless, made me even more excited at London and made me determined to buy this book at Shakespearean comedy. I, too, want to go to London desperately, and I really need a romantic comedy-ish book right now. You know, you make me so excited for books SO MANY TIMES. I trust your opinion, haha.

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  13. Oh I loved this one a ton! It was so funny to me! I am not the biggest fan of romantic comedies for books, but I found that this one really was a winner. So cute and even though there was some predictability in the plot and some eye-rolling with Julia, I could forgive that because of the comedic nature of the story. And I LOVED Jason too. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover, too, but I wish it had been a scene in the book. :)

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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