Meant To Be by Lauren E. Morrill
Delacorte BYR, 304 Pages
US Release Date: November 13, 2012 (Go buy!)
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley - thank you!
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.
Point is, maybe some people wouldn't want to be around me all day, but there are people out there who would. And they're smart and funny. And they like some things I like and hate some of the things I hate, but they also introduce me to all kinds of new things. That's as close to 'meant to be' as I can imagine.
I feel like someone sat down with the author and was like: Hey Lauren. There's this girl in California named Ashley, who dreams of travel and a wacky amazing adventure in London with a few of her classmates and a frustrating but ultimately adorable and sweet boy. She's looking for love in a quiet and sometimes shy way, but still knows what she likes and lives by her own set of rules. She's a bookish nerd, likes The Beatles, and Shakespeare, and has a tendency to talk in acronyms with her friends. Have at it.
And BOOM: Meant To Be was born.
I actually think this may be the perfect book. It's funny and sweet and adventurous and filled with fantastic little wisdom to boot. I saw someone on Twitter call it a Romantic Comedy, and it really is the definition of it. Everything we love about classic Rom-Coms - You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Love Actually, Two Weeks Notice, Serendipity, etc - can be found in this book.
One of the things I liked best (and trust me, it was hard to choose!) was how surprising the story was! When you read the summary, you pretty much have an idea what's going on. A mystery text, and suddenly help from the cute boy? I mean, c'mon, we can all put that together, right? Wrong. I love love love how the story turns out, how everything progresses and what it all becomes in the end. Even though some parts are minorly predictable, it's not exactly what you think, but still just as plausible and even better than I imagined.
Something I thoroughly enjoyed was the writing. Meant To Be has a fantastic tone, and it flows and moves so well. There's just the right amount of joking and hilariousness and the sarcasm came across perfectly. A reader can immediately form a picture of the setting and scene, and I swear it felt like I was watching the story happen in my head at the same time as reading. If I were to choose an author to write my life, I'd choose Lauren Morrill; I think she'd capture the wryness I approach everything with and mix it perfectly with a seriousness -- and then make me really interesting, too!
The characters were also brilliant in their own ways. Julia is such a great main character, who's still a little lost but also a lot sure of who she is and who she think she is and should be. I know a ton of people like her, and I know I found a lot of myself in her, too. Jason was hilarious and playful, and I'm not even joking when I tell you one of my notes is "Oh crap. I'm in love with a ginger." Because yeah, he's obnoxious and rude and so cocky that you can't help but roll your eyes; but as the pages continue, you slowly get to see who he really is and just how sweet and adorable he can be. And suddenly, I wanted to wrap my arms around him and tell him yes, that should be our song and please just kiss me already.
I really can't sing enough praises for this book. It's just so much fun, and I want to live it. I loved all the places Julia and Jason go around London and find, the music is fantastic, I love the incorporation of The Beatles (though seriously, Julia, don't ever trust a boy who doesn't know the difference between The Beatles and John Lennon! No!), I loved the entire search for her Meant To Be. The entire concept of Julia's Meant To Be was also perfect, it was something my high school self totally did and believes in. The deeper stories to both Julia and Jason were also compelling, and it really brought a fantastic realness to them.
Usually I try to round out a review with at least one negative, but I just can't think of anything! It's perfect. It is everything I want to read, everything I want to live, everything I want to be. Read it. I promise it'll be your MTB, too.
and millions more for being my MTB