Dec 31, 2012

Review: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Title: Meant to Be
Author: Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: November 13, 2012
Pages/Format: 304, 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.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: CUTE

Going into this book, I was hoping it would be good. It could either go in an Anna and the French Kiss direction (fantastic) or in a The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight direction (disappointing). While I did not like it as much as Anna (a hard book to compare to), it was definitely up on that level--cute, fun, light, and good.

Getting into Meant to Be was a piece of cake--thank gosh! I'm getting tired of books that take fifty pages to pull me in. Here, I was immediately pulled in: we're already on a plane to London. But that's not what got me--it was the voice. A teenage voice that was witty and fun without being annoying. (Another thank you!) Julia's voice was great and completely readable, complete with all-caps, sentences without spaces, and several (but not an overdose of) thankyouverymuch-es. Julia was a believable character, playing on the straight-A, bookish type of student. I full enjoyed reading from her point of view, which could be described as refreshing. The other main character is her arch nemesis and trip buddy (eep!) Jason. (Who's a redhead! There aren't many soulless, redheaded boys in YA. I like it!) He starts out as the thorn in a side, the pain in the butt--Mr. Annoying. But then, as he and Julia are forced to spend time together, his annoyance turns into playfulness and he's just a fun character to be around. I liked him, and I liked Julia--they were nice and pretty darn normal.

My complaints with this book are very, very few. (Practically nonexistent.) The only thing I can think of that bothered me was some wording (no big deal) and a few too many exclamation points. The only reason it fell a bit short--and I hate to say this--is because it wasn't quite Anna, and I just couldn't help comparing the two on occasion. (But it's still good!)

I enjoyed the concept and the story: Girl goes to London. Girl is stuck with least favorite boy. Girl dreams about her MTB (meant to be) back home. Girl makes a mess. Girl gets some romance. Girl has a crazy story. Girl has an awesome story. It was simple and light and fluffy, one of those reads that's just made to help you feel good, and I really, really liked it. 

After 290 pages (Disclaimer: Goodreads lies. The last page is 290, not 304. I was expecting 14 more pages of awesome and cuteness, and I didn't get it!) I was pretty pleased with Meant to Be. It had all the ingredients for an adorable contemporary (boy(s), girl, setting, conflict, romance), making it all the more likable. Also, it didn't disappoint my expectations, and I stayed up late reading it (it's 3:00 a.m. as I'm writing this review), which is always a good thing. I look forward to seeing what Morrill brings in the future, but for now Meant to Be is just meant to be read.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Not 100%, but I didn't not love it, either.
Would I reread it? Possibly.
Would I purchase it? Most likely.
Would I recommend it? Yes.


  1. tnx 4 the review . it has been on my wishlist for some time

  2. I'd love to read this - it sounds so fun and I read a couple of pages on amazon 'look inside' thing. But at £10 for hardback with no paperback in sight, I don't think I'll get to :(

  3. Nice, I wanna read this book now!


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