Book Review | Meant To Be | Lauren Morrill

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | Meant To Be | Lauren MorrillMeant To Be by Lauren Morrill
Published by Delacorte on November 13, 2012
Genres: Contemporary YA, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher via NetGalley
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four-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.

MEANT TO BE by Lauren Morrill is one of those super cute, fun contemporaries that are sometimes the perfect, light break in the midst of dark, intense, or heavy material. Or, you know, it’s also perfect when you just feel like reading something GOOD. This debut is funny and heartwarming and swoony, and it’s made a big Lauren Morrill fan out of me.

So before I actually get into the details of what makes MEANT TO BE such a easily likable book, I wanted to take just a quick second to point out something: I know I just mentioned that I thought Lauren Morrill’s debut is “light,” but I don’t ever think that this is a bad thing. Sometimes I get the impression that other people think “light” is a negative. That “heaviness” or depth is the same as good or worthy of your time. I say “psh” to that. There’s a mood and tone for every book, and a book for every mood. /end tangent. 🙂

Now, to the goods. And there’s lots of goods to be had in MEANT TO BE and, to me, my favorite thing is Julia. She’s got a great sense of humor. I thought she was funny and quirky and her type-A, super nerd personality really endeared her to me. Don’t get me wrong: she’s uptight, and a bit of a stick in the mud. All following rules to the letter and hyperaware of her GPA and whatnot. But slowly, she unwinds and goes outside her comfort zone, and has these great experiences, and I can always get behind that. Plus, she has some other things going on from her past that kind of tug the heartstrings a little bit.

Of course, one of the things that makes Julia her lovable but crazy self is her steadfast belief in “meant to be” and fate when it comes to love, because her parents had exactly that kind of beginning to their relationship, and they were together and happy for years until Julia’s father died. Her expectations are a little unrealistic. THANKFULLY, though, Lauren Morrill has gifted us–and Julia–with the lovable, sometimes irritating, always entertaining Jason Lippincott, cute ginger and purveyor of fun, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants good times. He’s funny and spontaneous and lively. MEANT TO BE wouldn’t be half as enjoyable without him, and without the way he and Julia fight their feelings and bicker and challenge each other. Jason has his own ideas about “meant to be,” and the two of them butt heads a little. In a good way.

And, you know, BONUS, this book takes place in London! I love London. I was lucky enough to visit there in high school, and I’ve been a pretty huge Anglophile ever since. Reading about Julia and Jason traipsing around the Tate and Big Ben and taking a ride on the London Eye (which did not even EXIST when I was there #oldlady) and other famous landmarks in the UK is basically awesome.

Is MEANT TO BE perfect? No. It’s kind of predictable, to be honest, but I wasn’t expecting to be surprised, and that doesn’t really take away from how flat-out fun and sweet Lauren Morrill’s debut really is. It’s breezy and adorable, and it has a few great butterfly moments. If you’re looking for a quick, good-feeling book, you’d be well-served by MEANT TO BE. Then you can get on line with the rest of us who are waiting with baited breath for more from Lauren Morrill.

Comments

  1. Great review! I won a copy of this that should be coming to me soon and I can’t wait to read this! I’m especially excited as it takes place in London!

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

  2. YAY so glad you enjoyed it!! I just had so much fun reading this one and it made me an instant Lauren Morrill fan, for sure.

  3. Loved this one! It was oh so cute and perfect for getting out of a darker reading slump. And I totally agree with you that “light” isn’t negative.

  4. This book sounds like a lot of fun!

  5. I know what you mean about how some people think that books that are light are not good. I also love books that are sweetness and light. Actually, they are usually my preference.

    I liked Meant to Be, too. Another thing I loved about Julia was HER love of Pride and Prejudice!

  6. I found Jason way too annoying for my taste; I can see how he could be charming but I wasn’t feeling it. I also think light is a good compliment to a book-I would be so sad if I only read heavy, deep books without some lightness and humor to break it up.

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