Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Review: Meant To Be

Author: Lauren Morrill
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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.

“I don’t use airplane bathrooms. As a rule. And I really don’t like breaking rules. (It’s kind of one of my rules.) I mean, if I’m going to plummet to my death, it’s not going to be with my pants around my ankles. Then again, a big wad of grape gum in my ponytail definitely constitutes an emergency, no matter how little I care about my over chlorinated, wild chestnut waves. I carefully unfasten my seat belt, keeping my eye on the flight attendants’ galley, and make a beeline for the lavatory.” – Hardback Copy pg. 5

“Flying, children, models, and being late. And Jason Lippincott. The list of things I hate is getting longer by the minute.” – Hardcopy pg. 11

“‘Okay, okay,’ Mrs. Tennison says, waving her hands to shush us. ‘Moving on. Your curfew will be at ten p.m., and you will respect it. I will be holding on to your keys for the night so I can be sure you’re in your rooms and not…’ She trails off, and I know that she’s imagining half the bus getting arrested and the other half getting pregnant.” – Hardcopy pg. 14

“My parents met as teenagers attending rival high schools. Mom had watched Dad across the football field for two seasons, always wanting to talk to him. One day she twisted her ankle while out on a run, and Dad’s was the first car to come by. He picked her up and drove her to the emergency room, and they were together all the way until he died. My mom always said that it was fate, and I know that she’s right. It could have been any old Good Samaritan who picked her up, but fate brought her my dad.” – Hardcopy pg. 20

“Unfortunately, tonight my head is muddled with boys. Chris, my mysterious text messenger. Mark, my one and only (if only he knew it). And now Jason, whose goal in life seems to be to throw me off balance and humiliate me in as many ways as possible. If harassing me doesn’t work, he’ll simply flirt with me. That must have been what that song was about. Because he was flirting with me. I know it. I felt it. Didn’t I? Christ. Mark. Jason. Chris. Mark. Jason.” – Hardcopy pg. 84
This book is so very charming and so well put together, that I couldn’t believe it was a debut. This story follows Julia Lichtenstein on a school trip to London where her life changes forever. Julia is what I call and overachiever, not that this is a bad thing, and she is one of the most organized people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Her life is mapped out according to plan and she is a very strict rule follower, yes, she is one of those people. She is a nerd, which I am too, and is proud of her good grades and excellence achieved on the swim team. Her life is pretty predictable until she meets Jason Lippincott, who shows her the real definition of adventure.
What an unbelievably cute and wonderful story! Lauren Morrill writes with humor and one liners that will have you reading and re-reading the pages of this book. Julia might be a stickler for following the rules, but her personality is so witty and likeable. I loved being inside her thoughts and being up front and center for some of her witty comebacks to Sarah Finder, drama queen, and Jason! Julia needed some adventure and she needed to break out of her tightly closed shell, so I was very pleased with the change in her character once she arrived in London. If she would have followed the rules the whole time we were there I was going to be highly upset with her.
Julia and her best friend, Phoebe, have coined the term MTB or “Meant To Be.” I must admit that I am now using this term! Julia is determined that her MTB is Mark, a boy that she has had a major crush on since she was a young girl. Let’s just say that London has a different plan for Julia, and maybe she doesn’t know her fate as good as she thinks she does. I loved the love story within this book. Julia meets a guy, Chris, while at a party in London. I know, Julia at a party? Trust me, it took my breath away. Anyway she meets this extremely hot guy and he starts texting her, and this was the first real romantic interest that any guy has taken in her. Then we have Jason, who flirts with her like crazy. And in the back of my mind there was still Mark, back home in the states, and I was waiting to see what may happen there. Even though I had a pretty good idea of who Julia would end up with, Lauren still left this wide open until the end. I loved this! She definitely kept me guessing in the love department.
I loved that we were in London with Julia while all of this was taking place. I really liked her friend Phoebe, who she texted the entire time she was in London, and I wish that she could have been on the trip with Julia. I don’t really think of London as a romantic and magical city, but Julia absolutely adored Shakespeare and that was a GREAT added detail. I love Shakespeare too, and I loved seeing Julia connect with some of Shakespeare’s past. So many of her passions were in London, and it was a great place to have her break free from her comfort zone. I thought this was a remarkable story and I am eagerly anticipating more from Mrs. Lauren Morrill!
***Thank you to the publishers at Delacorte for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. I loved your review! I still have to read this book, I'm waiting for the price to go down. It sounds like a Sophie Kinsella chick lit type of book, and those are one of my favorites. Can't wait to read this one :)