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November 12, 2012

Review: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant to Be
Title: Meant to Be
Author: Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication date: November 13, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: Debut, Contemporary, SARC
Source: NetGalley
Format: Digital ARC
Pages: 256
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.
When I first started reading Meant to Be I must admit that I wasn't all that impressed. I've read a couple of raving reviews comparing it to Anna and the French Kiss. Foreign country, a love interest that is international and a likable protagonist. However what I wasn't betting on was that the love interest was a clown. You know how every class there is this guy who is considered the class clown? the one who pulls pranks all the time and  you're embarrassed FOR him? yea that is Jason. At the beginning I couldn't take him seriously or make him a love interest contender. I kept on hoping that maybe somehow someone pops up and he steps back in the shadows. But you know what? who decides if someone is love interest material or not? and I must say that Jason won me over. He toned his pranks and immature behavior down and I started liking him more. The main protagonist, Julia, was also likable but I couldn't stand it when she spoke of her Meant to Be and how she already knows who she is destined to spend the rest of her life with. At 17 you don't really know such a thing, especially if you've never said two words after you hit puberty to the guy who is supposedly your Meant to Be 
As for the plot, I personally found it a tiny bit lackluster. Yes Julia and her classmates go to England, yes she somehow ends up giving her phone number to a guy she can't remember who starts texting her. Her and Jason talk about finding out who it is but the whole novel is about Julia wondering when will Mark, her Meant to Be, will finally figure out that she's HIS Meant to Be. It honestly got a bit tiring towards the end. However I enjoyed the tour of london, especially when Julia went to the places I just visited during this summer! However towards the end Julia finally snaps out of her Meant to Be haze. This was when I really liked the novel and kept on flipping the pages to find out how she was going to clean up the mess she created.  
I have to say, even if Meant to Be did frustrate me at times and others had me rolling my eyes, I really did like Jason, as well as how Lauren Morrill wrapped up the novel, she didn't rush it and didn't abruptly end it. It was a great ending that I was satisfied with and overall I really did enjoy this contemporary novel. I would recommend it to all contemporary fans, especially fans of Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson.  


  1. Brilliant review, Juhina! I'm really looking forward to this one since the first time I saw it in goodreads months ago. Glad to know that you enjoyed it even though there were moments that had you frustrated. Jason seems like a very fun character to read. And oh, I love London! I'm sure I'm going to enjoy the tour too. :)

  2. I am curious about this one. I have it on my to-read list but wasn't sure if I should pick it up. I'm glad you enjoyed this though, even with all the eye rolling moments! LOL ;p I really like the sound of the characters and I love cute stories like this so it's a win-win! And I am definitely looking forward to this tour you mentioned. I can't wait to check this one out! Awesome review, Juhina! :D

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair

  3. I'm glad to see you mostly enjoyed this, Juhina. I think I liked this a little more than you, though. It didn't take me long to fall for Jason. I'm a sucker for boys with humor. Great review. :)

  4. Yeah, I've seen a lot of great reviews for this one as well. Hmm, not sure if I should pick this book up or not. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. This sounds lovely. I think I could somewhat relate to Julia. Maybe I'll check this book out when I'm in the bookstore later. Thanks for the review, Juhina!

  6. I'm so glad Jason finally grew on you Juhina, I just loved him:) He was crazy and sometimes irritating, but I just had to admire his dedication to getting Julia to actually notice him:) It was just a cute, fun read I thought!

  7. Despite the moments of frustration, I'm glad you enjoyed this overall. I recently ordered a copy so I'm looking forward to reading it. :)

  8. Hah, the comparisons to Anna are entirely lost on me as I must be the only person on the planet who still hasn't read it yet. I'm glad this worked out for you in the end. Like you, I've read a lot of lovely reviews and I intend to pick it up soon.
    Wonderful review, Juhina!

  9. Oh Juhina, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this as much as you'd hoped, but I'm glad eventually the characters grew on you. My copy was dispatched yesterday so I'm interested in seeing the supposed comparisons between this and Anna and The French Kiss. Lovely review Juhina! :)

  10. I haven't read Anna and the French Kiss so I don't really have anything to compare this one too :( Though it does sound like a cute story and I totally agree that we shouldn't have preconceived ideas about what makes a love interest.

  11. I have been REALLY wanting to read this. I've read all positive reviews so far, yours had the most negative yet, so hopefully I'll enjoy it. But now my expectations might not be as high and hopefully I won't be disappointed. Everything you pointed out makes sense and sounds like things that might bug me too, so we'll have to see...

  12. Ooh I'm glad you enjoyed this for the most part! I'm sorry you found the plot a little tiring :( I've heard really rave reviews too so I'll definitely have to take into consideration everything you said because I would probably be annoyed at the end with where the story was going too :/

  13. Haha I would definitely be annoyed by a 17 year old thinking she met her destined meant to be love too O_O I have heard very up and down reviews for this one, I'm not convinced I would be on the up side, though. Great review, chickie!

  14. So glad that you enjoyed this. I have to get to it still. I have heard a lot of great reviews on this. I haven't seen too many so so reviews, but I can see why you didn't like certain things. I hope that I enjoy it when I do get to it. Thanks for the great review!!

  15. I think it works as those fast books that bring you out of a reading slump. The synopsis sounds like a light fun read, and I might consider reading it.

    Great review!

  16. I've heard a lot of mixed things about Jason. Most people seemed to not like him. I'm glad he grew on you. The setting sounds great and it seems like a cute little love story. I might give it a go sometime when I'm in the right mood.

  17. First of all, I wasn't a fan of Anna and the French kiss, so I started to wonder if this book was something for me. I like that they are going to London and it sounds like a sweet book, so I might give it a shot anyway :) Thanks for the honest review.

  18. I so want to read this. Especially because I love London. Even though the plot seems a little predictable, it still seems very sweet.

  19. I pretty much agree with your take. It's hard for any book to live up to Anna and the French Kiss.
    Meant to Be reminded me a lot of Instructions For A Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson.