Author: Lauren Morrill
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Source: galley from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
This book. THIS BOOK! It may just be my favorite YA contemporary EVER! If you know me at all, you know I was once – okay, am still – very skeptical of contemporary novels. I’m afraid of finding them vapid and shallow and then having to review the insipid things. So, even before I started Meant to Be, I prayed to the book gods that it would be as good as My Life Next Door for me because prior to reading this novel, that was the best YA contemporary I’d ever read. But Meant to Be was even better…it surpassed my wildest expectations and then some!
I identified with this book on a level I never thought possible. So maybe I’ve never been in this exact situation before, but the way the author portrayed the characters and their interactions just made it so legitimately real that it was as if I had…like I was reliving a past memory and not simply reading a novel. I was transported to London, walking the streets with my classmates, taking in the culture and the people. I was sneaking out with my trip buddy to take in a party, even though that’s totally not my style. And even though this book isn’t about me….I really want it to be now. It was just so cute and quirky and full of awkward that I need to make it real and commit those moments to memory.
So, remember that antagonistic relationship Cole and Isabel had in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series? Yeah, that’s exactly how Julia and Jason behave towards each other throughout the entirety of the book. You see the chemistry from the get-go, but Julia’s narrating and it’s pretty obvious she’s kinda clueless about the male gender in general. She’s got the hots for this stuffy guy named Mark who was her playmate when they were younger. He moved away and only recently moved back to town and is attending her high school. And man, is Julia crushing hard. She seriously believes this guy is her “meant to be”, hence the premise of the story.
She may be book-smart, but poor Julia has got a lot to learn. And that’s where Jason comes in. He’s going to help the girl out, if she helps him out by writing all of his papers for the class trip. So they have tons of little adventures in London because this guy is not going to let Julia off the hook. She is super up-tight and needs to let loose, and Jason is just the guy to show her how. Julia is a very reluctant pupil, though, and hijinks ensue. Jason isn’t your usual swoony rogue, and so it’s going to take more than a little convincing for Julia to see the light. But he’s got some things working for him…namely, a great sense of humor, but best of all? He’s a GINGER!!!! I have so much love for this romance…you don’t even know!!
I don’t think it’s too spoilery to tell you to forget about that Mark guy…just forget he exists entirely. Don’t be mad…you can read the synopsis and figure that much out on your own. Trust me….I knew where it was going from the onset but the ride was sooo much fun! And in the end, that's all that matters, right? It was just too freaking adorable to be upset that I’d predicted it all. So, just sit back, relax, and enjoy this crazy, wild, TOTALLY AWKWARD ride for what it is. I’ve already pre-ordered my own copy so that I can go again. J Plus, that cover is gorgeous and somehow, just knowing I’ll be able to look at it whenever I’m feeling down puts a smile on my face. The story is seriously that much fun.
“Julia, you are my ‘buddy,’” he says, using the requisite air quotes. “I would never put you in harm’s way.”
“Oh, right. You’d only take me to a party full of strangers in a foreign country and abandon me. Then get me caught in a street brawl, where I lose all my stuff including my pocket Shakespeare.”