Julia was a great protagonist. Hot-headed and the first to correct someone’s mistakes, I didn’t think I would find her personality attractive. But combined with her clumsiness and quick wit, I found her to be really funny!
"Great. Now I’m at a party, surrounded by strangers,in a skirt that’s too short, and I’m all by myself. I’m like a walking after-school special. I pull my glass closer to my chest to shield it from wandering roofies and date rapists."
"I want to roll my eyes, but I’m afraid pretty soon they’re going to get stuck in the back of my head, and penis puns are really not worth my permanent facial damage."
There were definitely moments in Meant to Be where I agreed with Jason, that she was way too uptight and too self-involved to actually get to know any of her classmates, but it made her self-discoveries that much more poignant. The constant reminders that she was different from her peers, that she was an intellectual, and that she was abhorred at the thought of breaking any rules, were a little excessive. Especially when the only classmates she interacted with were superficial model-types, who only travelled to London for the shopping. But, those characteristics also made it pretty easy for Jason to embarrass her, which was great at adding a little comedic relief.
I loved Jason. His romantic side – serenading Julia with a Beatles song (her favourite band) while playing the guitar? Could I have swooned any harder? – was surprising, considering his class-clown title and constant inability to take anything seriously. It also made those moments that much sweeter, as he showed Julia a side that I’m sure most people never get to see. And then it broke my heart that much harder, when only moments after turning into the would-be perfect guy, he gives Julia the cold shoulder in favor of the popular crowd. I couldn’t understand why he was so hot-and-cold with Julia, so I didn’t doubt her confusion over his feelings for one second!
Meant to Be’s plot was fast-paced and fun, but there were a couple inconsistencies that had me cringing internally. At one point, Julia leaves the hotel to go for a run, wearing bright pink shorts. After accidentally locking herself out of her room, she sleeps over in a certain boys room but comments on how uncomfortable it was going to be to sleep in her jeans. The next morning she borrows a cleanish t-shirt from this boy, and again, comments on having to wear yesterday’s jeans. Later, she’s frustrated when her pay-as-you-go phone runs out of minutes, and only a chapter later she’s seen texting on it without us having seen her top up her phone with more minutes. Not make-or-break moments, but enough to distract my attention from the story. Granted, these inconsistencies might be fixed in the final version.
Witty, charming and romantic, I loved Meant to Be. I caught myself sniffling a couple times, as Julia shared memories of her father, and I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation thanks to Julia and Jason’s sexual tension. And having experienced London though Meant to Be’s setting, it has definitely moved up on my list of cities to visit!