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
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What Left Me Wanting: The first half of this book flowed easily but then the pace seemed to stall, followed by a speedy last quarter and an ending that felt rushed. Julia is uptight and doesn't deal well with people who don't fit into her "big picture" and I get that, but neither she nor Jason deal with their issues which essentially influence the way they behave. For example, I'm not a fan of crying either but doing a hundred crunches just to avoid feeling the emotion seems a bit extreme and odd to me.
Jason's immaturity was cringeworthy and his constant teasing, name calling and need for attention was annoying. I'm all for redemption but by the time he gets his chance the story ends. There were a few questions left unanswered too, like what happened for the remaining trip? How about after they got home?
Final Verdict: Light-hearted, cute love story that doesn't go too deep.
I just adored this book and honestly I cannot wait until I have time to read it again. It was a very fun read. Nothing too heavy or too gut wrenching, which is nice. The pace was great, I never got bored and at the end I wanted the story to go on.
I really enjoyed the relationship between Julia and Jason. I think you'll be able to tell a few things throughout the book that Julia is just completely clueless on, which makes the story much more fun to read. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I won't go into more detail about that.
I totally related to this story. I could picture myself in Julia's shoes. I often have this grand picture in my head of what I think should happen, when the perfect thing is right in front of my face. I highly recommend this book and it's definitely one of the most fun, easy to read contemporaries I've read in awhile.
I could tell straight off that this novel would be a fantabulous read for me. The book opens with, "There are certain things in life that just suck. Pouring a big bowl of Lucky Charms before realizing the milk is expired, the word 'moist,' falling face-first into the salad bar in front of the entire lacrosse team . . ." It you can make me laugh with the first two sentences, things are looking up. I proceeded to highlight a bunch of quotes that spoke to me and made me laugh. If you go on GR, right now and look up quotes by Lauren Morrill, I added all of them, because I'm a nutter and obsessed.
My very favorite aspect of Meant to Be is how well-drawn Julia is. She totally rocks, but which I mean she's kind of awkward and judgmental and anal-retentive. Julia might have more in common with me than any heroine I've ever encountered, with our main differences being her skill as a swimmer and her dedication to homework. Julia, like me, is not a rule-breaker, pretty much as a rule, and, when she does break them, it's this sort of painful mix of fun and fear. She loves reading more than just about anything else and has only one close friend, Phoebe. On top of that, she's introverted and has curly, frizzy hair she cannot figure out what to do with. My advice to her on that last one is confidence; if you pretend it looks awesome, a lot of people will be fooled.
What was most familiar to me about Julia was her perspective. Julia's mental dialog is pretty much exactly what it's like to live in my head, especially my less self-aware high school brain. Despite being incredibly intelligent and witty, Julia, when in a social situation, generally fails to prove herself verbose and lacks witty retorts. Yet, in her head, she has this constant judgmental, snarky commentary running at all times, which, of course, deserts her at times of need. She also has a temper and doesn't realize how harsh or superior she comes off to other people. To me, Julia is one hundred percent realistic, believable and hilarious.
I will say that the only other strongly-developed character is Jason, and even he takes a definite back seat. This is no surprise given how caught up Julia is in her own world and impressions of things and people. Since it's just like my mind, I can tell you right now that she's not the most reliable narrator. Meant to Be is definitely driven by Julia, so I suspect that if you don't like her the book won't be much fun for you.
The romance does not go anywhere surprising, but it's totally one of my favorite formulas. I've always been so weak to the boy and girl who don't like each other at first plotline, because of my love of Pride and Prejudice, which Morrill is obviously a total fangirl about too, based on the numerous references. Shakespeare comes up a lot too, of course, but, if this is actually a retelling of anything (I thought it was a Shakespeare retelling, though I suspect I made that up), it's of P&P.
In Meant to Be, Julia has to deal with a lot of personal issues surrounding her own expectations. She has love built up into this epic construct in her mind, and it's totally messing her up. Again, I relate to this to an insane degree. Her realizations are important ones and I think this sends a great message to teens compared to all of the obnoxious teen love lasts forever stuff. While Jason and Julia do, I think, have amazing chemistry, I also don't know what I see them making a great couple for all time, and I like that.
The last thing I must mention is the setting. Meant to Be takes place during a class trip to London. Julia has signed up with out her best friend and is stuck with a whole bunch of other teens she mostly doesn't like while trying to enjoy herself in a foreign country. Girl, I have been there and it is unfortunate, especially since I didn't have a Jason. Meant to Be is one of those books that makes you feel like you're traveling. I already wanted to go to London so, so much, and now I want to just pack up and go right now, though I'm far too plan-oriented for that, as Julia would understand.
Though I had a couple of small issues with Meant to Be (mostly to do with the cell phones the school provided for them during the trip, which I so do not see happening), I completely adored the whole book and will be devouring everything else Morrill writes as soon as I possibly can.
Julia is the type of character that I love but can also annoy me at the same time. Until the trip, she is completely by the book. She has good grades and always follows the rules. When she gets to London she is paired with Jason, and Julia's world is turned upside down. Throughout this trip, she is constantly arguing with herself about what she should or shouldn't do. She is very stubborn and set in her ways and because of that I think she misses a lot of opportunities along the way.
There were some unexpected twists in this story for me and Julia learns an important lesson from her mom from all the way across the pond. This along with clever writing, some klutzy moments, a few almost kisses, and one sweet kiss in the rain are just some of the reasons why I liked this book so much.
Soon he realizes who she really is and decides to go on an adventure in london with her being pretty incognito.
First of all, the cover of the book looks just beautiful! I love the rainbow effect and also the big ben and westminster on the cover.
Julia was a nice girl who believed together with her friend back in the states in her MTB which means her 'meant to be'. But she doesn't realize the obvious till quite late in the book. It was sad to see that the real love end only was 1 chapter. I loved the character Jason. He was a guy like a guy in real life would be. He was nice but also a bit of a fool. I didn't at all like the character mark who was a jerk all away and it was just nahh..
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars because I think the end was too short and the building to the end was too long. It was a cute read and loved it a lot :)
Meant to Be, or MTB as Julia calls it, is a way of life. She found her 'One' and their life is perfectly planned out. There's just one tiny problem. He just needs to notice her. Everything changes during her ten-day trip where she's forced to think if MTB is the right way of living and if Mark, her MTB is the perfect guy for her, or is there someone else better.
The growing relationship between Book Licker, pardon, Julia and Jason was entertaining. She pretty much hated the guy since he is nothing like her. Julia is a stuck up nerd who plans everything, carries a calculator in her suitcase on a (math non-related) school trip and does not have fun while Jason is laid back, class clown who enjoys teasing Julia all the time. He's a huge flirt and Julia doesn't trust him.
It wasn't perfect but I will say this- Lauren Morrill just got herself another loyal reader. I will read anything this lady writes. Her characters remind me (a little) of Stephanie Perkins' wonderful characters. There's even a small similarity between Jason and Etienne, which I won't reveal, because you have to read it to find you.
What you need to know about Meant to Be is that it's funny. It doesn't have any special snarky remarks but the whole thing is just effortlessly funny I was awwing and oohhing throughout all +300 pages. If you're looking for something light and at the same time interesting to read then you should pick up Meant to Be.
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!
Scarily, Julia reminded me of myself. Her nickname was Book Licker. I never had anything that bad for a nickname, but I had my share in school. Julia also has some ideas of love, normally found in books. It happens I suppose. I had the same problem. The fact that we are so similar is probably why she drove me nuts. Its one of those books where the reader knows a lot more about what's going than Julia does. It drives you nuts, but it makes the end much sweeter. And there was one particular twist near the end that I was not expecting at all.
I loved the Beatles influence in the book and put up with the Shakespeare * I am not a big fan of ol' Bill*. The cover is beautiful... BEAUTIFUL. I didn't want to change what I was reading because just the cover made my blog look better. I want a blown up poster size for my room.
All in all, I devoured the book in about a day. Any cliche was forgotten in the midst of the sweet and at times sour story filled with laughs and grunts of frustration with plenty of splashes of "awww" moments. The book leaves you feeling happy and wanting desperately to go to London * so beware of that. *
Who Should Read It: It's a great contemporary read. The main character is a bit judgmental at times, so if that has a tendency to drive you crazy you might want to stay away. I think people who love the idea of a contemporary set in London should pick it up.
I loved that she had her own interests and even though she was clutzy and insecure she had ideas off what she wanted and didn't want to be taken advantage of.
I was so back and forth with Jason and that is a real talent to keep me so undecided and questioning a character. I really liked getting to know him and figuring out why he acts like he did and what his motivations are. He was so typical guy though. Transparent in so many ways, immature in others, absolutely sweet and melting in orders, and then there are the times where you scratch your head and think they must be from another planet.
There were plenty of steamy moments but at times I felt like I had whip lash with the back and forth between Jason mark and Chris. I liked how they all played into the story though and what she learned about herself through interactions with each of them.
The plot twist was interesting and added interesting to this fun yet sometimes emotional contemporary.
Bottom line: Cute and funny story with good characters.