Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill
Published by Delacorte BYR
Publish Date: November 13, 2012
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. –(summary from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: Although I’ve only just put Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill down and I’m still thinking and laughing about it, I feel pretty confident saying that it is one of the best romantic comedies I’ve read in a long time.
1. The Characters. Julia is one of those girls – you know the girl that always carries around too many school books, is way over-prepared, and plans everything way in advance? Yes, one of those girls. She’s pretty, but her nose is always stuck so far in a book she is clueless about what is going on around her. She is way into Shakespeare and Jane Austen, and she has been looking forward to this class trip to London forever. When her teacher shakes things up and announces that they have to be with a ‘buddy’ during each waking moment of the trip, Julia is a little bit bummed…but Julia is a lot bummed when she finds out her buddy is Jason. Ugh! Jason is the popular red-haired goofball that is never prepared and constantly makes jokes about everything. Julia absolutely cannot deal with his lack of seriousness. She doesn’t like guys like Jason – she much prefers guys like Mark, aka her MTB. He’s tall, tan, and so-very-handsome. Even though Mark doesn’t seem to remember that they were best friends when they were childhood neighbors, Julia daydreams of the moment he’ll realize that he’s madly in love with her too and they’ll live happily ever after.
Being Jason’s buddy on this trip is basically the absolute worst thing that can happen to Julia. Or is it?
2. The Story. I loved Meant To Be so much. It’s a little bit predictable: girl can’t stand guy. Girl and guy paired together by force. Girl eventually realizes she can be friends with guy she has always hated, but judged incorrectly. Girl freaks out when she realizes that she doesn’t hate guy anymore. Girl tries to figure out exactly what her feelings are for guy, etc.
But you know what? There are other things going on too. There is traveling abroad. There is coming-of-age. There is meat underneath a fun and hilarious story. And I love the way this author threw some stuff in there at the end that I didn’t predict at all.
3. The Setting. Oh how I love a great setting! This author was so great about her descriptions of London with its famous landmarks, its countryside, and its streets that I felt like I wanted to get on a plane and go to London right now. She made her character fall in love with that city (for good reasons) and in turn Julia and Jason (buddies!) makes us fall in love with London too.
4. The Romance. There is definitely a romance present. Very cute and also age-appropriate!
5. The Cover. Beautiful cover. (But sadly there is no red dress in the book.)
It is hard for me to pinpoint the best thing about Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill. She has taken fun characters that we can relate to and put them in a story that we can visualize. She also threw in some great pop culture references, but not too many. The story has so many fun moments, cute moments, and actual funny moments that I would love for someone to adapt this into a film because I think it would be a great movie. And like I said up above, even with all of the fun there is actually story in there.
When I first began the book, I didn’t realize I would end up loving it as much as I did. Julia is so straight-laced that I had to laugh at her – she is written with so much humor. She has some quirks that are pretty much exactly the same as me, and I loved this. As she becomes less rigid and uptight, and as she learns to break some rules and have a little fun, Julia also learns that there is way more to Jason than just jokes and being a dork. Julia and Jason complement each other well as characters and buddies and friends and maybe more, although it takes the two of them a while to figure that out.
Lauren Morrill has a great writing style. I think it takes a pretty special writer to craft a romantic comedy that is actually funny. (Sometimes funny stories just make me acknowledge their humor; this one made me actually laugh.) I’ll can’t wait to read more work by Morrill, especially because Meant To Be was so darn fun and left me feeling so happy.
I recommend Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill for readers who are looking for a great YA romantic comedy. This is not an issues-heavy book and it leaves you with a light and wonderful, bubbly-happy feeling when you finish reading it. I speak truth.
Great Setting – London
Romance – Slowly Developing, with no triangles
but there are several crushes & mystery texts!
Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill
Is MEANT TO BE on your to-read list?
I cannot wait to read Meant to Be! I am rushing out tomorrow after work to buy myself a copy! I'm glad to see you loved it. It makes me more excited.
It's such a fun book! I hope you enjoy your finished copy! It's definitely a book I'd want to read over and over.
Sounds really good and I love the fact there is humour. Can't wait to read it!
I couldn't believe how well-done the humor is. There is plenty to be found – just great witty dialogue and plenty of funny scenes too. Sometimes I find that the romantic comedy books aren't really as 'comedy' as I'd hoped but this one surpassed my expectations by a long shot. I hope you enjoy it!
I really want to read this one. I didn't think I wanted to, but you changed my mind. Again.
Ash, This is one you'll want to squeeze in after a heavy book, or a book you didn't particular enjoy a ton, or a really long book. It was the perfect book for me to read when I did this past weekend. It was effortless and fun and made me chuckle so many times. It is a little predictable, but there are also plenty of twists and turns and some great life lessons and meat to the story. I loved it.
This one IS on my TBR list, I'm signed up for an ARC on tour. The goofy red head love interest reminds me of Melissa Walker's Russ from Lovestruck Summer and James from Unbreak My Heart. Loved both those goofy boys:)
I have heard good and not so good things about this book so am glad to hear you liked it Asheley, especially when Contemps aren't always your thing:)
OOH I haven't read Lovestruck Summer yet but I have loved the two Melissa Walker books that I did read. I think you are a little on the right course with James from Unbreak My Heart, but I would put this book more in the romantic comedy category (I'm totally sticking with that even if I'm categorizing it incorrectly.) – where James was awesome in Unbreak My Heart, I still think that it was a little bit of an issues book. Meant To Be didn't really have any issues in it. It was just pure romantic comedy, in my opinion. So, yes, similar to James, I agree. But the story has a little bit of a difference.
I have seen some mixed reviews too now that mine is up. It is a little predictable in the way of the romance, but there plenty added to it with mystery text messages and crushes on other people, and the touring around London (LOVED that setting and London vibe), and just the coming-of-age and growing up a little that Julia had to do. All of these things tied up together along with the neat ending made me overflow with happiness at the end. I wish the cover would've made it into the book, but AAHH I can't have everything. 🙂
In all honesty, it took nothing at all for me to read this book. That can go two ways: either disappointment because there is nothing there and it falls flat…or pure enjoyment because it is light and fluffy enough not to bog me down while still having good story integrity and story elements. I claim the latter. I was just happy when I finished it. That's all.
I'll be watching for your thoughts!
I loved loved loved the setting in London-I wish I could go!
ME TOO! I've not read too many books set here so reading it was like taking it in for the first time for me and I'd hop on a plane right now if I could! Lauren Morrill NAILED the setting. It may have been my favorite part.
I can't wait to read this one! I've been anticipating it ever since I first heard about it and your review only reinforces why I must have this book! It sounds so cute and I love the fact that it's not just funny but laugh-out-loud funny – yay!
I really need to get a copy of this and soon! Maybe Santa will be bring me a copy, that would be nice ;D
It is SO CUTE Rebecca and I know you'll love it with your love of contemporaries! Plus it would look so pretty on a shelf! And yes, Lauren Morrill wrote it so funny – I read it while I was by myself and I was surprised to hear myself laugh out loud so many times. I already want to reread it and I just finished it yesterday. 🙂
I'm hoping to get a copy of this book for Christmas!!! It sounds so good and I love that it is set in London, one of my favorite places in the world!
It's so great, Meg. Such a fun book with a happy ending. It left me feeling so light and NOT bogged down, which is so refreshing sometimes. I highly recommend it to you for between some of the longer or heavier-subject adult fiction books. It's a perfect one for your to-read pile.
I am so, so excited to read this book. The setting alone (LONDON FOR THE WIN!) already makes me want to read it. It's even better that it's got a great romantic comedy vibe!
This is another that I think you'll love Alexa. It's got that great travel vibe that I know you love and the characters and setting are just awesome. Fun, light story with tons of humor. Read it soon if you can!
I am actually very excited to read this book! I dislike romantic comedy films in general, but I think I could be more behind the premise if it's a book. And London! And Julia sounds kind of similar to me and I'm just intrigued to read about her gradual transformation. Wonderful review!
Hey Amanda! I don't mind romantic comedy movies that much but I don't typically love these types of books. This one was really fun though and I believe it was just the combination of a writer that is really talented with a great story, a great setting, great characters, and a general great sense of humor. I'll definitely be reading whatever she puts out next as soon as I can get my hands on it. This is one that I'll want to re-read for sure. (I'm SO MUCH like Julia. So much. It's hilarious.)
This sounds like such a cute book! Light and fun. Plus I LOVE LOVE travel books, especially London. What a fantastic setting. And a romantic comedy that is actually funny? Sign me up!
YES! You need to read this one. Think –> LOVE. 🙂
The setting is so great. I can't even stress it enough. I've never ever had London on my list of places to go until this book. Also, romantic comedies are never something I've really enjoyed until this book. I read the most of it while I was at yallfest so it was so easy to read – didn't require too much of my brain. It was just PURE ENJOYMENT and OH! don't we need some of these books sometimes?!?!?
This review has made me really excited to read this one, Asheley! I think if I go in with the right mindset and pick it up when I'm in the mood for a romantic comedy, I may just love it as well. Like you said, it's predictable, of course I already know what's going to happen, but that's not always a bad thing, you know?
EXACTLY! You said exactly what I feel. Read it at the time when you NEED to read it, and it will be perfect. PERFECT!
Sometimes it's the 'getting there' that's so much fun.
So, I was already super excited to read this book…but I'm pretty sure I'm going to fall head over heels in love with it when I finally get a chance to read it. I loooove YA contemporary (obviously!), but it would be really, really nice to read a funny YA contemporary romance. And in London. I love London. And a GINGER. I love gingers. 🙂 Yeah, pretty much everything you mentioned makes me want to get in my car in my pj's and drive to the nearest bookstore. Except that they're all closed. DRAT. Thanks, Asheley! 😉
This book is actually funny. Not a little bit funny. Really well-written comedic-funny. With great characters and a great setting and AAAHHHH you WILL love it! You will. I just know it.