Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Lauren Elizabeth Morrill is many things, including, but not limited to, a writer, an educator, a badass roller derby skater, a former band nerd, an aggressive driver, and a die-hard Mac person. She also watches a lot of TV, eats a lot of junk food, and drinks a lot of Coke. It's a wonder her brain and teeth haven't rotted out of her head.
Her first novel, Meant to Be, sold in a two-book deal to Wendy Loggia at Delacorte for Paper Lantern Lit.
And now, here's a question for Lauren to answer:
In Meant To Be, Julia is obsessed with The Beatles (and who could blame her?) What’s your all-time favorite band?
"Here's an instance of life imitating art: The Beatles are my all-time favorite band as well! When I was in college, I took an entire course on them (Z401: Music of the Beatles, for anyone at Indiana University!). Most of the references in Meant to Be come from that class, and I even thanked Professor Gass in the acknowledgements to the book. Some of the references are really from my own life. I walked down the aisle to Here, There and Everywhere, which is Julia's parents' song."
And now, here's my thoughts on Meant to Be! Or you can watch my video review below if you prefer! Just be warned, its 9 minutes of me rambling on about MTB's awesomeness. There are some minor spoilers of the first few chapters to give you a more in depth idea of what the book is about, nothing major tho!
Check out Lauren Morrill on Twitter
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Actual rating= 4.5 stars.
Before i say anything else, how awesome is this cover! I love the colours so much, i would seriously print this and hang it on my wall. Gorgeous!
I'm not normally the biggest fan of YA contemporary novels. With the exception of Anna and the French Kiss. So imagine my surprise when about 3 pages into "Meant to Be", i already knew that this book was going to be awesome. I really don't think the synopsis does it justice. I don't think i could do a better job, so i wont try, but just know there is too much going on in this story for it to be wrapped up in a few paragraphs.
For me, its all about Lauren Morrill's writing. The way she writes reminds me A LOT of Stephanie Perkins, which in my opinion, is a huge compliment. The book is so well paced. Never a dull moment, but never feeling rushed, or like scenes were just thrown in with no contribution to the overall story lines. I found many parts laugh out loud funny, and was highly amused much of the rest of the time. But i also felt the character's pain and sadness when it was appropriate.
Speaking of the characters, Julia has the type of personality that would usually annoy me in a main character - clumsy (why are female YA protagonists ALWAYS klutzy?),a bit of a know it all, big on correcting other people over every little thing, just generally a bit annoying. But Lauren Morrill has given her enough personality and good qualities to reign it in tone down the irritating.
Jason is the class clown, jerky guy who calls Julia names and generally acts like a 5th grader. At first i thought i was going to really dislike him, but literally within the first chapter, he had me laughing and i couldn't help but like him, even tho he was being an ass. And gosh, does he ever grow on you throughout the book.
The main story line is of course the unlikely relationship that grows between book nerd Julia, and the boy she finds repulsive. But the romance is never cheezy or cringe worthy like i find in most contemporary novels. There were so many great scenes that contributed to the gradual build up of their relationship, that just made it so relatable and real. I actually felt like i was watching two real people interact with each other, just doing real stuff, that any american teenager would do on a whirlwind trip to London.
Woven throughout the main story line, are a bunch of subplots.Each of them as interesting as the main relationship story. I think this is why the book flows so well, without slow points. The reader gets a great tour of London, seeing the touristy things that Julia is interested in, and also going on some adventures courtesy of Jason's more wild side.
Overall, there is nothing groundbreaking about Meant to Be, but it doesn't matter. Its fun, and quirky and likable, with very little to complain about. I wish i could turn back time a few years and read it as a 17 year old, because although I really really enjoyed it as an adult, i think teenagers would relate to it even more. At least, i would have at that age.
If you're a fan of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, you're going to want to pick this one up. I certainly didn't want to put it down, and i will definitely be looking forward to reading more of Lauren Morrill's work.
***I received this book for free from the publishing company in exchange for review. This does not in any way affect my judgement of the book***
SO guys, I hope you've been convinced to go out and preorder Meant to Be. It's released November 13th. It is completely worth your time and $$$! Thankyou to Lauren for stopping by the blog today and to Paper Lantern Lit for asking me to be a part of this tour.