Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Meant to Be

MEANT TO BE
Lauren Morrill
Contemporary Young Adult
304 pages
Delacorte BFYR
Available November 13th
Received from publisher via NetGalley for review

THE STORY (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.


MY THOUGHTS
Meant to Be is a story we pick up knowing exactly how things are going to play out between the characters in the end, but it is that very predictability that draws us to it in the first place. Julia’s story is safe; one with a familiar plot arc we know is going to increase the number of laugh lines around our eyes and cause our cheeks to start twitching thanks to the permanent grin splitting them for the duration of our reading experience. It’s the perfect comfort read, with humor ever-present as a result of Julia’s various ineptitudes and Jason’s outrageous attention-garnering behavior, and while we can’t help but sit back and shake our heads at Julia’s obliviousness to the nature of Jason’s outlandish antics, we’re also able to understand that our view from the outside looking in is unimpeded by the confusion and warring emotions clouding Julia’s vision.

Julia is an adorable klutz of a heroine, her social butterfly’s wings so underused they’ve begun to atrophy, leaving her often clueless and floundering when she’s forced to interact with those around her. Her romantic idealism is endearing, the concept of a “meant to be” and her unwavering belief in a perfect relationship consisting of only love and laughter perhaps a bit naïve, however, it’s easy to get swept up in her search for a dream when it’s so glaringly apparent how desperately she wants to turn the ethereal and intangible into something she can physically wrap her arms around. Sometimes the death grip she maintains on her notion of perfection can wear on us a bit, particularly when we she remains stubbornly blind to what Jason is practically screaming at her with his body language, and she allows herself to be highly susceptible to suggestion–often believing things without much prompting and suddenly finding herself jumping to the wrong conclusions. Despite her flaws though, she’s charming and lovable, and by the end we want nothing more than for her to find that elusive happiness.

Jason is a character who based on the synopsis we think might easily get on our nerves, his over-the-top behavior something that has the potential to test our patience after only a short time, but because it’s so obvious to us what he’s trying to accomplish with Julia, we instead find ourselves encouraging his each and every move. Because Julia’s nose is almost permanently stuck in one of her many guide books to the wonders of London, we more than understand why Jason feels the need to up the ante whenever he’s dealing with her. His desire for her to actually see him rather than simply notice him is something we can practically reach out and touch, and the weight of his disappointment when she misinterprets the situation or disregards him in general is crushing, our stomachs plummeting every time he shuts down before gearing back up to try and break through her fairy tale fog in the hopes that, this time, her heart will see what her eyes so clearly do not.

Overall, Meant to Be is a joy to read, a light story full of humor and misunderstandings that leaves us with a broad smile just as we knew it would when we first cracked the spine.

Rating: 4/5

42 comments:

  1. Oooh this sounds super sweet! Tbh, I have a huge grin on my face just from reading the blurb- I've no doubt this will be a fab read! I can't wait to meet Julia and Jason :) Great review Jenny! Glad you enjoyed it<3

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    1. I was just in the mood for this one you know? It was all cute and fun and it just made me happy:)

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  2. OooO!!! I sooo freaking adored this book!! It was so cute, and adorable and ... Jason!!! He was such a great character.

    "His desire for her to actually see him rather than simply notice him is something we can practically reach out and touch"

    Oh yes *sigh* how he tried so hard but then .. Julia was just not able to see him!
    Glad you liked it too hon :))

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    1. I was worried Jason would irritate me, but he didn't in the least:) I just adored him.

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  3. The cover is just so cute, and I adore cute. Sometimes I just need books like this

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  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jenny! I can't wait to read it since I desperately need a feel-good romance soon. I'll be counting down the days until I can finally read this one!(: Amazing review, dear!

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    1. I hope you like it Keertana! It's not the type of book to just blow you away, but it's such a fun read and light read:)

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  5. I totally waffled about requesting this one and didn't end up doing it. This might be a library read, even though I can see Jason getting on my nerves (though his behavior does seem understandable when dealing with Julia). Sounds very cute!

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    1. I thought he would get on my nerves too - but he didn't at all. It was just so obvious why he was doing it, and I felt so bad for him because Julia just didn't see it at all.

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  6. Jenny!!! Your reviews are just like this book sounds fun and delightful...:) This is one of those books that Ive been wanting to read, but keep putting on the back burner, its prob already expired on my Netgalley....:(

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    1. GO GET IT TINA! It's the perfect comfort read:)

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  7. Ahh this is such an adorable review Jenny! I sometimes don't mind predictable plots either especially when they're super cute and have several laugh out loud moments! So glad you loved this I had a feeling you would! I received an email saying my copy is waiting to be dispatched, all my current reads will definitely go out the window when this pretty arrives! :)

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    1. I expect these types of romances to be predictable, so that never bothers me. I'd actually be really upset if there was some sort of epic twist and it didn't end the way I wanted it to! Can't wait to see what you think Jasprit!

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  8. I *heart* books that leave me with a smile and make me happy the rest of the day :) I mean they are needed to couteract the ones that make you want to scream!

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  9. Jason actually did get on my nerves even though I knew what was to come-I just found him SO annoying. Glad to hear this worked better for you.

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    1. I think maybe because I was expecting him to be super annoying is why he didn't bother me at all. I was picturing him way worse than he ended up being, so I was pleasantly surprised:)

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  10. This sounds like a super cute book. I want to pick it up and cuddle it a little. Er...I mean, *adds to wishlist*

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    1. I may or may not have hugged my Kindle at the end.

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  11. The synopsis sounds cute yet predictable. Your review makes it clear that there is much more to this story. I can see this becoming a movie.

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    1. It would make a really cute romantic comedy I think!

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  12. I just started reading it and it's super cute so far! I love Morrill's writing and there have already been a few laugh out loud moments. Great review! I'm really looking forward to reading the rest :)

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  13. With all the flops of rom-com movies, I think this book will fill that hole. The book sounds adorable and I completely forgot about it and now I can't find it on my NG account. UGH! I'll wait until I can get my hand on a copy.

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  14. This sounds really cute! I have it on my TBR list and sounds like a really sweet read even though parts of it are predictable. Great review, Jenny!

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  15. I adored Jason and how they both changed through out the book. I loved it

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  16. I so need to read this. I love sweet predictable books. As long as they're well written, the fact that I know the story doesn't matter.

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  17. This sounds like a fun book... even with Jason being crushed. I think I will like Julia as I know what it is like to be a klutz (I just sliced open my finger yesterday! LOL) but I use that so people can laugh at (I mean "with"... yea... "with") me to break the ice. Unfortunately, I can't always claim that it is intentional. :D Yep, I think I need to read this one and root for this couple!

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  18. I am desperately needing something sweet and light and funny. I know the predicatibility won't bother me because I just need something comfortable. I have this scheduled for Fire and Ice and am looking forward to it. Thanks again for signing up for Fire and Ice!

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  19. Oh my gosh...I got such a warm happy feeling just from reading the blurb...I so need to read a book like this right about now!

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  20. Sometimes a safe story is what I need to experience a new story, you know? I like the way you describe it. It's a book that I think I will like. Thanks for sharing :)

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  21. Oh, this sounds so great! I've really got to get my hands on a copy :)

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  22. Oh so happy you enjoyed this as well. I think I remember you saying you thought the phone messages would play out differently. I thought the same thing, I'm wondering if we both thought it would go a certain way. Sheesh, I'm so cryptic here, but I don't want to spoil anything, lol! I loved Jason, I was glad he got Julia to open her eyes to the life around her. Wonderful review Jenny. :)

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  23. I love the novel's blurb almost as much as your review! Glad you liked it so much. *adds to TBR*

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  24. Oh I want to read this one SO bad! It sounds like the lighthearted book I just crave. All these stressful books are getting to me. I have read some lighter ones but they still seem to have some heavier topics mixed in. Oh and the setting definitely appeals to me!

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  25. Yeah, predictability can be good and a relief sometimes! This really DOES sound like the perfect fun, comforting read. I'm pretty sure I would love these quirky characters, too!

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  26. Sounds like I would like this very much...light with romance is my kind of read.

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  27. Three more days. That's all I can say. Three more days!! Can't wait to read this book, it sounds like so much fun and the synopsis.. Well, I'm definitely intrigued what kind of emotions and inscidends can be found behind this gorgeous cover! Glad you enjoyed it ;)

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  28. This book sounds SO cute! There are times that I'm really in the mood for these kind of books <3 Great review.

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  29. I love books with a good laugh, and this sounds like its cute as well! Great review, will give this book a try one day!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  30. I haven't gotten around to reading this one yet for review but I will for this reason, Jenny: "Overall, Meant to Be is a joy to read, a light story full of humor and misunderstandings that leaves us with a broad smile just as we knew it would when we first cracked the spine." I could definitely use a light book ... and one I know I'm going to love.

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  31. This was a cute one, definitely, but I think I was expecting a lot more, especially when it came to the romance end. Unfortunately Julia annoyed me too much for me to totally get into this one. :/ I do see the appeal, though, and I think if I hadn't expected so much based on glowing reviews I would have liked it even more.

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