Meant to Be
Author: Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: November 1st 2012
My rating: 4 stars
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.
Meant to Be was entirely too cute! It was sweet, wacky, and fun, with a sweet romance a-brewing.
Julia is taking a class trip to London. A dream-trip, in Julia’s opinion, without parents, and as she says an: “itinerary full of visits to places I’ve only read about or imagined.” Unfortunately for Julia, her trip “buddy” she’s assigned to is none other than the wisecracking, never-serious, and highly irritating Jason. They are basically stuck together like glue, and he is the complete opposite to her. She has the entire trip planned out with guidebooks filled with post-it notes, while he’s more of the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of guy. She follows the rules, he breaks them. Really, a nightmare of a buddy in her opinion…..at first.
Jason is nothing like what she envisions as her Meant To Be, "MTB," someone who is perfect for her in every way. Julia has it in her mind that Mark, a close childhood friend who’s just moved back to her neighborhood, could be her MTB. She remembers their fake wedding when they were five, and when she turned six he gave her a baggie full of yellow Starburst for her birthday, fished out of several packages. He remembered it was her favorite flavor. Then there’s Chris, a mysterious boy she met at a party who keeps texting sweet things to her.
Julia was so ordered and well-behaved, worrying about grades and following the rules. It’s funny how when a tightly wound girl breaks the rules, she REALLY breaks the rules. I may or may not know a thing or two about that, *ahem* Anyhow, moving on, Jason gets Julia to let her hair down a bit, to do the unexpected, and she slowly starts to see another side to Jason. She has fun with him. Maybe he’s not just the shallow prankster she’s always thought he was. But Jason’s hot and cold with her, one minute Julia thinks they’re becoming friends, and the next Jason’s ignoring her. But then they share some moments where sparks are definitely flying and she’s more confused than ever. Here’s a bit of spark to tempt you:
“Let me up!” I scream, trying to wriggle out from underneath him. But he doesn’t. And then something changes and I realize Jason’s lying on top of me, staring at me, and his lips are inches from my lips, and there is rain dripping off his hair, curling it around his ears, running down onto my neck. My heart pounds and I feel the tingle starting in my toes again. Jason drops his phone in the grass and uses the free hand to brush a fat, wet curl out of my eyes……….
I’ll leave it to your imagination from there. ;)
This story was predictable in parts but it was so utterly sweet, I didn’t care. It’s what I wanted to happen anyhow! There was a lot of adorable humor stemming from Julia and Jason’s total klutziness, making a lot of scenes madcap fun. Reading this seriously made me want to visit London. Julia and Jason visit touristy places like the Tower of London, the London Eye, and the famous Shakespearean theater, the Globe, making them sound so wonderful, I felt like I was touring London with them.
When I finished Meant To Be, I couldn’t help but mutter, “awww sooo sweet,” *sigh*. A vanilla queen's dream!!