Author: Lauren Morrill
Rating: 5 out of 10
Summary (Meant To Be 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.
So: This cover is fantastic. It's so beautiful. It was the original reason that I continually returned to it. It took me about two weeks to finally decide to buy it but the cover was what had me even considering it. Later, it would be the fact that I liked Anna and the French Kiss that would draw me to this novel. I love the idea of books with travel because it is an unique way to explore the world without actually leaving your bedroom...or classroom in which you are trapped and forced to listen to a professor drone on and on about who knows what. It is especially wonderful when the novel travels somewhere you have been before because you can remember what it was like. This novel did that. HOWEVER, those two people on the front do not look like teenagers in high school. They both look thirty and I don't like that cause it leads to unrealistic expectations. I'm not talking about the book, although that is true also. It leads to unrealistic expectations for young people to think they should be like this or like that. Rant over. Anyway...
I don't understand how these two managed to sneak around at all. When I went to Europe on a school trip, we couldn't get anywhere practically; yet, these two manage to run off for entire days at a time. I don't buy it but it doesn't pull anything away from the novel.
I was excited to find that I only saw the end coming in part. Surprises are great things and true surprises are pretty rare. Points for that.
What bothered me most about this novel is that Julia ignores a lot about Jason's past in the end, even the recent past. From what I saw, I wouldn't want to spend any time with that guy so she had the right idea in the beginning. I wouldn't be able to forget the fact that he made the beginning of the trip complete hell or that he made offensive gestures towards me. Later, those gestures are brought up again and make her life suck in that moment to. I would not be nearly as forgiving as she was.
The novel was alright but there was nothing outstanding about it. I wasn't awed by the unique characters or the description of the amazing places they visited. I doubt that I'd read this novel again even though I could relate to the breaking out of roles Julia did during the course of the novel. It just wasn't incredible. It didn't blow me away. I enjoyed it but when it ended, I moved on easily without much thinking back on the novel.
Basically: The novel was okay but I (for some reason...sorry author) expected more from this book. I most likely won't read it again but that shouldn't stop you from reading it a first time. If you liked Anna and the French Kiss than you might like this novel; although, Anna and the French Kiss is much better as is the love interest in it. If you've got the money and the time, this novel is decent. It's probably for high school age girls, if that helps you at all.