Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lauren Morrill's YA Novel Meant to Be is Every Teen Girls MTB Book!

Everything about this book spoke to me. It takes place in London while characters Jason and Julia are on a school trip. Jason manages to take the lead in this story from the very beginning. His class clown antics and constant need for attention is plastered on the first page of the book. Julia isn’t exactly a thrill seeker like Jason, she’s more of a planner yet still manages to be a very likeable character. I love that Jason seems to irritate Julia while touring London. It’s weird but I love characters that irritate each other because it makes fun dialogue. Julia and Jason’s love hate relationship should be bottled. This is the very reason for my song choice BTW.

London is sort of a character in Meant to Be as well. Lauren Morrill did an excellent job of detailing the environment and even enabled London to have significant meaning to Julia and Jason. I would go as far as mapping out a trip according to this book so I could retrace the characters steps. Weirdly I would need Julia’s excellent planning skills to map out the unexpected trip Jason takes Julia on.



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.

Julia is plain lovely. She offers her own comedic timing even with her diligent planning efforts throughout the book that will make readers laugh out loud, maybe even share with the people around them as they read. I love when a book makes you want to do that. Her little incident with her bathrobe is hysterical and actually gives an honest perception of the character and what’s to come for her. Julia’s story offers a sweet look at her parents’ marriage before her dad’s passing and her idea of what love is supposed to look like. I thought it was very crafty of Lauren Morrill to have Julia trace the very footsteps her parents walked in London when they were married. Plus Morrill enables readers to get two aspects of what love looks like. It’s never what you expect, it’s something that requires effort and is always surprising. Julia’s idea of her MTB is challenged and she winds up going on a wild goose chase to locate another possibility with the help of Jason.

Jason is a red haired leading man that definitely ignites a fire upon the pages of Meant To Be. My husband makes me laugh on a regular basis and the things that Jason asks of Julia always reminded me of him. Like when he manages to get Julia to dance with him in the corner of a bookstore while a small band plays a song at his request is something I personally can identify with. It was a lot of fun to read. Jason also delivers the most entertaining serenade that I didn’t even have to hear to know that it was amazing. Even though Jason is a lot of fun he also has a family past to deal with in London and this is what balances his character out. While following the traces of Julia’s mysterious texts messages he manages to steer away from the typical tourist route and onto a more secret scenic one. By doing this Morrill allows the audience and Julia to see Jason’s side of the story.

Meant to Be makes me want to visit London. Everyone says that but this book really entices me to go there in my future. It’s a sweet story that will make you laugh and maybe even cry. Any chick lit fan would enjoy this book. I never feel categorizing a book in the chick lit genre is an insult by the way. I feel these types of books are a fun escape and consider it a compliment. Seriously though after finishing this book I told my husband that someone must make this into a movie so that I can go see it.

Lauren Morrill talentedly weaves great music references in the book that will give readers a cool reading experience. Meant to Be has everything that a teen would want and a great little twist from an unexpected character that made me want to smack the very character it showcased, but this was a good thing, trust me. I hope I have achieved a big interest in this little gem of a story and leave you now so that you may run and buy Meant to Be.    

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