Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill [website | twitter]
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Format read: ARC borrowed from Sarah at Storybound Girl
Keywords: high school, first dating relationships, traveling to London
Summary: Julia’s trip to London is anything but what she expected when she’s paired up with the resident comedian, Jason. Her class trip is chaotic and exciting as Jason turns all her plans upside down and she begins receiving texts from a person she met at a party Jason convinced her to attend. Will Julia find her Meant to Be in London?
Book Licker. I fell in love with this book at the first mention of Book Licker – the ever-so-endearing nickname Jason gave our resident Type-A, obsessive compulsive protagonist, Julia. Much of this book is founded on the understanding that Julia and Jason are complete opposites who are unwillingly partnered during their spring break school trip to London.
Jason is difficult. He’s funny, but secretly smart. He’s a jokester. He picks on Julia to NO END.
Julia is uptight and follows rules to a fault. She’s a goody two shoes. It’s her worst nightmare to be paired with Jason.
I mentioned in my Smart Girls Get What They Want review that there are two types of books – those definitely written for teenagers and those who are for a more mature audience. Meant to Be is mature because of Julia and Jason – they’re two intelligent, worldly characters that are responsible and wise beyond their years. Julia’s character reminded me of who seventeen-year-old me was. The girl who was anxious to do everything right, to be the best at everything, and who sometimes forgot to live a little because she was so focused on aiming for perfection.
pushes forces Julia to step outside her comfort zone and experience the non-guidebook version of London. Morill did a beautiful job making London come alive for me; I’ve never been, but I so hope that I have the chance to in the very near future. Jason showed Julia that it’s okay to go off the beaten path and that life doesn’t always have to be so literal. Julia, in turn, had a great effect on Jason, too.
She showed him it’s okay to be a little nerdy. She fascinated him with the random factoids she had stored away. Their interactions were beyond amusing. I found myself laughing out loud as these two incredibly different people tried to navigate their way around London to complete their homework assignments.
I can’t lead you astray and let you think that Jason is our main man in Meant to Be. Julia meets a random person, Chris, at a party who she spends much of her time texting. She also bears the burden of a long-term crush on resident good-boy, Matt, from back home. At times I felt Julia’s decisions were a little jarring and I desperately wanted her to be confident in her decisions. There was definitely a big dose of confusion over who she liked. In the end, everything worked out really well and I was happy with who Julia became.
Meant to Be is an incredible debut novel by Lauren Morrill. I definitely encourage you to check this one out. It’s every ounce as wonderful inside as the cover is on the outside.