Tuesday, October 30

Meant to Be: Book Review

Meant to Be

Lauren Morrill

November 13th 2012
Young Adult | Contemporary

Official Blurb -

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.

Not at all what I expected it to be. I was thinking it would be a cute story of finding meant to be love in the most surprising places. While in some basic way that was the case, it came about in an entirely different fashion. Not the typical approach to romance. It all starts traditionally with a girl nursing a long-lasting crush on her "Meant to be, or MTB" guy. Only everything goes haywire after that with the entrance of Jason. He isn't some undiscovered hottie or potential boy toy but more a well known and very unlike person in her book. Jason is absolutely not a candidate for a crush-worthy traditional male lead. Julia's description of him isn't wrong. She describes him as: annoying, immature, uncultured, and a dirty-jokemaking boy. He has so many roller coaster moments that I was never able to warm up to him. Even in the end, I was too overwhelmed by all the information to really grasp what was happening. It didn't feel believable. I kept expecting him to say just kidding. 

The misdirection in this book is so spectacular and over the top is reminds me of a fireworks finale. Assault on every side and you just don't know where to look, then suddenly you are left in the dark dazed and hyper. There was just too much misdirection. So many possibilities were opened up in my mind. It was hard to really develop tender emotions and connections toward any of the characters.

I do like that is isn't about whether these two will be together forever due to some epic love that will stand the test of time. But more about them giving themselves a chance to test the possibilities. A main message being you might be surprised just how much fun lies outside your comfort area. This story also hits hard on our tendency to misjudge people and situations. And just how that misuse of judgement can cause actions that spiral out of control. How we can build pedestals and idols, and when one day those turn out to be mere imaginings of our mind, we will find ourselves lost. But it isn't the be all end all as there are more fish to fry.

I loved that the word "butt munch" made it into the pages. I didn't think that was a word used even remotely enough to make it into a book. I had a problem with Julia's nickname of Book Licker. Every single time I came across it my mind automatically inserted Boot Licker. It got very annoying trying to correct my auto thoughts. Not the most ingenious of nicknames.

I am bothered that there wasn't an ample explanation for why Jason would blow so hot and cold. The ending left me a bit flustered. Not what I expected and a bit confusing. An entertaining read even if there was entirely too much clumsy for my taste. Even Jason and his constant annoyance didn't ruin it. Do I think there relationship is epic? No. But that is entirely the point. They can enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Swearing: Moderate

Moments Divine:
"Why does every1 think a girl who prefers bks to ppl must be in want of a life?"
"Unfortunately, it seems like the kind of calm that comes before a tornado whips through your town and deposits three cows and a Pizza Hut on top of your house."
"I end up acting like every single word out of Mark's mouth is a jewel crapped out by a fairy princess."