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Meant to Be Hardcover – November 13, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-This delightful debut explores the excitement and insecurities of an unexpected first love. During the junior-year lit class trip to London, Julia, a rule-following, socially awkward swimmer/scholar, finds herself partnered with Jason, the obnoxious class clown. Her mission is to enjoy the historical sights while retracing her parents' honeymoon travels. He has plans to make the "Book Licker" break some rules and have fun. He drags her to a party, and after Julia has a few drinks, she exchanges numbers with a handsome British boy. Here is where the adventure begins. With a huge nod to Shakespeare, Jason agrees to help Julia compose love note texts and she agrees to write his cultural papers. The two form an alliance, and, although readers can see their feelings for each other grow, Julia believes her true "meant to be" love is her crush Mark, who happens to show up unexpectedly. Jealousy, some mixed messages, and a kiss that sends Julia spinning ensue. Even with the slightly contrived plotline, readers can't help but cheer for Jason as he opens up and wins Julia's heart. The good times they experience in London are a perfect balance to the painful secrets they reveal to each other, and girls will identify with Julia's angst when she believes she has been duped ("If I can go back to ignoring him, just like before this trip began, then I can forget"). A great choice for teens who enjoyed Jennifer E. Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (Little, Brown, 2012), Gabrielle Zevin's Elsewhere (Farrar, 2005), or Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Knopf, 2010).-Pamela Schembri, Newburgh Enlarged City Schools, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Romance combines with a tense mystery in Boston high-school junior Julia’s wry, present-tense narrative of her 10-day student trip to London. She is assigned clumsy Jason as her partner, but he is just not her type, and they have fuming arguments. She texts her best friend in Boston about her longtime crush on Mark (who now wants to spend time with her) and the alluring texts she is getting from “Chris”—who is he? She daydreams about Chris and about perfect Mark; if only Jason would go away. But who is stealing her phone and reading and sending text messages on it? She does have a great kiss, but it’s with Jason: was it a huge mistake? The traveling details are part of the fun: her friends are into shopping, not Shakespeare, and there are raucous puns about Big Ben. The contemporary scene with consumer name-dropping will grab readers, though, of course, the details will date. Still, the core drama is the romance, with all its turnarounds and timeless realism. Grades 7-12. --Hazel Rochman

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385741774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385741774
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

LAUREN MORRILL grew up in Maryville, Tennessee, where she was a short-term Girl Scout, a (not so) proud member of the marching band, and a trouble-making editor for the school newspaper. She graduated from Indiana University with a major in history and a minor in rock & roll, and now lives in Macon, GA with her husband, their son, and their dog. When she's not writing, she spends a lot of hours getting knocked around playing roller derby.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Thank you to Random House/Delacorte Press and NetGalley for this eARC!

Sometimes I read YA contemporary romance and I wonder if maybe I'll a little too jaded for my own good. I mean, is there nothing left in this realm that I can stand?

Turns out, there is. And it's this book.

I'll admit I had my reservations going into it. I mean, the premise is nothing new. The main character, Julia, has the nickname of "Book Licker" for good reason. She's a straight up nerd with a kooky best friend, a secret crush on a childhood friend and then she gets stuck with a guy she abhors for nine days in London. Quite frankly, I've seen this a million times with the variables tweaked.

But there's a saying, and that's that everything that is being written has always been written, and it's how you write it that makes a difference. If you've followed any of my reviews on romance in any kind of book, you'll know I'm very hard to please. That gives more weight to be saying that I fell head over heels for this book.

It wasn't perfect, and I'll get to that in a minute, but the point is that I found it amazingly cute. Julia's devotion to her parents and the concept of finding the one "meant to be" was absolutely touching. I was reading and giggling all the way through. Julia and Jason are the standard rom-com couple that can't stand each other, but the way they handle it and the things they say are just far too cute. They actually do end up getting rather nasty with each other too, which makes it more real--it's not just surface tension. I don't want to give away anything about the rest of the plot, but the twists thrown that complicate everything were actually interesting for the most part.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OMG, you guys, pardon me while I flail freaking everywhere over how incredibly hilarious and wonderful and perfect for me this book is! Ahhhhh! There are certain authors who are just like made of magic for me, you know? Their every written word speaks to me. They're funny and clever, and say express the things that I think and feel all of the time, and, were I the kind of person to mark up my books, their books would be a mess of notes. Well, Lauren Morrill has just joined that esteemed crew with her debut novel Meant to Be.

I could tell straight off that this novel would be a fantabulous read for me. The book opens with, "There are certain things in life that just suck. Pouring a big bowl of Lucky Charms before realizing the milk is expired, the word 'moist,' falling face-first into the salad bar in front of the entire lacrosse team . . ." It you can make me laugh with the first two sentences, things are looking up. I proceeded to highlight a bunch of quotes that spoke to me and made me laugh. If you go on GR, right now and look up quotes by Lauren Morrill, I added all of them, because I'm a nutter and obsessed.

My very favorite aspect of Meant to Be is how well-drawn Julia is. She totally rocks, but which I mean she's kind of awkward and judgmental and anal-retentive. Julia might have more in common with me than any heroine I've ever encountered, with our main differences being her skill as a swimmer and her dedication to homework. Julia, like me, is not a rule-breaker, pretty much as a rule, and, when she does break them, it's this sort of painful mix of fun and fear. She loves reading more than just about anything else and has only one close friend, Phoebe. On top of that, she's introverted and has curly, frizzy hair she cannot figure out what to do with.
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Format: Hardcover
Ah, what high hopes I had for this! The early reviews I read gave me the overwhelming thought that I would love it. There's a nerdy uptight girl who clashes with a free-spirited boy who tries to loosen her up all while exploring the gorgeous historical city of London. I figured I'd identify with the main character and swoon for the guy.

Well I did click with Julia initially. She has great plans for enjoying this trip to London especially because of the special meaning it has for her parents. Although her father is now deceased, she anticipates feeling connected with him again by seeing the places that were so special to them. But as the book wore on, I thought Julia got kind of the raw end of the stick. The aforementioned "free-spirited boy", named Jason, is kind of a jerk. I found him unbelievably annoying. I hated how he (and others around her) were pushing her to be more like him. Yes, she was a little uptight and didn't need to schedule everything so strictly but I didn't want her to be more like him. I wanted him to be more like her-demonstrating respect, not freaking out their chaperone (and they really should have had several chaperones) by running around a foreign city, and just generally not doing whatever stupid thing pops into their head. So Jason didn't work for me.

There was also an event that might have been a surprise so I'm not going to spoil it but which was quite obvious to me (the phone thing was kind of ridiculous-would the school really buy that many phones for these students?). I don't have much else to say because this is a very character-driven novel. Since Julia and Jason were unappealing to me, it soured me on the whole novel. However readers who love London-set novels will surely enjoy that aspect as I did.

Cover: I really love this cover-I think it's SO pretty.
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