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. (from GoodReads)
I love London so of course I'm going to pick up a book that is set here! Plus, romance and cute boys? Sign me up! I thought Meant to Be was a cute and fun story that anyone can enjoy.
Obviously I was first drawn in by the wonderful city of London. Since I've been there before, it was nice to revisit all the famous landmarks and tourist attractions that I saw. I would love to go back and I did for a time while reading Meant to Be.
Julia is an interesting protagonist, in that she's not the most likeable. She gets better in the end, but throughout the book she is set on finding her "meant to be" aka her soulmate. Julia uses her parents' supposedly perfect marriage as her guide to finding a boyfriend. This is problematic since her father died when she was about eight, so the memories of her family are definitely colored. Luckily she learns that no relationship or person is perfect and that will help her in the long-run.
Even though Jason could be pretty immature, I still enjoyed reading about him and seeing his and Julia's relationship develop. In the beginning they hated each other, but London brings them together. I was flying through the pages to see what would happen next.
Some of the aspects were a tad unrealistic. The students had way too many "cultural hours" (aka free time) on this trip and they each had their own hotel rooms! It is explained that their teacher knows the owner of this hotel but still. I loved that Julia is a swimmer (as am I) but would someone who won States in two events really go on a trip in the middle of her swim season (even though most swim seasons are finished by Spring Break, which is when this trip takes place)? I'm obviously nitpicking, but those were some things I was thinking about while reading.
Regardless, I still really enjoyed Meant to Be. The romance is cute, London is awesome and there's even some life lessons thrown in there. If you're looking for something light, make sure you check this out.
Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.