24/10/2013

Review: Meant to Be {Lauren Morrill}


 
Meant to be, or not meant to be ... that is the question. Straight-A student Julia is the queen of following rules and always being prepared. She keeps a sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare with her at all times. And, just like the rest of her life, she's planned exactly who she's going to end up with.

But this spring break, Julia realises not everything can be planned (like being partnered with the class-clown Jason on their school trip to London).

After a wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts from a mystery admirer and Jason volunteers to help her track down her new suitor, if she can just let go of some of her rules. Thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia toward something she never expected to find: true love.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0062347047?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creativeASIN=0062347047&linkCode=xm2&tag=litbirboo-21http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0062347047?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creativeASIN=0062347047&linkCode=xm2&tag=litbirboo-21 

I was really drawn in by the premise of this and thought it would make for a cute, quirky story. Plus it's set in London and, being a Brit, I love the UK as a story locale. It's not something you see a lot of in YA, so I appreciated all things British in the novel.

Unfortunately, I didn't like much else. Maybe I'm finally maturing (cue laughter) and need a little more substance? I don't know. But what I do know is that this didn't do it for me.

It's not that this is an awful book, because it isn't; the writing is pretty solid, the prose descriptive and the story well-paced. I just found it all a little too immature for my taste and, no matter how much I read, I couldn't connect with any of the characters.

Julia, our heroine, is kind of uptight. Okay, she's really, super, crazy uptight. And that's something I could deal with if she had a few other redeeming qualities, but she didn't. Julia was one of those people that, because she was smart, seemed to assume most others weren't. She criticised people a lot (Jason, in particular) and it wasn't exactly endearing.

And Jason ... I couldn't get behind him as a love interest. He was supposed to be funny and carefree and charming but, honestly, he was one of the most annoying characters I've come across. He was constantly humiliating Julia and acting unbelievably immature. I didn't find him funny. I found him narcissistic and endlessly irritating.

The saving grace of this book was a certain scene in the rain with our two leads that was surprisingly perfect and brought all of the swoon I'd been waiting for. It was the only thing that kept me reading until the end.


 
If you're in the mood for a quick, fun, contemporary (and maybe if you're in your early teens) this may be right up your alley. Personally though, the plot wasn't enough to win me over and I needed the characters to be a little more engaging and less immature.

"There's a difference between preferring books to parties and preferring sixteen cats to seeing the light of day."

 


 

Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.
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17 comments:

  1. I totally know what you mean about maturing and kind of needing more substance compared to fluff. It's amazing that we can still enjoy YA books though, even though not technically being in their age group, so yeah I think even YA books should still be enjoyable and relevant.

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    1. There are SO many well-written YA books out there that are crafted brilliantly with such meaningful characters. I almost forgot the fluff-lit existed too. I'm going to have to bear that in mind and be a bit more selective from now on. It's just hard to tell with YA, because it can go either way.

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  2. I don't think I'd appreciate this one. I like books to have well-developed characters and more to their plots. Obviously, you can pick up a cutesy book some days and love it, but it's pretty rare for me these days.

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    1. Yeah, I think I'm over cutsey reads. Even my fun, summer reads need to have some substance. I don't want to speed through a book to pass the time, I want to read it and be involved, you know?

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  3. I completely get what you mean about needing more substance and maturing. Lately I've been feeling the exact same why (maybe i'm maturing too?) I feel like i'm mostly done with all my fluff reading, I need books that make me think not just go "awww" (although SOMETIMES it's good to go back to one after a bunch of serouis reads) Great review Allie!

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    1. Exactly! I need books that instil some kind of emotion beyond, 'oh, that's cute'. I want to read things that are intense and make me FEEL something after I've finished it. Books I'll go back to and can get into lengthy discussions over. I'm so done reading things that leave me feeling eh

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  4. Hmm, I haven't read this yet but it sounds like this one was pretty youthful for a YA novel. Too bad! I don't have a lot of patience for books like that so I think I will pass on this one, although the setting is for sure intriguing.

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    1. Yeah, I was surprised by how YOUNG the book seemed. I guess the target audience is a little below my age group (take THAT everyone who mocked my mental age)

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  5. I agree that there isn't really much substance to this one, but I think that was why it mostly worked for me. I picked it up when I was after something quick and light, something that didn't require much thought, so it met most of my expectations. And the writing had a quality about it that just seemed to work for me. I'm glad you liked the scene in the rain, though! That was probably one of my favourite parts. Great review, Allie! I hope your next read is more to your liking. :)

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    1. That rain scene almost made everything worth while lol. And it was the only scene where I didn't feel like kicking Jason in the face :P

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  6. But how 'bout that awesome cover, huh?! Beautiful!

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    1. I think that's what drew me in. Damn covers lulling me into false senses of security with their bright colours and promises of a better tomorrow :p

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  7. I remember enjoying but not being crazy about it.

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  8. I don't like books that are all that immature either. I've not read the book, but I remember wanting to. Sorry this wasn't as good for you, but thanks for the honest opinion :) Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  9. Oh no! This one is on my TBR because it seems like it would be fun! But sometimes I like light and easy books, so I might like it, even if I don't love it. Sorry it didn't work out for you!

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  10. The main guy kept humiliating the girl? Uh, that does not sound like my type of flirting or romance. Julia also doesn't seem very appealing to me. I'm sorry this was a miss for you. I was actually going to buy this one day just based on the cover, but now I'll prob stay far, far away from it. Thanks for the honest review, Allie!

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    1. Yeah, I wouldn't recommend it. I get fliratcious banter, but the 'love interest' was too childish for words. Pushing our heroine into a lake/fountain for no apparent reason? Uhm, no thanks. I honestly think it's just aimed at a younger audience

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