Release Date: November 13th, 2012 (TODAY!) by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Details: 304 pages, hardcover
Genre: Young Adult > Contemporary > Travel
Source: NetGalley (Thank you NetGalley & Delacorete!)
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.
Meant to Be follows Julia on a Spring Break school trip to London over the course of a week. Her best friend wasn’t able to make it out with her and if that’s not bad enough, her travel partner is Jason the class clown and king of breaking rules. Julia does NOT break rules, she doesn’t believe in it! She also doesn’t believe in not being prepared. Which is why she picked Mark as her “MTB” (Meant to Be).
Julia has been looking forward to this trip FOREVER. She’s marked up her travel guides with places she needs to visit and Jason makes some of those places incredibly difficult to get to. Instead he’s more interested in sticking his nose in his school issued phone, ditching Julia, going to parties and sneaking out after curfew. And while Julia thinks this is the worst thing ever, I’m sure she can’t deny that Jason ended up taking her to some pretty cool places.
Julia was a bit of a frustrating character because everything had to be planned (OMG is this how my husband feels about me?!) and within a time line (OMG I think it is!) while I get that this time in a different country is crucial I think she should had gotten lost once or twice just for fun. Her obsession with Mark was a little strange. She thinks she knows these things about him and he has all these qualities of her perfect guy (reads Shakespeare, likes The Beatles...) only to not really know for sure if he posses these qualities but she’s been “in love” with him forever!
Jason was just as frustrating. He was a jerk one minute then the next he seemed like he wants to be her friend and other times -- more than her friend but then he goes right back to being a jerk! Especially when Mark somehow shows up to London and wants to hang out with Julia (be still my heart!) he is especially a jerk then. Like, the biggest jerk on the face of a jerky planet jerk. It really annoyed me. I mean, if he didn’t think too highly of Mark maybe HE SHOULD HAD JUST SAID SO. I mean, he sort of did but he also sort of didn’t. But then I’m sure even if he did Julia probably would had just brushed him off as stupid. Another thing I didn’t like about Jason was that his actions were a little too abrupt for my liking. Like he’d make some jackass move then he’d just leave. Just like that. Also apparently Jason was this really smart sweet guy who likes helping other people but sticks Julia with all the assignments! What’s that about?!?
While I didn’t love Meant to Be like I thought I would, I did enjoy it. The journey that Julia goes on to really figure things out and realize that life can’t be planned was amazing to see her go through. I loved the places the author described in London (I haven’t read a book based in London before!) and it made me want to visit it sometime even more! All the historical places were interesting too!
If you’re looking for a cute contemporary in an oversea country and an unlikely romance, I would recommend Meant to Be!
"You laugh in your sleep."
My head snaps up from my lunch. So he does know.
"Yeah, don't get excited," he says, smiling to himself.
"It's not cute. It's kind of creepy. More like a cackle. You are whacked, Book Licker."