Sunday, November 18, 2012

Book Review: Meant to Be

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. Quoted from Goodreads


This book had me at London.  I love that city, and I loved the semester I got to live there, so when I learned this book was about a clueless girl on a trip to London, I was sold. The author includes a lot of the famous stuff, but she also includes small shops and skate parks, the sort of thing you never see as a tourist, and I really enjoyed that.

If I could pick one word to describe this book it would be sweet.  Julia is a delightful overachiever, who uses her book smarts to hide from real life.  It's not that she isn't interested in boys, but you can sort of tell all her real experience with them comes from books and the idolized image she had of her parents marriage before her dad died when she was seven.  She's starts out rather a stuck up know-it-all, to be frank, but she grows throughout the book into someone I really like.

Bring in Jason, the boy who is everything Julia isn't. He cares little about grades, breaks rules, and is an attention hog.  Of course, they are pared up as buddies, and chaos ensues.  What I liked about these two characters the most is how realistic they were.   They were both far from perfect. Both of them had their annoying moments, and they clashed constantly.  Jason is one of the most realistic high school boys I've ever read about: annoying and sweet, clueless and insightful all at once.  

But this book isn't just about a boy and girl who learn to get along and fall in love.  That plot is, obviously, predictable from the cover, though the journey is still fun.  The best part is author also includes a few fun twists, so while you know what may happen in the end in a broad sense, there are still fun surprises as everything comes together. 

This book is a fun 3.5 stars for me. It's light, funny, and foreign, which is always a plus. If you're looking for a quick, cute read, with an exotic setting, you absolutely need to pick this up. 

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