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.
So here’s the thing: I liked the ending of this book. It was sweet and cute! Plus, there was a twist near the end that I actually didn’t expect. I had correct suspicions about a person’s identity, and I knew miscommunication played a major part between a couple characters, but I was caught off guard with a certain revelation. Kudos, Morrill.
That being said, the majority of the book (like, 95%) was infuriating. Maybe I’m just too old for this stuff. Objectively, I can see how younger folk would enjoy the story for what it was. But personally, I cringed at the hyperboles, dramatics, and general “first world problems.” I found Julia so unlikable that I didn’t even want things to work out for her. The only saving grace was that Jason was there to call Julia out on all her annoying qualities. The thing is, Julia puts herself on such a pedestal for being organized and a stickler to the rules, yet we spend the majority of the novel following her work herself up into a scatterbrained frenzy as she breaks all the rules. I know that’s the point, but I couldn’t stomach the hypocrisy.
Also, Morrill is very good at conveniently “flipping the script” on character traits/patterns of behaviour at her convenience (often out of left field). I get that Julia is meant to be portrayed as naive, innocent, and blind when it comes to love. But people don’t go from a 10 to 0 that quickly. There have to be more warning signs than that! Likewise, I get that childhood trauma may have made Julia wilfully forget things. But her revelations were way too “earth-shattering.” No waaaay, people fight sometimes?!?! /sarcasm
For the most part, this book had my eyes rolling with its cheesiness. I was happy with the ending, but I would’ve been happier if I didn’t read this book in the first place.
- Being Sloane Jacobs – Lauren Morrill
- Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins (this one is better)
- The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen (also better)
- Wanderlove – Kirsten Hubbard