Meant to Be

Meant to Be

4.3 33
by Lauren Morrill
     
 

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A girl with it all planned out discovers a romance she never expected in this funny debut about a class trip to London that HelloGiggles.com says you’ll love “if you’re into swoony romances with a little bit of history thrown in.”

This spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word

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Overview

 
A girl with it all planned out discovers a romance she never expected in this funny debut about a class trip to London that HelloGiggles.com says you’ll love “if you’re into swoony romances with a little bit of history thrown in.”

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.

***

"Readers of Jennifer E. Smith and Stephanie Perkins will revel in this debate about love ruled by the stars or as a matter of the heart." —Shelf Awareness
 
"Fun, fresh and irresistibly romantic. STB (SURE to be) loved!" —Sarah Mlynowski

“Star-crossed characters, hilarious dialogue, and a perfect London setting. I loved Meant to Be!” –Robin Benway, author of Emmy & Oliver

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
High school junior Julia Lichtenstein is headed to London for her literature class’s spring break trip. But without her best friend or swim teammates there, she has to fend for herself when she’s partnered up with Jason Lippincott, who is as abrasive and free-spirited as Julia is uptight and studious. While Julia wants to visit museums, Jason is only interested in letting loose; he drags Julia to a house party, where she meets a cute boy, Chris. Jason offers to help Julia woo him, if Julia writes his papers during the trip, and romantic shenanigans ensue. Morrill’s debut, a Paper Lantern Lit property, is entertaining and quick-witted, but as a romance it’s forced. Although Julia has a crush at home in addition to Chris in London, both boys are all but invisible—no reader will expect Julia to end up with anyone but Jason. Those who share Julia’s passion for Shakespeare will appreciate the Benedick and Beatrice–style sparring between the two teens, but it doesn’t make up for the transparency of this opposites-attract romantic comedy. Ages 12–up. Agent: Steven Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
A paint-by-numbers romantic comedy of errors. Ultraorganized, rule-following scholar/swimmer Julia's dreams of a perfect English-lit class trip to London are dashed when she is assigned to uber-immature slacker Jason as buddy for the entire time. Jason couldn't possibly be any further from Mark, Julia's Meant To Be back home, in looks, brains or character. Surprise, surprise: Numerous pratfalls, fights, mix-ups and unexpectedly revelatory conversations, and one awesome kiss later, it turns out that if not her, then at least the plot's, MTB is, gasp, Jason. Julie's heart follows a well-trodden path that only readers who have never encountered the genre before will find at all astonishing. What those who do know the formula will find striking is the doggedness with which sweet-at-heart Jason pursues bitchy Julia. Morrill drops plenty of clues for discerning readers that indicate Jason's basic decency and attraction to Julia. Julia, meanwhile, ignores all of them and maintains such an unbending attitude of intellectual superiority that she becomes profoundly unlikable, despite many narrative attempts to mitigate this with episodes of clumsiness and cluelessness. The author has a good ear for comic dialogue--"I'm just saying there are other fish in the sea, Julia," her best friend counsels via Skype. "Big fish. Tasty fish. Tuna fish!"--that bodes well for future, less formulaic outings. Physical comedy, particularly as presented in Julia's present-tense voice, is far less successful. For neophytes only. (Comic romance. 13-17)
From the Publisher
HelloGiggles.com, November 24, 2012:
"If you’re into swoony romances with a little bit of history thrown in, you’ll love Meant to Be. I love this book because it’s funny, it has a super-relatable heroine, and it features a ton of romantic tension...Lauren Morrill rules and this book is awesome."

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2012:
"The author has a good ear for comic dialogue."

Publishers Weekly, October 22, 2012:
"Morrill’s debut is entertaining and quick-witted."

Booklist, November 1, 2012:
"The traveling details are part of the fun: her friends are into shopping, not Shakespeare, and there are raucous puns about Big Ben. The contemporary scene with consumer name-dropping will grab readers...The core drama is the romance, with all its turnarounds and timeless realism."

School Library Journal, January 2013:
"This delightful debut explores the excitement and insecurities of an unexpected first love...A great choice for teens who enjoyed Jennifer E. Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Gabrielle Zevin’s Elsewhere, or Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares.

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This delightful debut explores the excitement and insecurities of an unexpected first love. During the junior-year lit class trip to London, Julia, a rule-following, socially awkward swimmer/scholar, finds herself partnered with Jason, the obnoxious class clown. Her mission is to enjoy the historical sights while retracing her parents' honeymoon travels. He has plans to make the "Book Licker" break some rules and have fun. He drags her to a party, and after Julia has a few drinks, she exchanges numbers with a handsome British boy. Here is where the adventure begins. With a huge nod to Shakespeare, Jason agrees to help Julia compose love note texts and she agrees to write his cultural papers. The two form an alliance, and, although readers can see their feelings for each other grow, Julia believes her true "meant to be" love is her crush Mark, who happens to show up unexpectedly. Jealousy, some mixed messages, and a kiss that sends Julia spinning ensue. Even with the slightly contrived plotline, readers can't help but cheer for Jason as he opens up and wins Julia's heart. The good times they experience in London are a perfect balance to the painful secrets they reveal to each other, and girls will identify with Julia's angst when she believes she has been duped ("If I can go back to ignoring him, just like before this trip began, then I can forget"). A great choice for teens who enjoyed Jennifer E. Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (Little, Brown, 2012), Gabrielle Zevin's Elsewhere (Farrar, 2005), or Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Knopf, 2010).—Pamela Schembri, Newburgh Enlarged City Schools, NY

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385741774
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
11/13/2012
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,284,976
Product dimensions:
5.78(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.02(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2012:
"The author has a good ear for comic dialogue."

Publishers Weekly, October 22, 2012:
"Morrill’s debut is entertaining and quick-witted."

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