Meant to Be by Lauren Merrill
The Skinny: Julia is on the trip of her life, 10 days in London to sight-see, learn, and experience the life of her favorite, Shakespeare. But when she is paired with Jason, the attention-hogging boy who torments her constantly, to spend the week with, her hopes of a perfect trip are shot. Jason is aggravating, annoying, a rule breaker – and possibly the very best thing that could happen to her. After a night of rule-breaking and sneaking to a party with Jason, Julia begins to receive text messages from a boy she can’t remember meeting. As Jason begins to help her with her flirting, she find herself falling for him, which is confusing because she knows she is meant to be with another boy.
BFF?: I’ll be the first to admit that in the grand scheme of things, I was kind of a goody-goody in high school. Not purposely, like I was scared to get in trouble and always wanted to mind the rules, but because I just had no desire to do anything overly bad. So you’d think I’d totally like Julia. But truthfully, I didn’t. I enjoyed reading the book with her as the speaker, but sometimes I wanted to shake her, to tell her she’s being a prude and a snot and to get over herself. When she was breaking the rules and lightening up with Jason, I really liked her. I wanted her to be that Julia instead of the overly organized, has to have a plan for everything Julia she tried so hard to be. I would totally be best friends with that Julia!
Readability: Meant to Be was SUCH a cute read and was so fun to read! Although Julia annoyed me, her voice was exceptional and truly that of an uptight teen.
Crush Level: 7
Throughout the book I kept thinking “Okay, why am I supposed to like this Jason character? He is kind of a jerk to Julia.” But then I realized this isn’t a book where the guy has been pining for the girl forever. This is a book about two people who barely know each other falling for the other. When I realized this I suddenly felt differently towards Jason, little things he did suddenly didn’t bother me so much. Although he still goofed off and ran hot and cold, I could begin to see him as being a really good guy.
I ALWAYS wanted to go on our school’s Europe field trip when I was in high school, but alas, it never happened. Julia’s class trip to London was a little less restrictive than I imagine ours’ were, but it was still fun to visit the city vicariously though her!
When Julia begins to receive text messages from the illusive Chris and can’t remember who he is, Jason offers to help her flirt with him via texting. I loved how giddy Julia was over this secret admirer, who kept begging her to meet him and all the funny stories she made up because she couldn’t. But when she does meet him… wow, totally great.
When I was in 3rd grade I read a book about Czechoslovakia and it was my favorite country. Then in 9th grade when I took geography I learned that this country didn’t exist any longer and had split into two countries. Jason mentions something about Czechoslovakia and Julia corrects him about it being the Czech Republic. Cracked me up!