Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill is a cute contemporary YA novel that will allow you to feel like you’re on vacation and traveling through London. I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages as it’s been recommended to me by numerous people so I’m glad that I can cross it off my list and now say that I too enjoyed it! The story follows Julia and her high school class who are traveling to London for a week during the year to absorb the culture but sadly her best friend is unable to attend. She gets stuck being paired with an obnoxious and immature classmate named Jason and from the moment they get on the plane until the very end, hilarity ensues.
Meant to Be features a slow burn love / hate romance (my favorite!) but the pacing of the events in the story feel action packed. Throughout the trip, our main character Julia is juggling several men while she sorts out her feelings, something she’s never had to do before and it shows. She can be annoying at times (she’s your typical overachieving know-it-all) but she also has a much softer side that believes in everyone having an MTB (or meant to be). Her partner Jason is one of the most immature YA guys I’ve ever read about and I could easily relate to her frustrations about him. Julia is such a rigid rule follower that a free spirit like Jason often clashes with her in most situations. The one thing I found slightly unbelievable were all of the awkward moments Julia found herself in. It just seemed like too much to happen to one person but despite all of her faults, I found myself rooting for her.
My favorite part of this book was exploring London with Julia and Jason. Lauren Morrill makes the reader feel as though they’re also a first time tourist which is something I hadn’t been expecting. They visited a ton of historical sites (such as Stratford-Upon-Avon, The Globe Theater, The London Eye and even Harrod’s) that I’ve always been dying to see but they also spent time during their trip doing several offbeat things which enhanced their cultural experience even further. I found the overall plot to be predictable but it didn’t at all take away from the enjoyment I felt while reading the story. I love witnessing character growth, especially when the main character is an uptight person who’s thrusted out of their comfort zone (and even more especially when said character is experiencing that growth in a place like London). Julia modeled her dream relationship off that of her parents and I loved that comparison throughout the story. Since Julia is away and doesn’t have a ton of access to phone calls she really has to rely on herself to sort out her beliefs and the way she chooses to act which I really appreciated.
Final Thoughts: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill is a darling contemporary novel perfect for anyone looking to lose themselves in a slow burn romance. It’s also ideal for anyone with a case of wanderlust because traveling through London in Morrill’s words is so vivid that it’ll leave you feeling like you’re on a vacation of your own. The plot of the novel is predictable but it’s everything the description and cover promise to be- swoony, engaging and fun!
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. (via Goodreads)