Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill
Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.
Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.
This book is meant to be read. Yep, I went there. Forgive the cheese, but seriously.
The cover was enough to catch my attention and the summary definitely drew me in, but I think it's safe to say that as much as I was looking forward to this book, my expectations for it were completely surpassed.
This was quite the adventure. And I don't mean that in just the sense that it takes place in London; all aspects of the novel were a complete thrill.
First off, the plot. Fun, full of adventure (wild goose chases all over London) and mystery (hello, unknown smooth talker) and loaded with many LOL-worthy moments in between - it doesn't get any better than this.
The characters were great, with our protagonist, Julia, being one of the most hilarious, smart and quirky main characters I've come across. I liked that along with a personality, she also had faults; she wasn't some cookie-cutter ~special snowflake - she was uptight, a little judgmental, and at times, even snobby, but she had the best intentions and a good head on her shoulders.
Then there's Jason, who on the outside is your typical jock/ladies man/prankster, and kind of reminded me a lot of this gem, in fact...
But on the inside, is... well, he is all of the above, and then some; he's a typical teenage boy whose actions and humor are portrayed in very realistic ways.
To say these two were an interesting pair is an understatement. Their back-and-forth banter was too funny, and their contrasting attitudes and personalities let's just say, definitely made them quite the dynamic duo.
Aside from that, my favorite element of the book--and the most commendable--is Lauren Morrill's ability to accurately capture pretty much the very essence of adolescence. Julia's social awkwardness was presented so perfectly and authentically and not at all overdone to the point where things became ridiculous or unnatural. Instead of feeling major secondhand embarrassment (not the intended kind) as I often do with many authors' forced attempts at failed teenage interaction, I was like, HELLO I SO KNOW THAT FEELING.
Her discomfort was so believable and just real, making her that much more relatable--which by the way, is the best way to make a young girl feel--and as a once socially awkward teenager myself, I can totally verify that there's something very nice and reassuring knowing that besides the fact that you don't fit in among your peers, not necessarily wanting to for that matter, is ok too.
A nice mixture of Anna and the French Kiss and Not That Kind of Girl, with a dash of The Lizzie McGuire Movie (all of which I love and fangirl over frequently), and you've got yourself Meant To Be - one of 2012's best debuts!
Pre-order it now, buy it/stalk your library before/on its release day - WHATEVER. Just read it.
Meant To Be will be released November 13, 2012. Pre-order here.