Meant to Be was the second book I picked up from my little stack of chosen summer books. Travel. Humour. Boys. I’d say that it was an ideal summer read. Julia would argue that it was an extremely traumatic experience, thankyouverymuch.
Julia is absolutely thrilled to be on a school trip to London. She has her pocket Shakespeare safely packed along with her annotated guidebook and enough sharpened pencils to last a lifetime. But she’s not thrilled about being on a plane and definitely not when she has to put up with Jason, an immature-yet-popular classmate. He is nothing like her MTB (meant to be), Mark. All right, Mark hasn’t actually looked in her direction lately, but he’s charming and smart. And then there’s Chris, who actually knows she exists and is sending her flirty texts. Not that she can remember actually meeting him. But, unfortunately for Julia, Jason is assigned to be her ‘buddy’ throughout the duration of the trip. It looks like Julia is going to have to reassess her idea of MTB…
Londoners love books about London. We cannot help it. I love to read about people (even if they are fictional) experiencing my city for the first time, and seeing how London is described by authors. I love reading about people visiting the streets and tube stations and monuments that I pass by every day, all the while forgetting to take notice of. (I often say ‘look up!’ while travelling through London, encouraging myself to appreciate the city in which I live). We also take a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, which I’ve never been to – it made me want to go! I love reading about travelling to exotic countries or taking road trips across the USA, but books set in London are my favourite, so I enjoyed reading about Julia getting up to mischief in my city…
Meant to Be promised a story of true love, so it was surprising to me, then, that I actually ended up really being frustrated with one of the boys – Jason, who I thought was awful. Rude, disrespectful, and incredibly confusing, he never truly redeemed himself. Julia does not make it easy for herself thought because she’s obsessed with her MTB, but I felt for her. I could understand her awkwardness and loneliness, especially when she thought about her Dad. She is unaware just how judgemental she really is, meaning that she’ll often spend time alone. She’s sarcastic and smart, but when she has to talk to fellow classmates, she falls to pieces. It’s not easy. But don’t get me wrong, I actually really enjoyed not knowing which boy Julia was going to end up with – infuriating Jason, mystery boy Chris or MTB Mark. It was full of drama and excitement, which Julia does not always know how to deal with… Meant to Be certainly throws up some surprises.
Meant to Be is a whirlwind story that will leave you feeling restless. It’ll make you fall in love with London, but just don’t expect to fall in love with the boys.
Published: 13th November 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Press
If you liked: Anna and the French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight