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Meant to Be

Meant to Be - Lauren Morrill As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!3.5 StarsMeant to Be was, for lack of a better word, cute. It wasn't perfect, but it made me smile and kept my attention. It's a pretty laid-back contemporary novel for older young adults.I've seen this Meant to Be compared to Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss and works by Sarah Dessen. While I can see why people would associate them, Lauren Morrill really makes Meant to Be her own. I think besides the fact that this is a contemporary young adult romance, that is based in another country, this book cannot really related to another author's work. The writing style, characters and plot are all unique.Julia is going to London with her some of her classmates on a school trip. She plans to see the London that her parents saw on their honeymoon, the one she's dreamed about since before her father passed away. There's only one big problem, her best friend's family wouldn't let her join Julia. Never fear, she has thoughts of Mark (her "MTB" - Meant-To-Be) to keep her company as she treks through her dream vacation. Things get worse when she gets paired up with the obnoxious and irresponsible class clown, Jason. Will she make it through this trip with her rules and preparations in tact, or will she realize that maybe not everything is meant to be?Is it weird to like a book, but not get attached to the characters? Because that is how I feel about this one. Julia frustrated me almost as soon as she was introduced. She's very straight-laced, sticks to a rules and doesn't really allow herself to let go of the little things. I made frequent notes in my kindle about her personality and demeanor. It's not that she's a bad person, because she's not. Julia just isn't the easiest character to read about. I know people like this in real life, and they annoy me just as much. Jason, on the other hand, is too… boisterous. He's rude, and crude, and doesn't exactly take others' feelings into consideration. The romance between these two just didn't work for me. I liked them both well enough, but they weren't what made the book for me.Enjoying this novel is really easy. It's fun and pretty light. It's also short enough to read in a few hours. A bit predictable, but that doesn't take away from how cute and fun it is. Reading Meant to Be was an adventure, not just because it is based London, but because of the growth you see in the characters. Though really… London… So cool. Personally, I've never been out of the United States, but it was a really interesting to read about the trip and city through the eyes of someone who has never experienced it before. It also caused a lot of envy.Lauren Morrill produced a great debut and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion and review.