Welcome to one of our newest features, The Selective Collective. Together with our friends at The Book Addict’s Guide, Gone Pecan, The Grown Up YA and Teen Lit Rocks, we’ll be exploring a new release in its entirety, from review to author spotlight, to a roundtable chat, among other fun things.
This week, we’re discussing Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill:
Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.
It’s one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she’s queen of following rules and being prepared. That’s why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that’s also why she’s chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB (“meant to be”).But 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. (Goodreads)
OK so, if I could squeal with giddy excitement I would. This book is adorable, full of funny moments and sweetness and total awkwardness. I loved it. And it takes place in London! Sign me up.
I have the awesome job of casting the main characters. As much as I loved them, man this was difficult! I just adored these people and I felt no one could really do them justice…but I think I came close (thanks to some help from my fellow SC blogging friends).
Julia is cute in an unassuming way. She’s an uptight smartypants who always, always goes by the book and as a result, she’s really unintentionally funny. On her trip to London she gets paired with slacker, Jason, and she learns to loosen up a bit, break a few rules and have some fun in the process. I think Hailee Steinfeld would be perfect if there were ever a film made (yes, please!).
Oh, my word, I had a tough time with Jason. This is because there seems to be a shortage of cute, ginger guys in Hollywood. And it didn’t help matters that I pictured Simon Woods (also known as Mr. Bingley from the Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice) the entire time. Obviously that wouldn’t work because, cute as he is, Mr. Woods is too old to play Jason.
And that’s where Cameron Monaghan comes in. He’s got the hair, and there’s just something about his face that says Jason to me. Jason is a smart guy, but he’s naughty, not in a bad-boy sort of way, but in a prankster, funny, I’m the guy everyone loves sort of way. It’s impossible not to like him, especially because he knows how to get under Julia’s skin.
Mark is perfect. He’s Julia’s one and only. He’s her Meant to Be. I mean, he doesn’t know that, but Julia does. I don’t want to give away too much about him except to say that in Julia’s eyes, he’s everything a boyfriend should be: handsome, smart, talented and sensitive and he’s probably just waiting for the right moment to tell her she’s the one.
Phoebe is Julia’s best friend. She’s a voice of sanity and a source of support to Julia in all of her MTB craziness and irritability over Jason. We don’t see a ton of her since she isn’t on the trip to London, but through texts and flashbacks we get a feel for their relationship and for the honest loyalty there.
I instantly pictured Malese Jow as Phoebe. I think she’d have that perfect amount of self-confidence and sass to be Julia’s no nonsense sidekick.
Please be sure to visit by blogging partners in The Selective Collective and check out the cool things they have in store:
The Book Addict’s Guide- Book Review
Gone Pecan- Author Spotlight
The Grown Up YA- Roundtable Q &A
Teen Lit Rocks- Opposites Attract
Thank you to Random House for sending us all copies of Meant to Be. I loved it! It’s in stores now.