2/10/2015

I was MEANT to Read 'Meant to Be' by Lauren Morrill – and so are YOU!

The book cover matches my sheets. Coincidence? I think not! MEANT. TO. BE. LOL.
View synopsis HERE
Reading slumps are the worst. I was on a slump that stretched for about 2 months when I started reading Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill. I remember being in Fullybooked three weeks ago, January 22nd to be specific, (the receipt is still in the book!), browsing the young adult contemporary shelves in search of a book that would hopefully help my reading mojo back. Like always, I consult Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again via SMS. She may not always be available to reply to my senseless and often random text messages, but I text her just the same. I feel like I just need someone to go all out book nerdy with, you know? So anyway, Dianne and I were texting and I asked her if she had any easy reads (i.e. nothing too intense, feels sprinkled all over) to recommend... SPOILER: if you think she said MEANT TO BE! well, she didn't. Nope. Heehee. She eagerly told me to pick up any Kasie West book. So... yeah.

Phase 1: Pick a book you WANT to read

What's the point in telling you this side story? Well... I don't have one actually hahaha but!!! I'd like to think I was meant to read this book (HAHA yeah, I totally found a way to say that) because just when I was able to leave the aisle, Pivot Point by Kasie West in hand, I saw Meant to Be and picked it up as well. I asked Dianne about it, naturally, but I knew I was going to get it no matter what. It's been on my TBR list for so long that I forgot about it already. It's pathetic.


Phase 2: JUST READ IT

It was a bumpy start for me. I wasn't particularly impressed with how Meant to Be kicked off mostly because of how the protagonist, Julia, was introduced. It's written in the first person point of view, which I like, but it could've been better in the first couple of chapters. I absolutely dislike it whenever characters are introduced by having them say what they are and what they're not in list form. Like:

Paragraph 1: This girl in school is popular because she looks like a supermodel and I don't, see how plain I look?
Paragraph 2: Oh! And I don't have time for boys because I have a GPA of 4.0 to maintain
Paragraph 3: As if that wasn't hard enough, I barely have a social life because I'm busy with competitive sports and READING! I'm a super nerd like that.
Paragraph 4: And in case you can't read between the lines – I'm not a rule-breaker. It comes with the whole good girl image.

OKAY so it wasn't literally in list form but the way the first chapters were written, it sure did feel like it. I want to get to know characters gradually as the story progresses. I don't want everything set up for me in the beginning because I feel like I have no space for my own judgement. I'm an over thinker like that. However, the more I read, the more I started to enjoy the book. 

Phase 3: KEEP reading... even if you have the urge to binge-watch The Newsroom. (That'd be me. Oops.)

Could this be it? Could I actually be over my reading slump? YES. What I liked about Meant to Be is the overall pacing of the story. I was never bored. I never wanted to skip pages. I was fully consumed in the light and fun love story that Morrill laid out. I love that Jason had an effect on Julia little by little instead of Julia falling in insta-like/love with him. It's a weakness of mine – characters slowly developing feelings for each other before they even realize it. There's lots of push and pull in the beginning – and it'll piss you off sometimes – but they'll get along soon enough! And before you know it... FEELS! It's seriously cute. I promise!

In addition to that, Julia and Jason's quest to find the secret admirer included really detailed descriptions of sights around London. Now, I haven't been to London and I didn't bother looking up some of the places, but real or not I love that I could picture the surroundings and feel the sense of adventure. It made it easy for me to fully immerse in the story.

And just when I thought Meant to Be couldn't possibly surprise me (because the synopsis will make you think of the obvious ending), well, it did! I couldn't get over how both funny and brilliant the plot twist was in the ending. I don't know if it's my inability to guess major plot twists but I did not see that coming. I had to backtrack a bit and piece everything together!

Phase 4: MOVE FORWARD

Uhuh. That's right! I beat the reading slump and I have Meant to Be to thank. It helped that the book's light and easy to read so it gave me that momentum that I didn't have for weeks. And it's also a huge plus that it's a genuine feel-good young adult contemporary. It sure put me in a good mood whenever I would sit down and read!

The verdict: if you're looking to break your reading slump or simply wanting a good read this February (a.k.a. love month), go pick up Mean to Be by Lauren Morrill. You'd be glad you did. Like me ;-)

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Love,
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