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Peace. Love. Books.

Meant to Be - Lauren Morrill This had all the ingredients for the light and fluffy read I was looking for:

☑ foreign location (London-town!)
☑ enemies-turned-sweethearts
☑ ginger hero
☑ cute cover

Sadly, it failed short of my expectations. *sigh* I must admit, I'm partly to blame. I was still in the middle of a fantastic series when I started this, but I convinced myself that I wouldn't be able to handle an emotionally exhausting read during a weekend that's supposed to be about getting some rest and relaxation. This seemed like the perfect fit, but I ended up thinking about that other book the entire time.

In addition to the distracted mind, I was also comparing this to an all-time favourite of mine. Maybe the similarities ended with the foreign country and the OCD heroine, but reviews of this book often likened the two and THAT book was full of cute and adorbs while this one was... not.

The premise was promising. Julia is a rule-follower who believes in having an MTB, a meant-to-be person who's the perfect guy for her. She thinks it's Mark, her childhood crush whom she "married" when she was five, but ever since Mark moved away and came back last year, she's been invisible girl. Presently, she's on the trip of her dreams, a school excursion to London, where her parents (the ultimate MTBs) went for their honeymoon. She's got her pocket Shakespeare in her bag and a luggageful of guidebooks ready. Her itinerary is set and she's determined to have the best nine days in the city of her dreams. However, her plans fall through when she is assigned to be trip buddies with Jason, the obnoxious class troublemaker. He's everything Mark is not - immature, idiotic and a complete rule-breaker.

The plot was predictable, but I was hoping that the location, the narration and the characters' personalities would still deliver an entertaining read. Unfortunately, I couldn't get past Julia's holier-than-thou attitude and Jason's childish antics. I tried to be patient and forgiving since they're kids but their constant bickering made them seem more like 12-year-olds than the 16-year-olds they were. Jason was the slightly better character of the two and he described Julia best when he said this to her:
"Haven't you spent most of this trip thinking that all your classmates are shallow horndogs who couldn't appreciate the history and literature of London if it kicked them in the teeth?"

So you know how it ends. Boy teaches girl to lighten up. Girl teaches flirty boy about love and they end up falling for each other. The transition from extreme dislike to sudden love was also choppy and unrealistic. The only thing that kept me from completely hating this was the surprise twist at the end and the few swoontastic moves by Jason. Other than that it was just okay for me. But as I've said, maybe it was just poor timing. I've seen other readers say they couldn't stop smiling the moment they began this so maybe it's just me. *shrug*