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Meant to Be by Julie Halpern
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Meant to Be

by Julie Halpern

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142972,204 (3.25)None
2017 (1) 2018 (1) choice (2) contemporary (2) Cook18 (1) destiny (2) family (1) fate (1) friendship (2) love (1) October 2017 (1) read (1) romance (4) soul mates (3) speculative (1) to-read (2) YA (1)

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Literary Merit: Fair
Characterization: Good
Recommended: Recommended
Level: High School

Julie Halpern’s Meant to Be presents the all important topic of choice and free will, specifically in relation to our love lives and who we are meant to be with.

Main character Agatha is living in a quasi dystopian world where on your eighteenth birthday, the name of your soulmate, or in the case “meant to be” appears on your chest, over your heart in their handwriting. Agatha is pretty opposed to the idea of MTBs, or as she refers to them “Empties” and would rather have complete choice in the matter of who she ends up with. The concept is fairly new, having basically come out of nowhere six years prior, without any explanation. She’s seen the MTB tear families apart, specifically her own, and is skeptical about their validity.

Instead of immediately contacting her MTB, Hendrix Cutter, she instead decides to have a summer fling with her amusement park coworker Luke, while figuring out how to tell her mom that she doesn’t want to go to college in the fall, but instead wants to move to Australia and live and work and travel.

This was an interesting read for me. I LOVE the soulmate trope, and the different ways it’s enacted is always enticing. Agatha is likable enough, and is often cracking jokes at her own expense. She’s also sarcastic and confident, but a little immature. Her comments about her body, specifically the size of her breasts and the passing of gas were funny at first, but quickly became annoying with the amount of time she spent lamenting about each of the topics whenever she got the chance. I really liked certain aspects about her and found her funny for the most part, but there were still some moments where I wanted her to just stop.

Luke is the boy Agatha decides to spend her summer fooling around with. The concept of having a choice, or seeing what else is out there before contacting her MTB was great, I just wish Luke hadn’t been such a dud. He wasn’t charming or really all that likable, and he was mainly only interested in getting himself off. I was pretty happy when they decided to go their separate ways.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the story was getting to see the parallels between Agatha and her summer of fun and her best friend Lish, who found her MTB and almost immediately settled down with him. It was cool to get to see both ends of the spectrum in how people deal with going about meeting and interacting with their soulmate.

One of my biggest issues with the book is the ending, and mostly because that’s the portion I liked the most. Agatha begins to feels things for her MTB Hendrix and finally decides to contact him, with a little help from Lish. Getting to read the few messages of their correspondence was really sweet and funny, and it was clear that just a few emails between them had more chemistry than the whole book Agatha spent with Luke. I really really wish there was more to the two of them meeting; the little bit we got was so nice, but it just wasn’t enough.

While this wasn’t my favorite book, I really enjoyed it and the ending left me wanting more, so if a sequel were ever to be written, I would definitely love to read it because I want more of Agatha and Hendrix and exploring the potential they have to be something great. ( )
  SWONroyal | Mar 6, 2018 |
*Read at work for review for ROYAL*

Julie Halpern’s Meant to Be presents the all important topic of choice and free will, specifically in relation to our love lives and who we are meant to be with.

Main character Agatha is living in a quasi dystopian world where on your eighteenth birthday, the name of your soulmate, or in the case “meant to be” appears on your chest, over your heart in their handwriting. Agatha is pretty opposed to the idea of MTBs, or as she refers to them “Empties” and would rather have complete choice in the matter of who she ends up with. The concept is fairly new, having basically come out of nowhere six years prior, without any explanation. She’s seen the MTB tear families apart, specifically her own, and is skeptical about their validity.

Instead of immediately contacting her MTB, Hendrix Cutter, she instead decides to have a summer fling with her amusement park coworker Luke, while figuring out how to tell her mom that she doesn’t want to go to college in the fall, but instead wants to move to Australia and live and work and travel.

This was an interesting read for me. I LOVE the soulmate trope, and the different ways it’s enacted is always enticing. Agatha is likable enough, and is often cracking jokes at her own expense. She’s also sarcastic and confident, but a little immature. Her comments about her body, specifically the size of her breasts and the passing of gas were funny at first, but quickly became annoying with the amount of time she spent lamenting about each of the topics whenever she got the chance. I really liked certain aspects about her and found her funny for the most part, but there were still some moments where I wanted her to just stop.

Luke is the boy Agatha decides to spend her summer fooling around with. The concept of having a choice, or seeing what else is out there before contacting her MTB was great, I just wish Luke hadn’t been such a dud. He wasn’t charming or really all that likable, and he was mainly only interested in getting himself off. I was pretty happy when they decided to go their separate ways.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the story was getting to see the parallels between Agatha and her summer of fun and her best friend Lish, who found her MTB and almost immediately settled down with him. It was cool to get to see both ends of the spectrum in how people deal with going about meeting and interacting with their soulmate.

One of my biggest issues with the book is the ending, and mostly because that’s the portion I liked the most. Agatha begins to feels things for her MTB Hendrix and finally decides to contact him, with a little help from Lish. Getting to read the few messages of their correspondence was really sweet and funny, and it was clear that just a few emails between them had more chemistry than the whole book Agatha spent with Luke. I really really wish there was more to the two of them meeting; the little bit we got was so nice, but it just wasn’t enough.

While this wasn’t my favorite book, I really enjoyed it and the ending left me wanting more, so if a sequel were ever to be written, I would definitely love to read it because I want more of Agatha and Hendrix and exploring the potential they have to be something great.
( )
  mmalyn | Feb 24, 2018 |
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