[ARC REVIEW] “Meant To Be” By: Julie Halpern

Official Synopsis:

In a world where the names of MTBs—”meant to be” mates—appear on the body at age eighteen, a girl must decide whether to believe the phenomenon or follow her heart in this YA novel.

It started happening a few years ago: the names of MTBs—”meant to be” mates—appeared emblazoned on the skin at age eighteen. Agatha’s best friend has embraced the phenomenon and is head over heels in love with her MTB. But Ag isn’t so sure. As she searches the interwebs for her MTB (who has a common name, no less) she finds herself falling for a co-worker at the local amusement park. Is he a better match? What does Agatha really want in a mate, and moreover, what does she want for herself?

With her trademark wit and irreverence, acclaimed author Julie Halpern explores an age-old question: Who are we meant to be with? Readers won’t be able to resist knowing the answer.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Review:

A cute contemporary about what it means to choose your own destiny.

It took me a little over a month to read this book. That’s not to say that it wasn’t good or that I didn’t enjoy it, but sophomore year of college has been extremely time consuming! I’m just using that as a disclaimer, since my memory on the first half or so of the book isn’t the best (normally I read the entire book within a day or so.)

I LOVED the premise of this book! It was a cool twist on the question of soul mates, and I couldn’t help but keep reading to find out what would happen with Aggy’s love life.

While “Meant To Be” talks a lot about soul mates, the book isn’t necessarily a love story. Well, it is, and it isn’t. The book felt like it was focused more on Aggy’s journey of self-discovery. I liked how Aggy was on one side of the MTB (meant to be) spectrum, and her best friend, Lish, was on the other side. This means that Aggy rejected the whole “soul mate” thing, while Lish totally embraced it. If I were in their situation, I would have probably fallen right. between the two of them. At least Aggy was trying to assert her own agency and reject what some other force had chosen/bestowed upon her.

At first, I liked Aggy’s coworker, Luke. But as the story progressed, I started to find him to be really annoying and quite frankly, kind of dumb. That might’ve been influenced by Aggy’s changing feelings for him, too.

It also would’ve been nice if Aggy and Lish had had more scenes together, but the reason they didn’t is totally understandable.

Overall, this book was really cute, and I’d recommend it for someone who isn’t huge into the romance genre, since it’s not as over the top lovey dovey as some young adult romance.

*slightly spoilery!~read at your own risk!*

I wish we would’ve gotten to see more interactions between Aggy and Hendrix. I’d totally be down for a sequel, where they find out that the phenomenon was some sort of experiment, or where something happened with the names!

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