Julia is spending her spring break on a class trip to London, England – away from Phoebe, her BFF and Mark, her childhood crush and MTB (aka “Meant to Be”). When the chaperoning teacher pairs her up with the class clown, Jason, she can’t believe her luck. Julia’s studious nature immediately doesn’t mesh with Jason’s partying ways when he convinces her to sneak out to a party after curfew on their very first night. Thus begins a comedy of errors involving alcohol, a “cooler” alter-ego and an “emergency only” cell phone being used for texts with strangers. The unlikely pair strike up a deal: Julia will help them with their assignments on the trip and Jason will help Julia out with the mysterious texter. This leads them on a whirlwind tour of the city, all the while leading her to the revelation of what exactly is meant to be.
This was an adorable contemporary story. It evokes the same feelings as that of, say, Anna and the French Kiss – a cute YA romance set abroad in a foreign country. At a glance, the characters seem like your stereotypical high school types: the book worm, the loyal BFF, the queen bee, the class clown. (Although I could do with a little less use of “Book Licker”, Jason’s nickname for Julia.) However, Morrill develops the cast to be more than a one dimension caricature, through the scenarios that they find themselves in.
My only hang-up about some YA contemporaries, and this being one of them, is that it tends to be quite predictable in its storyline. To be honest, I had a general idea of where it was going but the driving narrative did throw me for a few surprises. That being said, half the fun is seeing how the whole thing plays out among the characters. It’s not necessarily the end result but the journey that the reader goes on. A cute & entertaining trip to London!