Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Julie Halpern
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Agatha Abrams has just turned eighteen, which means the Name of her supposed soulmate, Meant-To-Be, or MTB, appears tattooed over her heart. Aggy has always been skeptical of MTBs and is now actively rebelling against the thought of the universe picking out her one true love for her. So she decides to pursue Luke Jacobs, a coworker, to prove that she can have romantic relations with someone other than her MTB. At first, their summer fling is fun, flirty, and not too serious. It soon, however, turns to boring and blasé and not at all what Aggy wants. Beyond her relationships, she also has to choose between her mom's choice of future and attend the local college or her dream of working at foreign amusement parks. Aggy has to decide for herself what she wants to do with her future and find out what free choice really means.
This book has a really interesting premise and has the potential to be a really insightful book centering around questions of soulmates and choice versus destiny. However, these ideas are not very well executed, and the ending leaves readers wondering what the point of the book really is. Aggy wants to rebel against the system and prove that she can find love outside of the MTB phenomenon, but she ends up talking to her soulmate and getting giddy over reading an online message from him. Her best friend gets pregnant with her soulmate's baby after knowing him for a month or two. It's unsure what the author wants teen readers to walk away from this book thinking—are soulmates the way to go? Does everyone just have one soulmate? What if your soulmate dies? Some of these questions are briefly touched upon, but not enough to fully explore the idea in a satisfactory way to readers. Still, the writing style is pretty funny, and Agatha's narrative is at times very real and relatable. But overall, this book is ultimately a letdown.
*Contains severe language and severe sexual content.