November 21, 2015

(Netgalley) ARC Review: The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill

The Trouble with DestinyThe Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill
Rating: /5

*I received digital ARC of this book from Random House Children’s through Netgalley*

Genre: YA (Contemporary)
Pub. Date: December 8th, 2015

Get a copy here!

Told in a simple plot and steady pace, The Trouble with Destiny offers a relatable story of high school era where love, friendship, self-discovery, and all its drama took place. It was spring break and a dedicated sixteen years old drum major, Liza, was on a mission. After overhearing the worst news of the year (budget-cutting haunting the band!), Liza worked her brains out to find a way-out. Came a golden answer to her prayer in a form of newsletter email: a spring break cruise with performing arts competition for a $25.000 grand prize. Liza set her eyes on the prize like a hawk as she hauled the whole HH Style Marchers away to Destiny―the said ship that would probably take them to the land of (financially) bright future. But sometimes even the well-planned mission could go all wrong in a blink of an eye. And Liza’s went worryingly distracted she eyed ex-best friend slash enemy, innocently-annoying quarterback, and old crush hottie crawling along with the crowd to board the ship. It only took, um, a few hours of total one week for Liza’s mission to start shifting into a whole series of mishaps involving some band dramas, bad judgment, false interpretation, and re-emerged old rivalry. And to top it off, Destiny’s breakdown that came along with fear glazed with silent guilt. Liza had to get hear mind back to the game fast. But when the pressure of the competition combined with the chaos of her so-called love life became too much for her, Liza had to admit that sometimes the last step to reach victory is to take a step back and let your hard-work charms its way to destiny.
“Take your glory, Liza,” she says matter-of-factly. “I know you were there all along. You just needed to take a step back to prove it.”
(Chapter XXIII)
Hilarious Heroine
I love the simplicity and the lightness of the story filled with humor and amusing remarks here and there. Liza was one interesting character. She was a natural in hilarious department. It only took me two chapters to fall in love/feel embarrassed with her clumsiness around cute boy and just her clumsiness in general (God, I couldn’t even mention the list of her clumsiness since it was just too embarrassing to be published here… //.\\).
Unintentionally, Liza possessed a big urge to control thing under her command. As a drum major, that ‘thing’ meant her band. Even though Liza came out more like a high-strung commander than a high school drum major, deep down she did it all to keep the band together―to keep the family together. Liza loved the band as much as she loved herself… but a girl could only take so much. The vague existence of her teacher only added another factor that leads her eagerness-to-win into frustration and repetitive temper-explosion.
I like how the heroine is realistically imperfect as it only highlights the core of the story more: how a girl grows up as she learns some important things in her life. Liza’s self-realization makes a good lesson for young readers to learn from.

Romance: The Unexpected
Despite how predictable the romance twist presented here (where I seemed to know which scene I should swoon over), I just loved every scene of it. There are practically two potential heroes and one heroine in this book (which usually freaked me out ‘cause God knows how much I hate love-triangle), yet I enjoyed the progress of their relationship from time to time with all the chasing and pushing. I like that the romance implied such deep message: that you can expect love all you want and it’s okay but when the unexpected comes along, that’s the one that will thoroughly change your life.

Good Ending
Every issue is completely resolved in the end. Besides the self-realization and ‘appreciating’ the unexpected, Liza also learned to make peace with her past. How Liza and Demi’s, said ex-best friend, relationship played out eventually isn’t overdone and I like the touch of ‘realistic’ in it when they decided to take baby steps toward their future. I especially love the scene when Demi said the words I quoted above to Liza. It’s really heartwarming and that moment I know that they would no doubt be friends again.

Final Thought(s) 
In the end, The Trouble with Destiny is an enjoyable and fun read with a good amount of lessons about life. Though I personally enjoy the story, I think younger readers (below 18) could relate with this book more with the light issues and simple plot. Lauren’s engaging and addictive writing style makes this book even more attractive along with the cuteness of the cover. Readers who enjoy books of Jennifer E. Smith, Kasie West, and Jenny Han should definitely add this book for their next read.

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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