The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill
Release date: December 8, 2015
An e-galley was provided by Random House Delacorte via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration.
Summary: With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.
Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.
But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: I was so absorbed in reading The Trouble with Destiny that I didn't take many notes. Those 272 pages absolutely flew by in the best way possible. Lauren Morrill excels at writing books with misunderstandings and characters thrown out of their elements. Liza, the protagonist, loves control and organization - and she also really wants her band to win. She's doing everything within her control to make sure they don't lose funding. I appreciated that she was a flawed person; she's over-controlling and obsessive and bossy. But her heart is in the right place, and that's what matters. I wish her friendship with Hilary could've gotten a little more spotlight and I wanted to know just a little bit more of what made Liza and Huck friends.
Romance-wise, I was hesitant at first. I could tell there was going to be a mini love triangle of sorts. At first, I was definitely Team Lenny because Russ definitely seemed to be that annoying typical jock. Thankfully, I was wrong. Lenny's side of the love triangle is built entirely on misunderstandings, and while all of that was happening, Lauren developed Russ's character and I was rooting for him and Liza by the end.
Plot-wise, there are a lot of obstacles standing in the way of the marching band winning the competition. My main concern about the plot is that I never got the sense myself that the band was good - I just got Liza telling me they were. I did like her descriptions of their final program. And while there's a big misunderstanding in about chapter nineteen where I think Liza could've tried to clear it up better, I could see why she couldn't for the sake of the plot.
Mild language, kissing, no violence.
The Verdict: Fun and cute with a few flaws, but I definitely enjoyed it as much as Being Sloane Jacobs.
Will I be adding this book to my library?: Yes!