ARC Review: The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill

18982137Edition: eARC
Published by: Delacorte Press, 8th December 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Music, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 3 stars

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 foundDestiny, 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.

Many thanks to the publisher via Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book to review.

Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone is one of my favourites of 2015 and she praised this book. If it’s good enough for her, then it’s good enough for me. The Trouble With Destiny is Pitch Perfect meets a Midsummer’s Night Dream. I loved Pitch Perfect. It has definitely become one of my favourite films.

The main character is sixteen-year-old Liza, who is a drumming major in the High School Marchers. She finds out about the Destiny luxury cruise ship are holding a talent competition to win $25,000, so she decides to enter her band (I don’t even remember the band’s name) into the contest. What a coincidence! She finds out that her childhood crush Lenny is also on the cruise. Unfortunately for Liza, her arch-nemesis is competitive ex-best friend Demi is also abroad the cruise! Not only that, Demi’s the leader is the Athenas and is competing to win as well.

The trouble with this book (no pun intended) was Liza. I couldn’t stand her. Liza reminded me of Aubrey from Pitch Perfect. She is a determined person and I do like that trait about characters but she was also very bossy and overbearing. She did not appear to be very likeable and she wasn’t a very nice either, plus she body shames. Does it matter if a girl decides to wear a bikini or a short skirt? Does it matter if a girl has C-cup breasts? No it doesn’t. It seems like Liza thinks she’s so much better.

This book was supposed to be centred on music, but I never got that vibe that was about music because it was more centred on the romance. It’s like, as soon as Liza meets Lenny, all the teenaged hormones kicked in. It just seemed like they were doing more partying and playing Truth or Dare by the pool, rather than any band practice.

I realised later on that I once again was getting A Midsummer’s Night Dream confused with Twelfth Night. It is the romance is what reminded me of Twelfth Night – it was going around in circles. Person A wants person B, but no person B wants a person C and so on.

Funnily enough I actually started enjoying it once I reach about the last quarter of the book. That usually does not happen. If I’m not completely enjoying a book from the beginning, then I most likely will not enjoy it by the end, but with The Trouble With Destiny? I am just really surprised with this sudden quick turnaround. I never really studied A Midsummer’s Night Dream at school, so after doing some googling, I found it’s about comedy. The author included comedic situations within this book, which was what made it so amusing and funny. I can’t tell you what was so funny about it because of spoilers, but its Liza… she gets herself into cringey situations that were so laughable. It was great.

Overall it was a nice concept. I would describe it as an okay book, as it was very predictable. The last quarter picked things up a bit, so I bumped it up from a 2 stars to a 3 stars. The Trouble with Destiny feels like it is more suited towards a younger audience. It has a more High School Musical vibe to it, rather than Pitch Perfect. If I were thirteen, I’d probably like it but since I’m not, it’s the reason for my slightly negative review. Some books I’ve read, I say yes that is an realistic story and there are other books that didn’t feel that realistic and this is one of them. With the characters…well, I guess I liked Huck and Russ but the characters were pretty much one dimensional. I would have liked to have seen more character development.

This is by no means a bad book; it just wasn’t for me. I recommend if you’re looking to read a quick read with a light romance.



3 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill

  1. HAHA, you’re not the only one! I get a lot of Shakespeare’s works mixed up myself. For some reason it’s mostly been Macbeth and Othello (even though you would think it wouldn’t be since the MCs names are in the titles). And oh gosh, Pitch Perfect always manages to cheer me up when I watch it. And I think if I decided to read this book I would hope to see the music being a central part of the book so I’m sorry that it wasn’t. And I can’t take the name Lenny seriously since my experience Of Mice and Men, the only Steinbeck novel I wasn’t that fond of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear I’m not the only one lol, but I haven’t read much Shakespeare tbh, only the obvious ones – Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet! I’ve read Macbeth but not heard of Othello. Oh yes that is true haha. It was just the romance aspect that made me think of Twelfth Night, except the MC doesn’t have to dressed like a boy and pretend to be her brother. Well, there were some parts where there was music in it but… it seemed like like Liza was ‘telling’ rather than showing. Haha I know, Lenny is a bit of a funny name. I didn’t like Of Mice & Men either, I remember having to analyse it at school. I don’t know why I didn’t get to read To Kill A Mockingbird – I think I would have enjoyed that one more.


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