Title: The Trouble With Destiny
Author: Lauren Morrill
Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to Delacorte and Netgalley for this ARC!
I adored Lauren Morrill’s Being Sloane Jacobs. It was chock full of humour, showed fantastic relationships, and in all was a fun experience. I was so excited to get my hands on the Trouble With Destiny, and while it’s definitely not Being Sloane Jacobs, it was still a fun book to read.
I think what is important to note about the Trouble With Destiny is that you need to go into it understanding that it’s essentially a comedy. It’s Pitch Perfect meets Titanic, sprinkling some Breaker High into the mix. A lot of the antics that the band students face often come across as comedic or downright ridiculous, and I think understanding that going in makes for a much better reading experience. This isn’t a fluffy contemporary read, it’s kinda crazy, a bit silly, but you roll with it.
That being said, Liza drove me kinda crazy and I found her way too melodramatic at times. However, I adored her rivalry with Demi, because Demi is the kind of hilarious mean girl you want to read about — the one that gets their comeuppance in the form of the ultimate humiliation. Which really brings me to my issue with this novel — the characters don’t really feel like characters, but feel somewhat two-dimensional. You don’t get any sort of deep development from them.
Furthermore the romance was a love triangle, and a predictable one at that. But if I’m being frank, I don’t feel like the boys were well characterized beyond just their actions. I didn’t feel like Lenny or Russ were real people, nor did I feel like I entirely understood Liza’s complete interest in them.
But this book is pretty funny at times. The it’s so crazy-how-could-this-be-real kind of crazy, and sometimes I think you need that element in a story. Sometimes it’s great to read a book that tastes like candy and you can turn your brain off, which was how The Trouble With Destiny played out for me. It lacked a lot of the elements that I loved from Being Sloane Jacobs, such as strong, well defined characters, and a cute romance, but this book was just silly and I enjoyed it for that.
I think I may have gone into The Trouble With Destiny with some slightly higher expectations than I should have. In the end, I did enjoy the book despite it’s problems, and it still makes me want to continue to read Lauren Morrill’s stories because for what it’s worth, they are always at least fun in the end.