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Better Suited to MG | Book Review: The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill

The Trouble With Destiny is more Titanic than Love Boat.

Book Review: The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill

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the trouble with destiny lauren morrill book review

Title & Author: The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary

Release Date: December 8, 2015

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Random House

How I Got the Book: ARC from the publisher


“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey…

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.”

For Younger Readers

This review explains the “trouble” in The Trouble With Destiny. While the premise of the book seems like a lot of fun (and it definitely has those moments), this book’s writing and characterizations missed the mark.

From the very beginning, purple prose was present. The descriptions are insanely flowery, and the dynamic is so immature it seems more geared toward 12-13 year olds than actual teens.

The Trouble With Destiny’s whole plot is based on a misunderstanding that can barely be called that. More like a really obvious situation that only the main character is purposefully blind to.

The high school drama is ramped up to an unbearable level, where the latest sitch is grating instead of funny or exciting.

Plus, there are characters who are basically just walking cliches, like the former best friend who’s now the worst enemy.

If I had to sum up this book in one phrase it would be: trying too hard.

Full disclosure: I read 50 percent of the book, then skimmed to the end.


I’m sad to report this books lack originality, good writing and characters with depth. I would only suggest The Trouble With Destiny to middle grade readers.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.