Cover Image: Meant to Be

Meant to Be

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Member Reviews

Emily Giffin will forever be one of my favorite authors! Her characters are always so well drawn and heartfelt.

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I am not quite sure how I feel about this book…it is a fictionalized, reimagining of JFK Jr’s life? It simultaneously feels too close, and deliberately different than his actual life, which made it a feel a little disjointed to me. It was well written and kept me engaged.

The character of Joe seems pretty one dimensional and stereotypical to me, but Cate was much more interesting and her story more complex. I was really rooting for her to succeed and break free from her past.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley; all opinions are my own.

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I really enjoyed this book once I got into it! I had a couple of false starts because I found the first couple of chapters to be a little bit hard to engage with. There was a lot of political history background that I ultimately didn’t feel was necessary to the story. Emily Giffin is a must read author for me. I’ve read all of her books and they’ve never disappointed. it made me curious to learn more about JFK Jr. Looking forward to her next release!

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I haven't read many of Ms. Emily's books but my sister adores her writing. This one for me, was not a favorite but....definitely a great read! Royalty and the American Dream. Loosely based upon the Kennedy family, mostly John Jr. and Caryolyn's tale. Well worth reading for sure and Emily never fails to put words to paper in such a heavenly way.

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I love Emily Giffin’s writing style and was super excited to be approved for this one. Even though the plot line wasn’t something I was as interested in, her writing kept the story moving and kept it fresh. Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC!

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Emily Giffin is just such a talented author. I adore her characters and her writing style. I loved following these characters and seeing them grow.

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Meant to Be was loosely based on JFK, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. I enjoyed the book and thought did a great job of showing us a glimpse into what could have been their love story. The plot was simple and overall an easy read.

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I thought this would be a better story so I was disappointed. The Kennedy connection was just too icky for me.

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Love Emily Giffin. She is one of the authors whose new books I always look forward to, and this book did not disappoint!

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I loved this book! I loved all characters and was really rooting for Joe and Cate. Not having a deep knowledge of the Kennedys, this was a fresh story for me but now I cannot wait to read more about the famous family!

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I understand what Emily Giffin was trying to do and I completely understand this was a retelling of John F. Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette, but the story was just not interesting and lacked hook to engage the reader.
The predictability was ok, as romance stories usually are. But it could have been done in a way that was less eye-roll inducing.

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A classic tale of love conquering difficult circumstances. Emily Griffin can always be counted on to deliver a page-turner and this is no exception.

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I definitely enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. This, through alternating chapters, tells the story of Joe and Cate. Joe is born into a wealthy family, where he is expected to continue along the lineage of his father and his family before him. Cate grows up with just her mom until she marries Chip. Chip is abusive and a generally terrible person. She gets out as soon as possible.

These two meet and immediately click, but the timing isn't right. Eventually they do get together, but it isn't easy. This is a story of two people coming from very different backgrounds, trying to navigate the world together. They communicate (which I appreciate!) and try to work through their issues together... and it's tough.

I didn't realize until the end that this book is loosely based on the story of JFK/Carolyn Bessette. I don't know a lot about them, so it made me appreciate this book even more.

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This was a sweet book that is based on JFK Jr and Carolyn. I liked the glimpse into their lives along with the storyline created.

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Page turner. Could not put this book down. Very loosely based on John F. Kennedy Jr.'s romances and life. Enjoyed Cate's journey to accept her past and grow into herself.

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Odd pacing. The reference material is obvious throughout, and at times distracting - feels like an attempt at anonymizing for a podcast. Unsatisfying overall.

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I love Emily Giffin and Meant to Be was one of my favorites of hers! Meant to Be is a great romance, I loved the characters and couldn't put it down.

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This story may be just your cup of tea, but it wasn’t mine. It was so closely based on the life of JFK Jr. with the twist that he lived, that it left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. The alternating POV’s would have been okay if they hadn’t just repeated the same events. I am probably biased against the whole lifestyle of the rich and famous because their lives seem to be rated as so much more important than anyone else’s life. But while I had some sympathy for Cate and her difficulties, her choices just weren’t smart. But if you can't get enough of the Kennedy personas and lifestyles, you will enjoy this.

Thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Emily Giffin’s “Meant to Be” is a captivating and nostalgic love story that explores the complicated relationship between American royalty and a troubled young woman from humble beginnings. Giffin masterfully weaves a new narrative based on the real-life love story between JFK Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette, while still providing readers with a unique and compelling tale of her own.

The book offers a delightful escape into a gilded moment in American history, transporting readers back to the 1960s and immersing them in the glamorous world of the Kingsley family. The Kingsleys are a beloved American dynasty, known for their military service, political prowess, and timeless elegance. The story follows Joe III, the charismatic son of the late Joseph S. Kingsley Jr., as he struggles to live up to the weight of his family's legacy while staying true to himself.

The other protagonist, Cate Cooper, is a young woman with a troubled past and a determination to make it in the modeling industry. Despite her beauty and success, Cate feels like a fraud in a world that has never fully accepted her. When Joe and Cate cross paths, their connection is instant and intense, and readers are left wondering if their love can withstand the pressures of fame and the expectations of the Kingsley family.

Giffin's writing is both eloquent and accessible, making the book an enjoyable and easy read. The characters are complex and well-developed, and readers will find themselves rooting for them from start to finish. The story's themes of belonging, identity, and the power of love are explored with nuance and sensitivity, leaving readers with much to ponder long after the last page has been turned.

In summary, Emily Giffin's "Meant to Be" is a beautifully written and captivating novel that is sure to delight fans of her previous works and newcomers alike. With its compelling characters, engaging plot, and thought-provoking themes, it is a book that will stay with readers long after they have finished reading it. Highly recommended.

In summary, Emily Giffin's "Meant to Be" is a beautifully written and captivating novel that is sure to delight fans of her previous works and newcomers alike. With its compelling characters, engaging plot, and thought-provoking themes, it is a book that will stay with readers long after they have finished reading it. Highly recommended.

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Very loosely based on the Kennedy family. Joe Kingsley III is expected to follow in the footsteps of his father, a hero who died during a NASA mission. His mom, Dottie, expects much of him, and would like him to enter the world of politics. The Kingsleys are a wealthy and polished family. Enter Cate Cooper who is also fatherless. After her mother marries an abusive man, Cate realizes that her only way to escape this situation, is to accept a modeling contract at age 16. This leads to her being in the Hamptons when Joe Kingsley comes down the beach and they meet.
Joe pursues Cate, but she resists, as she doesn't feel worthy of the Kingsley status. Her insecurity and concern for the difference in social status, and how her family secrets might pull down Joe's dreams causes her to be uncertain.
When odds are stacked against you, can there be a love that is meant to be? This is a sweet story of love and loss. It touches on some serious subjects. It also hints at the spotlight and scrutiny put on JFK Jr, although this story ends differently.

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