The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill | Book ReviewThe Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill
Also by this author: Being Sloane Jacobs, , Wild Beauty, It's Kind of a Cheesy Love Story
Published by Random House Children's Books on December 8th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, School & Education, Social Issues, General
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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"I absolutely loved this book. I never wanted this journey to end!" says Morgan Matson, author of Since You've Been Gone, of this fun and irresistible contemporary YA about high school romance & mischief on the high seas. 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.
“All aboard for hijinks, crushes, and a sweet story of banding together.”—Emery Lord, author of Open Road Summer"I adored this fun and heartfelt book. It's a pleasure cruise from start to finish, with plenty of waves along the way!"--Leila Howland, author of Nantucket Blue

From the Hardcover edition.

The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill has the distinction of being my first book of 2016. No regrets with that — I had quite the pleasant time reading this book. The Trouble With Destiny is a book that has not really been hyped by my friends and perhaps I am the black sheep with this book. I found it to be cute, funny, and just the ticket for a sleepy day – it was a book that was easy to follow and entertaining. Frankly, if you want a book to amuse you – The Trouble With Destiny might do the trick.

So, I guess The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill is allegedly a retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I guess, from browsing goodreads that seems to be the consensus. As I am apparently ignorant, I do not actually know that play all that well – I’ve never read or seen it. So, I read this book through the lens that it was its own story and I am fine with that. So, okay, Liza is drum major of the band. Unfortunately, it seems that the band may be cut from the school budget.

A hail Mary comes through in the form of a school arts competition for $25,000 that takes place aboard a cruise ship called the Destiny. Unfortunately, they have stiff competition in the form of the girl’s singing group, the Athenas, headed by Liza’s former best friend, Demi. Demi does not lose – in fact, she always wins. Liza is not going down without a fight. Also? There’s a little bit of romance in the form of childhood friend Lenny and this jock named Russ, who is forced to help the band as a form of punishment from the principal. The competition is on.

Liza, main character of The Trouble With Destiny is totally a Type A and I LOVE IT. I mean, she sort of denies it a little bit – saying that Demi was more into being the star and in the spotlight and leading than she was (back when they were kids). However, Liza is hyper organized and is essentially the leader of the band. She puts a whole lot of pressure on herself. She also makes some terrible assumptions. All that pressure is bound to come to a head — in the most magnificent way and I enjoyed how it all went down — cringes and all.

Okay, so you guys I was team Russ all throughout The Trouble With Destiny – mainly because when it comes to athlete vs. hipster, I always choose the athlete. So, essentially Liza has this huge crush on Lenny who was her first kiss, back when they went to camp together. Lenny is no longer on the stage as he was at camp, but instead is obsessed with photography. He seems sort of cool at first, but as a reader, just was not doing it for me. As for Russ, he is the quarterback of the football team and comes off as kind of dumb. However, he’s not a mean guy and actually has an awesome personality, as you will see when you read Morrill’s book.

Probably my second favorite thing about this book, besides the setting and the hilarity and all of the disasters that happen is the band element. Now, I am not a true band nerd, I was only in marching band for a short time – my junior and senior years and was terrible at it — I was in the auxillary percussion and played triangle. However, I do remember that awesome feeling of being a team with the band and how much fun it was. I loved that aspect of this book- how Morrill captures the teamwork parts. My one complaint though, is that I couldn’t figure out if this was a marching band or a sit in the chairs concert band. Some parts allude to them being a marching band and then others, it sounds like they just sit in chairs and play music.

The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill is a fun book. I did not take this book super seriously while reading it, just went along for the ride. I think that if you’re expecting the greatest book of all time, you might be disappointed. If you’re expecting something funny, characters who are easy to relate to and BAND NERDS, you will likely end up enjoying this book as much as I did.

Other Reviews of The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill:

Andi’s ABCs – “adorable and fun

A Reader Of Fictions – “The characterization is weak, at best

The Pretty Good Gatsby – “a quick and easy read

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I’ve also heard mediocre things about this one, but I am curious. I wasn’t a fan of Morrill’s debut, but I listened to her second book on audio (I can’t remember the title right now!) and I liked it. So maybe I will try this on audio. (Also, I tend to chose the athlete as well). 🙂

  2. I ended up liking this one too! It was pretty fun and I really liked it. It’s a perfect summery read.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  3. The Trouble With Destiny does sound pretty adorable! Even though cute and entertaining isn’t always necessarily what I’m in the mood for, I definitely think I’ll have to keep this in mind as an option for when I’m in that particular frame of mind. I do love that you enjoyed it for what it was! And I also love learning that it’s a retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – I had no idea about that, and that makes me feel more inclined to check it out!