Meant to Be

Thank you, Penguin Random House, for the gifted copy of Meant to Be {partner}

Genre: Romance
Format: 🎧
Pub Date: 5.31.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆


“The Kingsley family is practically American royalty, beloved for their military heroics, political service, and unmatched elegance. When Joseph S. Kingsley III is born in 1960, he inherits the weight of that legacy. Growing up with all the Kingsley looks and charisma, Joe should have no problem taking up the mantle after his father’s untimely death. But he is also a little bit reckless, and can’t seem to figure out how to channel the expectations of an entire country.

No one ever expected anything of Cate, on the other hand. She, too, grew up in a single-parent household—just her and her mom scraping by in their small apartment. As a teenager, though, Cate is discovered for her looks. Modeling may be her only ticket out of the cycle of disappointment that her mother has always inhabited. Before too long, her face is everywhere, though she is always aware that she’d be a pariah in her social circles if anyone knew her true story.

When Joe and Cate’s paths cross, their connection is instant. What remains to be seen is whether their relationship will survive the glare of the spotlight that follows Joe everywhere. And just as they find themselves in the make-or-break moment, the tragedy that seems to run in Joe’s family right alongside all that privilege will repeat itself.”


Do you ever wonder what would have happened if JFK Jr. and Carolyn hadn’t died? I thought today, on the 23rd anniversary of their death, would be a good time to post my review of Meant to Be by Emily Giffin.

I grew up with this starry-eyed admiration for the couple, and I remember learning of their death and not being able to make sense of what had happened. So, when I heard that Giffin had written a book loosely based on the couple, I immediately added it to my reading list.

Friends, this book was such a timeless love story that I can see it being made into a movie. The book follows Joe and Cate through their early childhood until they finally meet, and from there, their story begins. I don’t think I will be able to pick a favorite character; they were both so authentic and respectful of one another. Joe never seemed to be that rich boy who didn’t appreciate what he had. He knew Cate was perfect and their love for one another shone through the pages. Cate supported and loved Joe for who he was and not who the world saw him as.

I had to stop researching anything about JFK/Carolyn because I just wanted to pretend that this was “their story”. I was utterly enamored with Giffin’s writing style, and I didn’t want the book to end. If you have a chance to listen to the audiobook of Meant to Be, I recommend it. The narrators were perfect — soft-spoken, enthusiastic, and full of love.

When the story’s ending came, I cried because I knew there would be one of two ways that the book would end. I’m not going to go into details on how Giffin chose to end her book, but let’s say it left me both heartbroken and happy.

💞 A timeless love story
📖 Read the author’s note
🥹 The ending
🎧 Excellent audiobook narration
☺️ Easy to get lost in the story

I hope you add Meant to Be to your reading list today and that you enjoy it as much as I did!

Format: 368 pages, hardback
Published: May 2022
ISBN 9780425286647 (ISBN10: 0425286649)

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