Saturday, November 9, 2013

Novel Review: Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse)
Publish Date: August 27th, 2013
Spoilers?: Some/Yes.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline's been at Gram's bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape--both her family and the reality of Gram's failing health. So when Caroline's best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram's side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline's fate into two separate paths--and she's about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she's ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending...

Something Specific:
  • "Don’t ever give up on yourself,’ she says. ‘Life is hard sometimes, and I’m sorry I won’t be here for you.’ […] ‘Shh,’ she says. ‘Don’t be afraid. I’m not. We all die.’ […] ‘Try to make good choices, but when you make a bad one, learn from it and move on.’ […] ‘And be careful who you love, Caroline,’ she whispers. ‘Never let them take too much. Never let them take what’s you.’” (ARC, pg. 37)
  • "'...there will come a day when you really need someone—and it’d be nice to have a sister. Everyone needs family.’” (Pg. 184)
  • "I’m swimming in a tank, watching the humans go by. I’m underwater, so I can’t hear them. I’m a fish, so I don’t speak their language. Mostly I don’t know the word ‘happiness’—it doesn’t seem to apply to me anymore—but I’m not sad either.” (Pg. 237)
  • "But you can’t live with guilt. You can’t let it take everything that’s you.” (Pg. 286)

The Cover:

I like the cover of this book. It's rather simple, easy, fitting. Maybe I would have liked the two images of the girl to be more different from each other, but it fits having them this way as well.


This book started out a little weak, in character and reaction and believable relationships. But it got better the more I read, I started liking the characters more. And the ending, while fitting, makes me a little angry.
Caroline’s grandmother, who she lives with, is dying and gets sent to the hospital. Her mother and sister and brother are there, most of which she doesn’t talk to anymore, ever since her parent’s divorce. And the night her grandmother goes to the hospital, her best friend asks if she wants to go to this party, to take her mind off it all, and she has to decide whether to STAY or GO.
If she goes, she meets this nice college boy, Chris, who’s kind of perfect for her, and she goes to live with her father, while running away from all of her problems, and goes to this new school where everyone hates her. If she stays, she makes up with her mother and sister and lives with them, stays with her best friend and school, and finally gets to go out with Joel, the boy she’s had a crush on for years.
From the beginning, it didn’t make much sense for her character to stay, even if it was the right thing to do. And I honestly think that her going made more sense, and worked better for her character, and that she finally learned not to run away, to be less selfish, to be a better person. I think that her going was better, and so I want to believe that that’s the choice she makes.
Because the ending doesn’t tell us! What is that crap? I started wondering, about 50 pages from the end, if both decisions were going to sync up and they were going to make some statement about both leading to the same place. And while I kind of believe that, sure, that doesn’t make me happy. Because the journey matters, and I need to know which journey she went on, goddamnit. I mean it fits and all that, but I just want to know.
Aside from that. The story started weak, I was starting to think I wasn’t going to like it, when things changed, and it got a lot better. I like how Caroline grew, where her relationship with everyone went and ended up. I knew from very early on that I wasn’t going to like Joel, because he was a jerk. I knew immediately that I was going to love Chris and that he fit perfectly with Caroline, and I was right. They’re perfect together, and I love them, and I love him. I love Chris, he’s awesome.
Caroline’s relationships with everyone aside from Joel and Chris, I think, should have gotten more attention. We got some stuff, and they did grow by the end, but the reader didn’t actually get to read a lot of that growth. I mean, I think it worked by the end of the book. But a high majority of this book is focused on the romance, which I don’t particularly mind because I love reading romance and would rather read that most of the time, but the other relationships needed more attention, too. 
A big part of Carline's fighting with her family and friends only happened because none of the characters were being empathetic. This annoyed me so very much. Particularly her relationship with her sister, for example, who looks at Caroline as a spoiled, whiny brat, because she never tries to see why Caroline does what she does. Not for an instant does she try to think, from Caroline's point of view, why she wouldn't want to stay with her mother, or why she wouldn't want to be at the hospital. Caroline doesn't try to see from her sister's point of view, either. Until suddenly they make up, in like two pages, without any real development. The whole making up process seemed way too fast, not realistic at all.
Overall, I rather liked this book. I wasn’t sure at first, but it was good. I enjoyed it. I’ve read some of Young’s other books and plan to read more, and should be reading one of Patrick’s soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment