Tuesday, August 13, 2013
ARC Review: Just Like Fate
Simon Pulse, 2013
Scheduled to release August 27
Source: Received an e-ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
The concept for this book struck me as being very similar to Pivot Point's where at a critical juncture, a teenager's life separates and we follow her fate as she explores both option A and B. However while Pivot Point's premise employs characters with supernatural abilities, this book just has it happen for no reason other than for the authors to spend a lot of time musing on fate vs free will.
Here the book splits when Caroline's beloved grandmother falls ill and is rushed to the hospital. On what will be the last night of her life, Caroline has to decide if she will stay there with her family or go out for a night of fun and relaxation with her best friend. I kind of can't believe she even considered leaving as her grandmother seemed to be in very bad shape that last night but in one version she does go.
Caroline's family life is rocky. When her parents divorced, she found the tension so rough that she moved into her grandmother's house while her older brother and sister stayed with their mother who added another daughter with her new husband. Caroline's relationship with her sister Natalie is especially tense for reasons I never quite fathomed. My theory is that Caroline maybe caught her dad cheating on their mother and duly reported the news leading directly to the divorce. That is where the trouble seems to stem from and the sisters are very antagonistic from the start of the book. Other than that, I have no idea exactly why the sisters are so hateful to each other. Luckily in both scenarios, they seem to gain more understanding of each other although in general I found all the relationships lacking.
But the big difference in the stories is Caroline's romantic partnerships. In one version, she meets a cute new guy and begins a relationship with him; in the other, she finally gets to hook up with her long-time crush. And yet both paths lead her to the same seemingly inevitable conclusion so I'm not entirely sure what the point was. There is also a lot of repetitive talk about the meaning of fate with characters saying that certain events were fated-very heavy-handed!
Overall: I love the premise for this novel but found the relationships superficial and I especially never connected with the main character in the way I like to. If you really love the premise and/or are a big fan of the author(s), by all means give it a shot but otherwise, skip.
Cover: Sometimes, when I glance real quick, I think she looks like Emma Stone, which is definitely a compliment though i do prefer Stone as a redhead.
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