Monday, August 19, 2013

Just Like Fate (Early Book Review)

Monday, August 19, 2013 12:17 PM with 18 comments

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Just Like Fate

Authors: Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Number of Pages: 304
Release Date: August 27, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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...


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MY THOUGHTS:

It's pretty clear that multi-verse/parallel world novels are the hot thing in YA right now. This is the third book I've read this year that has followed a girl living on two different planes (Pivot Point and Parallel were the other two) and I'm pretty excited for some upcoming parallel worlds novels that come out this fall, including Relativity and Tandem. What I've been enjoying about this trend is that although they all have the same basic premise, all of the books I've read so far have been different and original. There really are so many various avenues books that follow different planes can go. As far as trends go, this is probably my favorite. 

So while I really am enjoying  this craze, I do have to say that I found Just Like Fate to be a bit lacking when compared to the other two parallel worlds books I've read this year. Just Like Fate is a very simple story, and while there is nothing wrong with that per se, it's hard for me to not compare it to the Pivot Point and Parallel whose concepts were just frankly more interesting.

As far as these Sliding Doors type stories go, this one was by far the closest to the film. [Sliding Doors is a film from the 90s starring Gwyneth Paltrow that follows the two courses of her life that occur from a simple twist of fate: she either catches a train or she doesn't. This film is awesome. I've seen it a hundred times and would definitely recommend watching it if you haven't already.] In Just Like Fate, the course of Caroline's fate hangs on a choice: should she go to a party while her grandmother is dying in a hospital or should she stay at the hospital with her family.

Caroline has lived with her grandmother for the past few years and is closer to her than she is with any other member of her family. Caroline had escaped to live with her grandmother while her parents were going through a nasty divorce and now must go back to deal with the family she has mostly avoided, especially her older sister Natalie who was so hurt by Caroline's abandonment that the sisters do nothing but fight when they are around each other. 

In the path in which Caroline stays she is able to say good-bye to her grandmother and moves back in with her mother and Natalie. On this path she also starts to receive the attention of Joel, her long-term crush that she has been pining over for years...even though he has a girlfriend.

In the path in which she goes to the party, Caroline is devastated to find out that her grandmother passed while she was at the party and that she never got to say good-bye. This course has her moving in with her father and his new wife who live in a town about a half hour away from her mom and her old high school. This town has a local university that her older brother attends. It is also where Chris, the cute guy that she met at the party, attends school.

As with both Pivot Point and Parallel, Just Like Fate gets away with having two love interests without it falling into the trite love triangle. Even if it isn't the same old love triangle, however, it is quickly becoming the parallel worlds version of it. As with PP, or any book with more than one love interest, there is an obvious winner here.

What I did really like about Just Like Fate was that the relationships that are explored in the two courses are not just romantic. I really liked the importance of the sister relationship between Caroline and Natalie and the ways in which that relationship evolves in both paths. I also liked the relationship between Caroline and her best friend, Simone. In the path where she goes to the party, Caroline struggles to not blame Simone for "making her go" to the party thus missing her grandmother's final moments. I thought both romances were handled realistically and definitely enjoyed the ways in which "fate" is handled on both planes. 

Overall, Just Like Fate is a cute, but not too cute, addition to the parallel worlds universe. I wasn't blown away by it, but I did appreciate its simple story and think that fans of this trend will enjoy this new addition. 

*I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*

18 comments:

  1. I read both Parallel and Pivot Point (I like those parallel world/one choice sending you down different paths books), and I like both Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young, so I'm sure I'll read this book. It sounds like it was good, even though not as good as the other two books. I enjoy a cute book! Great review! ~Pam

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    1. Thanks, Pam! Yeah, if you liked those two, you'll probably enjoy this one. I just love the concept of parallel worlds, but this is definitely a much simpler story. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. So funny -- we really are review twins today!
    This book definitely reminded me of Sliding Doors, which I re-watched earlier this summer. I didn't love it as much as the first time I saw it, but I do like this kind of story, so I hope the trend continues a bit longer….

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    1. I know! Definitely on the same wave length.

      I really felt like this book was influenced by SD. The other two I mentioned have similar premises, but this one was way more closely aligned. As far as trends go, this is a good one. As long as they don't all start having the same type of tropes. I think both Relativity and Tandem sound really unique. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I just read Pivot Point, so I feel like I should wait a bit before trying this one out. Like you said, it sounds too similar for me not to compare them. I had a similar though too regarding the love triangle thing. It's like an attempt to make the love triangle new and fresh, and I'm not sure how I feel about that just yet.

    Samantha @ Reading-AndCoffee

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    1. PP is superior, imo. I like these "love triangles" better than I like the typical ones, but it definitely seems to be the trend in the trend which can get old quickly. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. So glad to see you like this one! I love the movie Sliding Doors and I love Cat Patrick, so I'm definitely excited to read this. I think I will pick this up next, after reading a few creepy atmospheric reads, something a little more on the "cute" side sounds like a fun change of pace.

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    1. It has some sadder parts with her grieving over her grandma's death, so it isn't too cutesy, but it definitely isn't creepy! If you like SD, you'll probably enjoy this. I look forward to hearing what you think. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I just finished Pivot Point and enjoyed it quite a bit, so I definitely don't want to read something similar and yet not as good. I like the more sci-fi elements coming into YA, but I don't like it when it's not fleshed out as well as it should be.

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    1. Agreed. And in this story the reason for the split isn't explained at all. This story really isn't sci-fi in the slightest. It's really more about fate and how while our lives may take different paths due to small decisions, there are still some things that are destined to happen. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I do love the parallel world/split timelines trend, but I'm afraid we're being inundated with it. I also love Suzanne Young's novels, so even if this one was a little lackluster, I still really want to read it. I'll just go into it with fewer expectations.

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    1. Yeah, like all trends it won't be too long before the market is flooded. What's good is that there really are so many ways to go about parallel worlds and I truly am excited for both Relativity and Tandem. I liked this one alright, it really was just so simple which also made it a bit lackluster. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I'm glad to hear you liked Parallel, I just started it last night and read maybe 15-20 pages and wasn't totally into it, but you gave me some more motivation to keep going! So that's pretty much what i'm taking away from your Pivot Point review :)

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    1. Opps, not Pivot Point, Just Like Fate. I think I need a nap!

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    2. Go home, Maggie, you're drunk. :)

      Parallel does take a few chapters to get into it, but it really is a fun and original take on the whole two planes situation. And the science behind it actually seemed well thought-out for once. I hope you find you like it more. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I still have not read PIVOT POINT yet. I feel so left out! I need to read that next,seriously. Just remind me next time I mention some other book and kindly reprimand me for not reading PP. These types of novels are really crazy to read. I tend to look into things way too much and I have a feeling that reading something like this would make question my own life choices. I was thinking about requesting this on NetGalley but ended up not, for some reason. But if kind of sounds blah, now. Sounds like the others you've read are much better!

    PS-I've never heard of Sliding Doors. I need to find a copy of that somewhere! Sounds good!

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    1. Pivot Point is so good. You should definitely put that one on the top of your TBR. This one is alright, but it is really just such a simple story. Which really isn't bad necessarily. Sliding Doors is a great movie. You should definitely try to hunt down a copy. Thanks for stopping by!

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