Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: August 27th 2013
Source: Finished Copy provided by Publisher. (Thank you, Hardie Grant & Egmont!)
Goodreads Summary: 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…
Have you ever been at a crossroads? Ever had to make a huge decision and didn’t know what to choose? Have you ever thought, “what if”? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, then Just Like Fate is the book for you!
Caroline has a tough decision on her hands: stay by her grandmother’s side during her final hours, or go to a party with her best friend. That choice will split up Caroline’s life into two different paths: the path where she stayed and the part where she went. Now her fate is going to be lived in two different ways, problem is, there can only be one…
I was really afraid to read this book because I had initially thought that Caroline’s choice should be obvious: Stay. I was completely prepared to judge and hate her if she chose to abandon her grandmother for a stupid party. That’s exactly what I did at first. I hated how selfish she was in the chapters that were about how she left. I hated how much she avoided conflict. Basically I just resented her so much because of the fact that she had “abandoned” her family for a stupid party.
But, as the story went on, I realized how wrong I was. Caroline wasn’t a bad person; she had reasons to make the choices she did. Caroline was human, thus prone to mistakes just as we all were. Do I condone her choices? Maybe not, but I do understand them. After coming to this realization, I can finally conclude that Caroline is actually really down to earth.
Surprisingly, the story actually progresses very smoothly and even though it’s narrating the same moment in Caroline’s life in two different ways, it’s easily understandable. I liked how in the “Stay” moments Caroline had a certain personality and in the “Go” chapters she had another one. It made Caroline to be a really complex character.
Know what else is complex in this book? The romance. If Caroline had chosen to stay, she would have been with Joel, the guy who’s she’s been in love with since forever. He normally never talked to her, but now he’s getting closer to Caroline. I didn’t like Joel at all. Other than the fact that he had a girlfriend when he started to get close to Caroline made me realize how much of a jerk he actually was. Not to mention the fact that he’s the crappiest boyfriend I’ve ever read about in a book. Sure, he was nice to her at times, and came up with the occasional romantic gesture, but other than that I couldn’t like him much. Chris is another story. He’s the boy Caroline would’ve met if she had chosen to go. Chris is a college student, who for some reason understands Caroline when no one else seems to. He’s funny, geeky, attractive and honest, but word around campus is that he’s the biggest player. I liked Chris. I’m actually Team Chris in this book. Chris was different, he was mature. It’s true that he was secretive, and rumors didn’t help him much, but nevertheless, I liked him. So you see, each boy had his pros and cons in this book and yet, I enjoyed the romance in this book so much. It made me laugh, giggle, squeal and even gasp in excitement. It was a really wholesome romance.
“You’re the only girl I want,” he says. “I love you.” He pulls away to laugh softly, looking surprised at his own words. His eyes are wide and vulnerable, as if a word from me can crush him. “I’m totally in love with you,” he murmurs.
–Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young
This book doesn’t focus completely on the romance. It also talks about the importance of family. At the beginning of the book, Caroline’s family is in shambles. She has to work through that to make her family better. Caroline’s grandmother was the biggest part of this change and thanks to her many things go into place.
The ending was the make or break moment for me. I was afraid to know which choice Caroline had actually made. How was I going to react if I knew she had actually chosen to go? What if she had actually chosen to stay? Which was the real world? Surprisingly, the authors threw us a curveball. They made us realize, that whatever choice Caroline actually made, if it was bound to happen, it would have. They made us realize that everything just fell into place.
Overall, this was a beautiful, romantic and heart-felt story about deciding what you want and how things sometimes just happen because they’re supposed to.
Rating: 4 stars