Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont Australia
Release Date: September 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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...
What if one small decision could change your life forever? What if you chose the wrong one? And what if, both choices have their own pros and cons? I have really enjoyed Cat Patrick’s novels in the past, so when I saw this on pop up on Goodreads, I immediately took up the opportunity to read this, hoping for another fun, sci-fi type contemporary. However that wasn’t really the case.
Caroline’s grandmother has just been taken to hospital, and the entire family is informed that this could be one of Gram’s last days living. Yet when Caroline’s best friend, Simone asks her to go to a party, enabling to relieve Caroline from the drama and depression, Caroline has come to a crossroad. Should she stay, with her Gram, if these are Gram’s last hours, or should she go, having the time of her life, away from the stressing burden? A decision that may seem tiny, but significant all the same, Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young weave a story about a teenage girl going through both decisions, and then making hers in the end. And hopefully, the right one.
The first issue I had with Just Like Fate was the idea and logic, or lack thereof. Who, honestly, who would leave their dying grandmother (that they are also so closely knit to) in hospital for a party. WHO. WOULD. DO. THAT. Clearly, Caroline thinks maybe it’s a valid option to ditch her grieving family and run away to party with some college boys. Just. No. This logic, definitely resulted in more issues, but this was the main one. One that led to more and one that almost made we want to stop reading all together. The logic is irrational, heartless and shocking. People can go to parties any day. But people cannot say goodbye to a dying family member any day.
Caroline’s character was the main aspect that was ruined due to the mindless logic. Firstly, and most obviously, she’s an idiot. Secondly, and also very obviously, she has no logic. And lastly, and also obviously, she is naive. And snappy. I do get what the authors are attempting to do. They’re trying to create a girl who has only been known to run away when things get tough. So then I waited for the character development to kick in, in hopes for her too turn into someone who would stand up to reality. I waited. And waited. And waited. And it did not come until just barely when I had any interest in the book anymore. I was actually enjoying the family dynamics of this, nonetheless that luxury also got blown out when Natalie, Caroline’s sister came in, and man I hated her. But her brother, yeah. Love him. He’s what a literary brother is meant to be like. As for the other characters, such as the best friend, Simone, I wanted to strangle her. She’s one hundred times worse than Caroline. Completely stereotyped and depthless, and wanting everything her way. She was the one who nagged Caroline into going to the party, so what’s her problem? Quite the disaster of a best friend, Simone was.
I feel like this book was mainly focussing on the romance. In the ‘stay’ chapters, we have Joel, Caroline’s pre-school crush or something (is it possible to have crushes at that age?) who was actually not what Caroline expected him to be like. i.e.: He’s a liar, fake, ass and *insert unintelligent words here* Then in the ‘go’ chapters, we have Chris; sweet, funny and carefree. MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD TILL END PARAGRAPH: The romance did create a complication in choosing whether to stay or go. If Caroline stays, she gets to say goodbye to her grandmother, and have the less liked love interest, Joel. However if she goes, then she won’t be able to say goodbye but will have the better guy.
Overall, I do not think I can recommend this to someone unless they are utterly obsessed with fate and romance. A light read for a lazy day, maybe when your brain is a little illogical so this will not seem as horridly illogical.
~Thank you Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for sending me this copy!~
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