By: Melanie | October 7, 2013 | (26) Comments

Review: Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne YoungJust Like Fate by Cat Patrick, Suzanne Young
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont Australia
Release Date: September 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 304
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...

My Review

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!~

2 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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26 Responses to Review: Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young

  1. Tanja says:

    Ah too bad to hear this about this book. I expected more from it. I mean I haven’t read it but the blurb is promising and I’d never put this book as light read. I do like romance but not when the focus of the whole book is only romance. Great review Mel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Confiscated by Leah Spiegel & Meg SummersMy Profile

  2. Amelia says:

    Well this book doesn’t seem awfully convincing with the logic- however I am interested in fate, kinda cheesy but still. I like the idea of fate so I may actually still try this one out. Fabulous review as always 🙂

  3. Johanna Richards says:

    Oh bleh, not sure if I really want to read this one anymore. The logic seems rather of a failure here, afterall. Family first! Stupid MC…I think I may try one of Cat’s own works though because I saw you liked them much more. Love the review!

  4. You are so right Mel, now that I think about it I have NO idea why she would run off to a silly party while her grandma is dying! The decision itself kept on niggling at me though, technically she did the “right” thing by staying but she got punished with that boring crush. Oh wells!

  5. I haven’t heard the best things about this book, which definitely does lend to me wanting to read it all that soon. I do appreciate your honesty though!

  6. Celine says:

    This doesn’t sound like the epic read I hoped it to be AT ALL. Awh, that sucks 🙁 I hate it when characters are naive, stupid and illogical and especially if they don’t develop. Thanks for the great review, honey! Sounds like you spared me a really ‘meh’ book!
    Celine recently posted…Book Talk Topic: “Oh… So you read Young Adult…”My Profile

  7. I haven’t heard very good things about this one. And I’m definitely not a fan of girls who lose logic just to progress plot. I like the characters to be a bit smarter. I probably won’t read this one now. Nice honest review, Melanie!
    Becca @ Nawanda Files recently posted…TV Pilots in Review: Sleepy HollowMy Profile

  8. Giselle says:

    Hah I was thinking the same thing – WHO would do that? I think the point of the book was to show us that even if we make mistakes and stupid decisions in life it’s what we were meant to do to get us to where we’re going or whatever. I didn’t love this one but I thought it was an alright read. Clearly, I liked Caroline much more than you did haha. I love your intense dislike though >.< I also enjoyed the Go chapters much more. I liked Chris – though a note on your spoiler, doesn't she end up with Chris no matter which decision she made? One just took longer? She meets Chris at the end of the Stay chapters right? But dunno it's been a while lol
    Giselle recently posted…Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnisMy Profile

  9. Ha! Right?! Who WOULD do that?!

    Darn. Sorry to see you didn’t enjoy this one that much. Caroline’s character really seems like she may drive me a bit crazy too.

    Great honest review, Melanie! 🙂
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…Audiobook Review: Scars by Cheryl RainfieldMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I saw all the rave reviews and was wondering if I was insane because I have never heard of anyone who would ditch their own dying grandmother! UGH

  10. Candace says:

    I’ve heard enough similar things lately that I wondered if I had already commented on your review! I can’t imagine leaving either, so that seems like it might make me enjoy the book less. I do enjoy both authors, and I have a copy already, so I’ll give a shot and hopefully I like it okay. My expectations aren’t terribly high though. Oh well.
    Candace recently posted…Young Adult Review: Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley CoriellMy Profile

  11. Rachel says:

    This girl sounds like someone I’d like to strangle and would definitely have me pulling my hair out by the end of the story. I’ll pass! Great honest review, Melanie. 🙂
    Rachel recently posted…Review & Giveaway: 3:59 by Gretchen McNeilMy Profile

  12. Emily says:

    Oh man… Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one! >< I've heard so much about it; there was a lot of hype about it!
    I guess for logical people like you and me (heh, not being egoistical!), we tend to run through the novel in our minds quite a bit and we search for loop holes and find them! Then we tend not to enjoy the story so much.
    Looks like we'd have to go in to this one with empty brains then, yeah? Or else a lot of it won't make sense!
    And who would leave your dying family member in the hospital for a shallow party full of drinking and weird stuff? :O
    Thanks for the honest and informative review, Mel! <3
    Emily recently posted…Review: Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn ChildsMy Profile

  13. VeganYANerds says:

    It’s a shame this book annoyed you so much, I suppose it does sound unrealistic for a teen to abandon her family but there are definitely teens who put their social life before their family!
    VeganYANerds recently posted…The Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

  14. glass says:

    I wouldn’t be able to read this if that Caroline chick is that much annoying. Other than that, I don’t like that whole fate stuff, so I think I’ll skip this one.
    Great review.
    glass recently posted…The Truth About You And Me by Amanda Grace (Autumn Taboo Review)My Profile

  15. Molli says:

    Fantastic review, Melanie! I’m glad you didn’t just say that you disliked this one, but instead really took the time to explain your issues. And you know…despite having read and loved other books by Suzanne Young, from what you said, I really don’t think I’d enjoy this one. I’ve been in a similar situation to Caroline and I just… I can’t get behind her going, you know? Especially since it’s all focused on the romance of either choice and doesn’t seem to really touch on family, even though at first it’s implied she’s so close to her grandmother. So yeah, I probably won’t be reading this one – but thanks for the honest review, chica!
    Molli recently posted…Gilmore Girls Mondays – #4My Profile

  16. Stephanie B says:

    Obessed with fate and romance? Okay, I’m not obsessed but uh, guilty as charged maybe I’ll check it out. Lovely review, Mel!
    Stephanie B recently posted…Review: The Golden SpiralMy Profile

  17. Whoa. I’m a very family oriented person, so the whole party thing would REALLY piss me off. Family should always come first! Also, I hate the frenemy portrayal. Why are they called a ‘best friend’ when they act so awful? I don’t get it! I want best friend relationships to be, you know, actual BEST friends.
    Choosing a guy over her grandmother? WTF! I don’t think I can deal with that, and that’s just an absurd plot to begin with.

    Yeah, I think I’ll pass on this one. Such a shame, I was really looking forward to it 🙁
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