Title: Just Like Fate
Authors: Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: Hardcover; 304
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Content Screening: Nothing of note
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy "sliding door" stories, where you see consequences of both choices.
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N / BookLikes
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...
This is the first "sliding doors" book I've ever read. I have to admit that I was intrigued by the idea of seeing both sides of the same story. What choices would Caroline face, and what would she choose to do about them? When the dilemma was finally presented, I had to take a step back. It seemed so obvious, at least to me, what Caroline should do. Since there was no back story as to why she would want to do anything else, I started this book with a raised eyebrow.
It's true that once the book actually pushed forward, I ended up more invested. It turns out that, despite how weak the beginning felt to me, Caroline's two lives actually do play out fairly differently. Each reality had its own positives and negatives. Each one brought about its own set of problems. In fact, that's what I really enjoyed about Just Like Fate. It shows that life isn't cut and dry. One choice doesn't lead to pure happiness and the other to utter despair. Instead, they each have a bit of both.
Still, this book doesn't exactly dive as deeply as I felt it could have into the characters and their stories. I didn't learn much about Caroline overall, and I felt like things ended up predictable after a time. The romance here was cute, although not entirely believable. It was a love triangle, but then again not. In other words there were two different Carolines, but the same two guys in each. She never has to actually make a choice between them persay, yet it still feels oddly like a love triangle. I feel that if I had gotten to know them better, and maybe known Caroline better, I might have enjoyed the romance more.
Apologies if this review is all over the place, but that's how my thoughts on this book truly are. I liked the premise of Just Like Fate, adored the concept of seeing how choices affect the future, but I just couldn't get behind the execution. I did finish this book and, honestly, enjoyed the ending a lot. So I still recommend that you give it a shot! I feel it's the type of book you'll either love, or fail to click with, but it's definitely worth the journey to find out.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.