“Just Like Fate”
By: Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Publish Date: August 27, 2013
Publishers: Simon Pulse
Where I got the book: Blog Tour – Around the World ARC Tours in exhange for an honest review
Summary of Story:
*Thanks to 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…
What I Thought:
Wow – That’s what crossed my mind as the last few pages went by.. I read this book in one evening – sitting down at one time without moving – or a bathroom break – or a drink.. Amazing. I was super excited about it immediately because I love Suzanne Young – “The Program” is another one of my top reads this year and this did not let me down – in fact it is making me want to track down anything Cat Patrick has written too – loved the writing! I really enjoyed that even thought it was written by 2 authors it was seamless and flowed..amazing work!
Now that I’m done gushing – you obviously have an idea how this review will go – let’s get down to why I love it…
Have you ever thought about your choices – those pivotal moments which may not have seemed that important at the time – but now sometimes you wonder if you had chosen differently what the outcome would have been? I have..and I bet you have too. One split second decision changed everything for Caroline – it led her down 2 vastly different pasts and through different struggles. I was not sure how I would like the alternating chapters here, but the “go” and “stay” chapters were so intune that I could easily follow both paths without difficulty. The story gets you or me at least in the first 20 pages. It starts out with Caroline losing her rock, her Grandmother and the raw emotion and just…sorrow hit me to the core. I lived with my Grandparents when I was young too and in some ways they were my second parents. My Grandfather passed away 2 years ago and I can still remember the day my husband told me he was gone – it’s like the wind was knocked out of me – my entire life changed. I knew someone who had been my rock was gone, and nothing would be the same. So seeing Caroline at this crossroads was very personal to me- maybe that’s why I loved this story so much because I could see myself there, but it was amazing writing. Anyway, Caroline makes a split second decision the last night of her Grandmother’s life – and there the real story begins – the two paths start.
The storys intertwined through her life during the same period of time after her Grandmother is gone showing both perspectives. It has internal conflicts – both paths present struggles for Caroline. It has family dynamics that are real – and realistic. No one is perfect – it shows how everyone is somehow flawed. There was a sister drama, an older adoring brother, and a divorce that rattled the family unit to the core – and left everyone raw. Caroline also had a best friend and it showed that dynamic and last and best of all – it was a love story. You follow her lives through these different paths and you see her have completely different relationships with 2 boys —
Caroline grows through the book. As weak as she thinks she is and how she might feel like she “runs” – let’s face it we all do this, and I enjoyed watching her change – watching her learn from what she was going through and really thinking about her choices after that one fateful evening. One of the boys, Chris, can be described as the boy next door – the perfect first love – the kind of love (which didn’t seem cheesy at all -seriously!) that leads to a lifetime of love. My husband and I have this and seeing it on the pages again, just felt right to me. In the other path she gets to be with the guy of her dreams, Joel. He’s her highschool crush, the bad boy to some extent. Both relationships are so different- like night and day. The loves are so different – or maybe there is one love story and one “like” story is how I would put it.
The concept of the story is just amazing – the thought of fate, consequence, destiny, and free will – the course of our lives. I love how the authors connected all the stories with the characters woven in and out – from her strained relationship with her sister Natalie – to both boys. They all cross the same path at any given time – but in very different ways to some extent. All the important stuff came to be no matter which path she took – which gave the big “moments” that much more meaning to me. Two guys, two feelings – two very different realtionships but they all intertwine and despite it all one guy wins her heart in full – for good. I will not spoil anything, but I can tell you that by the end I was dying to know the end, and when I got there I was beyond happy – I actually thought it was perfect. i don’t know I could have written it better if they wrote the book just for me. I usually go onto a character section here, but I really want you to see for yourself – so lets’ cut to the meat – what rating would I give? What’s my “overall” opinion?
“Just Like Fate” is an amazing story. It has love, family dynamics, character self growth, friendship, loss, and everything in between. It shows feelings in a real way – and dealt with in realistic ways. It absolutely does not paint characters in a white picket “view” – and I almost always like the flawed characters ten times more than the perfect ones. Caroline grows, learns..and in the end walks away a different and better person. For a YA novel, I thought it was “deep” – it left this adult thinking for a full 24 hours after and even though I’ve read it – I know I will buy this the day it comes out and read it agian – it’s that type of story – you know what I mean (or maybe not and I sound nuts right now..) but it’s the type of story to me that I will learn something different from everytime. So on my rating scale it gets the 5/5 sunshines, 5/5 stars – best book in the year title – with ease.. Amazing – best way to describe it. Emotional and real and amazing. Patrick and Young really showed their “goods”. They took such a serious subject and dissected it to make sense and really make it real for almost anyone who reads this – and that is not easy to do. I highly suggest that you pre-order now – like this minute. Or – at least go to the store on August 27th and buy it, block out hours and read it. If it doesn’t blow you away – come tell me why – I want to hear it. It’s that great.
Well – I’ll let it end there, I really don’t want to spoil anything for you – so let’s check out a few amazing quotes before we adjourn this review:
“I see all of us, heading to watch a band I’ve been obsessed with forever, out on a Friday night, young and alive. I see me with the guy I;ve pined for since beore I was in a training bra and spending quality time with the sister I lost for so long. On paper, it’s perfect.
But the thing about paper is: it burns.”
“I straighten and his hand falls away. I think about that statement, that he can love me and be angry, and I realize that I never thought of it that way. All the time I spent feeling like my family hated me, was disappointmented in me – they still love me. I was too stubborn—scared—to see it. I’ve wasted so much time.”
“It’s not your fault,” I whisper near his ear. “So stop blaming yourself.” I think about how I felt after Gram died, how I wihsed I could have done it differently. But you can’t live with guilt. You can’t let it take everything that’s you.”
#4 and last – lyrics from a Electric Freakshow song “Magnets for Fate” – and hey if you are reading this — is that a real band? If so, i want this song – but i can’t find it anywhere so either it’s awesome and I’m searching very badly or I’m stalking the internet for a fake band… So if you do know – help me out here!
No trees in sight, just concrete
Still I see
Two roads twist in turn in front of me
No signs, but screams
Which ways’ reality?
So you choose; yeah, you choose
Maybe you lose
The sidewalk paved in hitches
Broken hearts not fixed by stitches
But morning’s coming soon
No right in sight, just questions
And you find
There is no map to Mecca
It’s just life
No right answer; perfect marks
It’s not big deal; it’s just your heart
Falling stars and lighting sparks
This will only sting a bit
We are all just
Magnets for fate
Stumbling, skipping, running at our pace
Making choices, losing voices
Making wishes for forgiveness
But morning’s coming soon
And no matter where you sit, how fast you sip
The coffee tastes the same on magnet lips
“Magnets for Fate”
Well that’s all folks – hope you got out and read and enjoy – let me know what you think.. I want to hear from YOU!