Just Like Fate

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Just Like Fate
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
August 27, 2013
ISBN
978-1442472716
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One decision changes everything in this compelling novel that explores split realities of romance and family loyalties.

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 the 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 for what might be her final hours, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequences of this one decision will split Caroline’s fate into two separate paths—and she is about to live them both. And though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending…

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot 
 
4.5  (2)
Characters 
 
4.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.5  (2)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Crossing a Crossroads

JUST LIKE FATE has a lot to do with the consequences of the choices you make. The main premise of the story is that Caroline has to choose whether to stay with her dying grandmother, who she lives with, or to go a party and unwind. She hems and haws for a bit and then decides… to do both. At this point in the story it splits, alternating chapters being told by the Caroline who stays and the one who goes. This was done really well, and is just a really cool idea to begin with. At first I was a bit worried about being able to tell the two apart, but it ended up not being a problem. To begin with they were clearly labeled, and also the story took off in completely different directions, so the only parts that really got mixed up were minor.

This is a story that almost anyone can relate to in one way or another. You genuinely feel for Caroline, as well as the other characters. Each path she takes is equally well thought out and unforced. I particularly liked the end. It was very eerie, and at the same time enlightening and somehow comforting.

JUST LIKE FATE is a frightening look at how there really is no right answer, and there’s no going back, but in the end, you feel better about the world for some unexplainable reason.

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Overall rating 
 
5.0
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5.0
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5.0
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5.0

Engaging Look At The Choices We Make

I picked this gem up at BEA and was really excited to read, not only because it's written by two fantastic authors who I had the privilege to spend a little time with, but it was touted as a "Sliding Doors" for teens. (Sliding Doors was a super cool movie from the late 90's starring Gwenyth Paltrow.)

What I Loved: This is one of those stories that sucked me in, pulled at my heart-strings and punched me in the feels, and I loved every minute of it! (Okay, so there were a few stressful moments and some that made me cry, but still.) I was intrigued by the concept of two different fates because how many times do we go through life second guessing our decisions or asking, "What if?"

Life for Caroline is anything but awesome. Her Gram's is sick, her familial relationships are strained and she's been crushing on the same tall, dark and broodilicious boy for as long as she can remember. Then her BFF presents her with an opportunity that could change everything, all Caroline has to do is decide whether to stay or go. Seems simple enough, right? Riiight.

I'll admit it took me a couple pages before I caught on to the "Stay" and "Go" flow of the chapters buts that's because my cupcake doesn't always have the most sprinkles. *shrugs* Once I figured out that the dual fates was much like a dual POV, I was good to go.

Caroline's journey is filled with laughter, heartache, romance and tall, blond and utterly charming. But she learns a few lessons too, like how it's entirely possible (and normal) be angry with someone yet still love them. There are consequences to every choice and while mistakes are unavoidable, they don't have to define us for the rest of our lives. Caroline also learns that what we think we want may not be what we actually need. (Yes, there is a difference. Trust me on this. I'm old, I know stuff.)

There were several nail-biting, chest-clutching, full-on freaking out moments where I wasn't sure how this could possibly end well. But it does, with everything tying together beautifully and leaving no unanswered questions.

What Left Me Wanting More: Nothing. Unless, of course, Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young would like to write an entire book about a certain Batman - with pictures. ;)

Final Verdict: An engaging look at the choices we make with equal parts humor and heart. Read it!

Favorite Quote(s): "I forgot the corsage," he says smiling. "But we can still take photos if you like."

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User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0  (2)
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4.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (2)
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Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

What Would You Do

Just Like Fate discusses one of my favorite topics: can one moment really change your life? And maybe it can, or maybe it can't. But, in this book that's what the reader looks into.
It took me a while to get really into this book. Death and dying can always be a messy topic to write about, and even more uncomfortable to read about.

If you were given the chance to either sit by your dying grandmother's bedside, or take one night and go to a party with your friend, what would you do? To some, going to the party might sound selfish, but when your family is a mess, and your grandmother has been slowly dying in front of you, it almost feels right to take the night off.

So what does the main character do? She does both.

In this uniquely written story, the main character alternates in each chapter what would have happened if she would have chosen to "stay" or "go."

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Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
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4.0
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4.0

Great concept

Just Like Fate is an innovative concept – the what ifs of life. There are so many things in life we regret – things that make you want to take back something, not make a particular decision. The story follows one such decision made by Caroline, on the night her grandmother died. She did not know it would happen and a yes/no decision at that moment diverges the storyline into two paths. Both paths have something to learn from and both have pain and happiness along them. Our life is also basically made of decisions – we may believe in fate but our choices also count. The book specifically refers to what destiny and free will have to do with each other – something like xxxHoLIC’s hitsuzen. Even at the end, we don’t know which path actually happened, as life is. We cannot know the outcome of a ‘what if; we cannot know if our life would have been better but just be content that things will work out eventually…

The writing and the dual timelines really pulled me in. After quite a while, I have read a novel at a stretch, it was that interesting. Quite a good read!

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