Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review of Cat Patrick's & Suzanne Young's 'Just Like Fate'

Title: Just Like Fate
Authors: Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
ARC courtesy of Simon Pulse
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...

Author Bio:

Cat Patrick is an author of books for teens. Her debut novel, FORGOTTEN (available now), is about a girl who can remember the future instead of the past, and was praised by NYT bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher, as a "mindbending," one-sitting read. The book is being translated into 21 languages and Paramount bought the movie rights, with True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld attached to star as the main character, London Lane. 
Patrick's second (unrelated) novel, REVIVED, is about a girl who's part of a secret government program to test a drug that brings people back from the dead. REVIVED will be available in the US May 2012, and in the UK and Australia Summer 2012. 

Patrick lives near Seattle with her husband and twin 3-year-olds, and is afraid of zombies, planes, and zombies on planes. 

Visit her online at
Suzanne Young currently lives in Tempe, Arizona where she teaches high school English and obsesses about books. She's the author of A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, A WANT SO WICKED, and THE PROGRAM. Learn more about Suzanne at
My Review:

I was super excited to read this book and it turned out to be all I had hoped for. There seem to be a lot of dual reality books coming out recently, but I have yet to read any. I was very excited to read one finally. I also am a fan of Suzanne Young and loved 'The Program'. This is the first book I have read by Cat Patrick, but I will definitely look into her other books. 

This book tells the story of seventeen year old Caroline (obviously I love the name choice) who is a senior in high school. Caroline has lived with her grandmother, whom she loves dearly, since her parents' nasty divorce several years prior. Her grandmother has a stroke unexpectedly and it is soon discovered that she is very ill and near death. Several days later Caroline's best friend encourages her to take a break from staying with her grandmother and to come out to a party. This is where the story splits into two; one where she goes to the party and one where she doesn't. It turns out to be an important decision in both stories because it turns out to be the night that her grandmother dies. The stories both go on to show the effect that the decision has on her life in regard to her familial relationships, her friendships, and her romantic relationships. 

First of all I have to admit that Caroline drove me a little crazy throughout this story. For a good part of the story I found myself mentally yelling at her. Every time something bad or uncomfortable happened she would run away before figuring out the truth or giving people a chance to explain. She is what I would describe as a 'serial runner'. Luckily she did manage to grow somewhat out of her runaway ways by the end of the story, thus saving her in my eyes. By the end of the story I liked her and was rooting for her. 

I also loved that there was an interesting underlying theme in this story. So many books have great stories, but lack a deeper meaning. If I understand correctly the idea behind this book is that fate is real. No matter what choices we make we will ultimately end up where we are supposed to be. But at the same time our choices do matter because even though we end up in the same place we are different people once we get there, based on our experiences/journey. I loved how this book got me thinking about ideas of fate and what's important in life. 

If you love well written, engrossing stories with a deeper meaning this book is most definitely for you. I thoroughly enjoyed going on Caroline's journey with her through two different versions of reality. This book is sadly a standalone book (I assume, it had a pretty definite ending), but it makes me want to read more dual reality novels to compare and contrast the ideas of journey and fate. 

One last little random tidbit I have to address is the song 'Sweet Caroline'. In the book Caroline states that everyone has the urge to sing it to you when you are named Caroline. I can attest this is totally true! I have had numerous terrible renditions thrown my way throughout my life. What is up with that? Does this happen to all people with a name out of a famous song or is it just something about this song? 

My Rating:


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