Monday, November 25, 2013

Just Like Fate ~ Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young review

Just Like Fate
Simon Pulse
August 27, 2013
304 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
And if I stay there will be double
So you gotta let me know
Should I stay or should I go
-"Should I Stay or Should I Go" from The Clash's Combat Rock

Stay or go? That's the question Caroline's facing. Along with her family, Caroline's been at her grandmother's side since the older woman suffered a stroke days earlier. Now, though, with Gram maybe dying and the tension between Caroline and her estranged family growing, all she wants to do is get away. From them and from the possibility of Gram's death.

When Simone, her best friend, invites Caroline out to a Friday night college party it poses the perfect dilemma: Stay or Go.

The one decision sends Caroline's life onto two very distinct paths, two different lives; each of which she'll live in Just Like Fate.
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.

All of the reasons I wanted to read Kasie West's Pivot Point applied to Just Like Fate, as well. The alternate choice slash alternate reality novel is something I tend to find really appealing. I love to find where, if anywhere, the tales overlap; to see what's present, for the characters, in both realities. It's also really interesting to see what's completely, completely different for them between the two paths. It gives something to thing about not only with the characters' lives, but with reality and your own life.

Pairing the parallel realities with the authors of this novel and this was one I really had to read. I love Cat Patrick's three solo novels (Forgotten, Revived, and The Originals) and I'm in love with The Program by Suzanne Young and eagerly awaiting its follow-up The Treatment. 

The story mostly alternated chapters between what would have happened if Caroline had stayed with her family and Gram versus if she had gone to the party. The two paths were different enough, especially in the beginning, that it was easy to distinguish between which choice's tale/consequences you were following.

I didn't love the realtionship(s) in this novel quite as much as I've loved those in the authors solo works. It makes sense, though, with each version of Caroline only having half of the novel, there was only, really, part of half of a book for each couple. I still liked those in a lot of books.

The male, possible, romantic leads in Just Like Fate had great backgrounds and weren't that 'typical' character. Even the one who seemed more typical, was less typical beneath the surface. Both Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young can create characters who are really intriguing, have a compelling history and enhance the story.

Just Like Fate seemed to be the perfect 'What if?' book. Maybe Caroline wondered, in either of the paths that could have been chosen where the other would have lead - but as readers we saw. Even better than being able to see where X lead while also knowing where Y took her, was seeing the things that would happen with either choice.

Seeing the possibilities - of another choice, another 'life' - for the main character, also seem to create a deeper connection with Caroline. As she's experiencing some sort of hardship as the result of one choice, it's hard not to wish for something that's going easier for the 'other' Caroline.

As the synopsis says, though:
Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending...
it's just a matter of getting there . . .

Rating: 8/10

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