Tess is a maid for the noble Lisle family which is pretty much comprised of horrible people except for the daughter, Irene (not a hurricane FYI). So anyhoo, The Lisles decide to go to American and find Irene a rich husband to save the family, as they are running out of money. Of course, the Lisles book passage on the best ship EVER, the Titanic, and because they are noble they can’t do things for themselves and bring their servants. Tess sees America as a land of opportunity and decides to quit once she has had her free trip. Of course, we all saw the movie, and if not SPOILER ALERT THE TITANIC SINKS! Yet, Claudia Gray deviates from history in that there are werewolves aboard the doomed ship. Also, there is a boy whom Tess wants to jump bones named Alec who is megarich and we pretty much know that’s a star crossed love because they are in different classes and, much like Jack and Rose, it’s not acceptable.

Fateful, Claudia Gray, Book Cover


Honestly, when Fateful was pitched, I thought it sounded stupid. Yet, I still decided to give it a chance, because even though publicists are excited because it’s their job, one talked about it in a way that made it seem not so stupid. And you guys, this book grew on me. I very much liked Claudia Gray’s voice. She does very well with historical-paranormal. I felt like I was there, and I also felt as though I was in Tess’s head. Granted, this could be because the book is told in first person.

The progression of the romance between Alec and Tess made sense to me. And yes okay there is instalove/insta-attraction, BUT I think the circumstances provide their relationship with a free pass. We all know they only have a limited amount of days together aboard the Titanic, and we all know there is going to be tragedy. I think there’s a certain bond too, that characters who have been through trauma together form. Like, I think it’s a real life psychology thing as well. Anyways, I liked how their relationship turned out.

However, I still can’t shake the impression of the film which has a different plotline and the Celine Dion song, because there are similarities. We have love across the classes. The whole poor character dressing up as a person of first class and passing until someone points it out. The first class character coming down to third class and noting the music. I mean, those are small nitpicky similarities, but being a child of the 1990s, I totally cannot shake it.

The ending was fairly contrived as well, with this whole, what I felt to be, deus ex machina. Like, I know there are werewolves and all, but goodness, that was so totally farfetched. And the more I think about it, the more I have trouble agreeing with/processing it. However, if you like a legit ending and not some crazy cliffhanger, Fateful does have a resolution. But, the door is certainly opened for a sequel.

In all, Fateful by Claudia Gray is entertaining, a good read for a rainy day, but definitely not earth shattering.

Disclosure: Received for review.

Other Reviews of Fateful by Claudia Gray:

Proud Book Nerd

My Overstuffed Book Shelf

Books With Bite

Fateful is available September 13, 2011. Purchase your copy here*FYI I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you buy things from Amazon after clicking link




About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I spent a lot of time thinking about the movie too! Your feelings pretty much summed mine up – a good read, but not earth shattering. I did really like Tess though, she appealed to me as a main character.

  2. The Titanic always interests me but I don’t think I will be reading this one. It just sounds too mediocre.

  3. I love the tone of your review. You made me smile. I felt quite the same way as you about the ending. At least it wasn’t a cliffhanger! 😉

    Thanks for linking my review! 🙂

  4. Hm, okay, so I may or may not read this but either way, I was thoroughly entertained by your review. I did love the movie Titanic, and when I first heard about this book, I thought it was pretty cool. I have a lot on my plate right now but maybe I’ll pick this up someday. 🙂

  5. I really liked this book I agree the ending was a bit farfetched. Loved your review, though. I giggled!

  6. I agree with your assessment, there were too many similarities to the movie. Granted, this didn’t stop me from liking the book, but it would have been very interesting to see the love story between Alec and the Lisle girl… (I forget her name!)

    – Alyssa of Redhead Heroines

    Book Review of “Fateful” by Claudia Gray

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