I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick, Suzanne Youngs
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2013-08-27
Genres: Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Multigenerational, Social Issues, Young Adult
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One decision changes everything in this Sliding Doors meets Anna and the French Kiss novel that explores split realities of romance and family loyalties.Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick and, like the rest of her family, Caroline’s been at Gram’s beside 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 for a few hours. The consequences of this one decision will split Caroline’s fate into two separate paths—and she is 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…
I am simultaneously excited and nervous whenever I read a duo-authored book – especially when the two authors are writers whose work I love. Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young is a book that I have waited way too long to read. It’s also a book that’s co-authored by writers who are among my favorites when it comes to young adult books. Oh my goodness, it is hard for me to put into words just how much I loved this collaboration and how much I want there to be more collaborations between Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young.
Just Like Fate opens with two chapters of BEFORE, showing the event leading up to main character Caroline’s big decision. In these two chapters, we learn that Caroline’s grandmother has had a stroke. Caroline is pulled out of school for this. Over the next few days, her grandmother is transferred from the hospital to hospice care. Her grandmother does not show any signs of changing her status — either pulling through the stroke or dying. So, when Caroline receives a phone call from her best friend, Simone, to go to a college party she is faced with the decision of STAY or GO and so, this parallel decision book explores what happens if Caroline goes and what happens if Caroline stays in alternating chapters. Regardless of plot line, I loved reading about Caroline. I loved her older brother, Teddy. I loved her tumultuous relationship with her older sister Natalie and I loved her relationship with Gram, whom she actually lived with before her Gram had a stroke.
Here’s the thing, no matter Caroline’s choice, her Gram still dies and she still deals with the outcome. In the Stay plotline, Caroline ends up staying with her Gram, obviously. She hears her Gram’s dying words and wishes, because her Gram is lucid for this. She gets some solid advice about love from Gram. In the Stay storyline, Caroline’s love interest is this boy that she has had a crush on for years, Joel. He’s the serious, artistic type and the two have musical taste in common. But, is Joel all that Caroline has imagined he will be? That’s the crux of the Stay storyline.
The Go storyline is clearly based on what happens if Caroline goes to the party. I have to tell you guys, this is my favorite of the two plotlines. It’s a bit more swoonworthy and sweet. I know, I know, Caroline is a terrible person for leaving her Gram’s deathbed to go to a party, but honestly she did not think her Gram would be dying and her Gram made no change. Girl just needs to live her life, you know. Maybe that makes me terrible, but that’s just how I feel. In this plotline, Caroline meets a boy named Chris and the two are drawn to each other like magnets. He’s got a bit of a reputation for being a player, but there’s something different about Caroline. ALSO OMG he sings Sweet Caroline to her. And he’s a musician. And whatever, the relationship or the chemistry between them is like, the best romance. Really, I just kept flipping pages for this storyline. Granted, the Stay storyline is great too, I just loved this one more.
I genuinely loved Just Like Fate. I loved that I flipped to the end to find out which choice she makes, but that it doesn’t matter what her choice is. Caroline ends up in the exact same place. I love that my choice in this pseudo-love triangle makes an appearance in both parts. I love that this book takes like a hot second to read because it was so good and I could not put it down. I loved all of the feels that I got while reading. Come to think of it, I am pretty sure I teared up while reading and also laughed and definitely was into the romance for sure. I loved the character development. I loved how seamless the alternating chapters were, even though the two plotlines go in different directions. Really, looking back two months after reading Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young, I can’t help but still feel as strong in my love of this book.