Expected Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: BEA 2013
Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads / IndieBound
My rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars
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 consequences of this 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...
Just Like Fate has to be a surprising read for me. I went in excited but apprehensive about it and it completely exceeded my expectations. I was expecting a really sad read and while it was, I was completely immersed and I fell head over heels in love with the characters and story line. I felt every emotion and I like I was living out the story myself.
Some people may call Caroline a selfish character but I actually found her to be very relatable. She’s dealing with the death of her grandmother, whom she used to live with, so I understand why in her grief, she wasn’t the most likeable person. Everyone deals with grief a different way and unfortunately, Caroline dealt with it by running away from the people who are closest to her or are in the same position as her. Yes at times I wanted to shake and tell her to just talk to Simone/Teddy/Chris/Natalie and try to work things out but she’s stubborn and hurt and embarrassed and can’t face reality yet.
The whole story line with Chris, the love interest, was the cutest and sweetest thing ever. I feel like Chris is a typical boy that you can meet anywhere in real life: at the coffee shop, a bar, a concert. He made everything lighthearted for Caroline at a time when she needed it. I’m pretty sure I was smiling like a loon every time he would appear in the book. Here are some of my favorite lines:
“I’m writing you a song,” Chris texts.
I smile so hard my cheeks hurt. “Really?”
“Uh-huh. Maybe I’ll let you hear it sometime. You like Neil Diamond, right?
I laugh. “It’s sweet Caroline, isn’t it?”
“How can you hate that song??”
“Because when your name is Caroline, everyone thinks you want to be serenaded with it. All the time.”
“Sounds to me like it’s more a problem with their lack of creativity.” – pg. 106-107
He catches my hand and runs his gaze over me, his smile fading when he meets my eyes. “I wish I had the guts to kiss you right now”
It knocks me out: The way he says it sends my body into an absolute free fall. “Then why don’t you?” I ask, surprised at my boldness.
He takes his hand reluctantly from mine. “I’m shy.”
I laugh loudly. “Christopher, you are not shy. Not even a little.”
“Not normally,” he says. “Just with you. It’s completely unsettling.” He smiles. “But thrilling as hell.” - Pg. 131
“Let me rephrase, then,” he says quietly. “I want to be your boyfriend.”
The joking is gone, and I see in his eyes a vulnerability I don’t really understand, even though I think I feel it too. My heart thumps, and when Chris lets go of my hand, tilting his head as if unsure of my answer, I shrug.
He bites back his smile. “I should probably warn you,” he says, passing me my chopstick. “I’m going to do super-romantic shit all the time. I’ll even sing to you every night.” - Pg. 160
*Sigh* Love him.
The secondary characters, I love them as much as I love Caroline and Chris. Simone, Caroline’s best friend is my favorite and I just love how she is supportive of Caroline but she also calls her out on her mistakes when she’s wrong. That’s exactly what a best friend should do. Natalie, while I found her to be a bit of a bitch, she said what Caroline needed to hear even though she wasn’t ready for it. But when it came down to it, she was a sister when Caroline needed her and I loved how their relationship slowly repaired.
Overall, I loved this book. I think that the authors did such a great job that I’m curious how they managed to create such a seamlessly, cohesive book. I can’t tell where one author ended and the other began. While the book is really sad and I even shed a few tears, I have to admit that I love the message of it. I loved how everything came together at the end and it rings true in real life. People go down the road of life and they might take a different turn or make a wrong detour but it doesn’t matter. Because in the end, you’ll end up where you needed to.
*Note: Quotes were taken from an uncorrected copy and should not be compared to the finished copy.*