ARC REVIEW #151: Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young

Title: Just Like Fate
Author: Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Pages: 304, Hardcover
Source: ARC obtained at BEA

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...

Fair or not, it's kind of impossible not to draw a comparison between Just Like Fate and Kasie West's Pivot Point, which was released earlier this year and has a similar concept. And I'm gonna say it and get it out of the way - Pivot Point is the better of the two - but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy Just Like Fate. I did. I actually really like the idea of comparing two futures based on a single choice. It makes for an exciting read. 

Caroline's life takes two very different paths based on her decision to stay by her grandmother's side or leave and go to a party with her friend. If she stays, she makes amends with her family, but makes a mistake on boy. If she goes, she pulls away from her family, but she reconnects with her father and she meets Chris. Both futures had their ups and downs, and both were interesting to follow. But I clearly had a favorite. 

I've realized that the surefire way to my heart is to have a character like Chris:
"'Hello?' I ask.
'Sweet Caroline. Bah da da. Good times never seem so good-'
I hang up and cover my mouth as I laugh. I told him not to sing that damn song. He must have continued his chorus for a while because my phone doesn't ring again for a few minutes.
'I thought we had a deal,' I say the minute I answer.
'I said I would try. I have amazing willpower, but tonight, I just couldn't resist.'
'You're a terrible singer,' I say. I stop in front of my dresser mirror, sliding my hair behind my ear; there's already a blush high on my cheeks.
'Since karaoke's out,' Chris says, 'where would you like to go on our date?'
'I don't remember agreeing to a date.'
'You don't remember asking me out?' He pretends to be surprised. 'You seemed pretty insistent, and I interpreted that to mean that you're completely and hopelessly in love with me. Did I read too much into it?'
'In fact, I thought we both decided this was fate. And believe me, Caroline. You don't want to tempt fate.' He sighs. 'I think we have no choice but to see this thing through. It will be difficult, but I think we'll preservere in the face of-'
'Oh my God. If I say yes, will you shut up?'
Isn't he the cutest? He was my favorite part of the story and I enjoyed every moment he and Caroline were together. 

Another thing I really liked about this book was seeing Caroline's two futures bring her to a similar place, meaning that one choice is not going to drastically alter our path. We still end up sort of where we where meant to be. I find solace in this and I liked how it was executed in this book. 

But I had a few qualms. The first thing I noticed was that the choice itself was rather weak. From the sounds of it, Caroline was extremely close to her grandmother, as am I. If my grandmother had a stroke and was "sick, maybe dying" there is no way in hell I would leave her side, let alone to go to a stupid party. And she left almost immediately. She was not in the hospital for long. It felt almost forced.

In fact, there was a bit of a dramatic/exaggerated feel to the story with the events that happened/decisions that were made. And I think this was closely connected to Caroline herself. I can't say I understood her well, or her choices. Actually, beside Chris, the characters were just 'meh'. 

It wasn't the strongest of books, but Just Like Fate was still pretty enjoyable. If you are interested in a story about choices and fate, with chapters alternating between futures, then I imagine you'd like this one too.



  1. Great review! I just read Pivot Point and I really liked the parallel storylines. Pity this one's not as good, I guess I should wait to read it until I can't remember Pivot Point anymore;)

    Eveline's Books

    1. haha yeah Pivot Point was AMAZING so maybe it's not fair to compare the two. If you really like parallel storylines than I'd suggest you still read this because it is still pretty entertaining.

  2. I really enjoyed Pivot Point, and Kasie West is so phenomenal, that it's probably going to be almost impossible for a book with the same basic premise to be as good. I do like parallel storylines (and the idea that one choice leads you down different paths, although it sounds like this one has the MC ending up in sort of the same place--hence the fate aspect, I guess). I think I read another review of this where the person didn't like the fact that the choice was staying with the sick, dying grandmother versus leaving to go to a party. Definitely not a way to have you like the character when she makes the choice to leave. I wonder why the authors had that be the choice? Great review! ~Pam

    1. EXACTLY. I would argue that the choice in and of itself was the weakest part of the story. It happens within the first couple of pages and it's true that I didn't like Caroline at first because of her decision to leave (in that scenario). She actually didn't redeem herself a whole lot but the story did pick up after that. This story is most definitely flawed but it did keep my attention.

  3. Interesting review Nicole, other reviews I've read have been a lot more gushy but I see why you felt let down a bit. I read and loved Pivot Point too so I'm sure I will end up comparing them as well. I do like the whole concept of parallel plots so it's already on the wishlist :)

    1. Yeah I don't feel like I had as positive an experience as some others but I also liked it more than some of my other blogger friends so I don't think I'm being too critical. Again, it all depends on your triggers. I loved the parallel plots but there were many things in the story itself that reduced it to just an average read. 3 stars still means I liked it though!

  4. I'm thinking I'm going to read this just for Chris. lol I'm sad this wasn't as strong as Pivot Point (then again what is?). It is a little weird that she would just leave her dying grandmother's side for a party, okay maybe super weird. I won't be rushing out to get this but I will be adding it to my TBR pile.

    1. Chris was awesome!! Why can't I find a boy like this :) Again with the choice, very poorly handled by the authors but the story was likable otherwise so I do think you should read this at some point! Others who weren't as bothered by the little things that I was gave it 4+ stars!

  5. Ugh this book. I still can't get over the stupid "choice" that set the whole plot into motion. So weak. It *definitely* felt forced to me. -.- Have you read Parallel yet btw? It's in the same line with this and Pivot Point and I really enjoyed it.

    1. No but thanks for the tip I will definitely add it to my TBR. And the choice kind of set the tone for the book. That and her tendency to run away from things. It was hard to completely come back from that.

  6. Hmmm, leaving your sick maybe dying grandmother like THAT for a party sounds like a lame reason. I like the sound of Chris, but I don't think that's enough to enjoy this book..

    1. Chris and the parallel plots were the real draw for me. So despite my qualms I still liked it.

  7. Oh, Chris WAS the cutest!! I absolutely loved him.
    I can agree with that. I think I kind of took it for face value -- a way to split the plot -- and didn't really think that far into it, but I can totally see why so many readers were like, "WHAT. Leaving for a party!?"
    I liked Pivot Point more because of the paranormal aspect. It just made it interesting to see that twist with multiple characters and that it was Addie's ability versus the reader being the only one to know the two outcomes with Just Like Fate.

    1. anything having to do with grandmothers in a book is a red flag for me because my grandmother is the second most important person in my life. So I admit I may feel more strongly about it than some hah. It started the book off on a bad note for me. And yeah the paranormal theme in Pivot Point did make that book even better. But Kasie West is also a writing genius.


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