Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading … Just Like Fate

Monday, August 19, 2013

Just Finished Reading … Just Like Fate

Just Like Fate
by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
To be published by Simon Pulse
on August 27, 2013

Source: e-ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss


Summary from Goodreads: 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...
Buzzwords: parallel universes, Sliding Doors, family relationships


My take:  I've read at least four other parallel universe books over the past year (Parallel by Lauren Miller, Pivot Point by Kasie West, Through To You by Emily Hainsworth, and The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna) and I'm finding that I do enjoy them.

Just Like Fate is probably the most straightforward of the the group. While Pivot Point and Through To You offer up paranormal explanations for the universe-splitting, and Parallel incorporates a lot of scientific explanations, Just Like Fate is in the Sliding Doors category -- the no-explanation category. Not being very science-minded, I have no issue with this strategy, but others may disagree.

Caroline, the main character, moved in with her grandmother after her parents' divorce. After her grandmother suffers a stroke and is recovering in the hospital, Caroline's best friend Simone tries to convince her to come out to a party. Caroline and her older sister are like oil and water and they quarrel. That's when the universe splits: in one version, Caroline stays at the hospital and in the other she goes to the party.

If you've seen Sliding Doors, it follows a similar pattern: in one universe the main character catches a train, and in the other she misses it. But Sliding Doors manages to make the two universes drastically different, and Just Like Fate doesn't. At times, I'd forget which universe I was reading. In both universes, Caroline doesn't get along with her family. There are two guys, and they're both in each universe, complicating things even more.

What did I like about Just Like Fate? Three of the main characters. At first I thought Simone was going to be the generic YA Wild Child BFF, but she and Caroline had a wonderful (and hilarious) relationship that completely delighted me. I also really liked one of the guys and intensely disliked the other. Not telling you which!

Then I came to the ending.  So there are two parallel universes going, and I'm wondering: is resolved, and if so, how? Just Like Fate took a fairly evasive tack, but I was okay with that. There was resolution, and that's all I ask!  I'd definitely recommend Just Like Fate to those who are intrigued by the whole parallel universe concept but don't want to be overwhelmed with the why and the how.

Speaking of science, can you name the song behind this 1982 music video?

27 comments:

  1. See I wanted a bit more of an explanation-why is this girl undergoing this? Why is that the pivotal moment in her life? I also had trouble keeping track of "Go" or "Stay" so thank goodness it was on the bottom of the page!

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    1. I was reading on a kindle, so the "stay" and "go" were at the beginning of the chapter, but not on every page. That would have been useful!

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  2. Interesting. I think I might want an explanation, but I like that the story has some sort of resolution. & wow, there seems to be a bunch of parallel universe type books coming out. I am interested in them so I don't mind too much. :p

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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  3. I didn't have any issues with the less-scientific approach either. It almost felt like just a 'what-if' type situation for me. I can probably guess which guy you liked and which you didn't. And even though the ending is someone vague, I thought it was perfect. Glad you liked this!

    I should probably see Sliding Doors, huh? :)

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    1. I re-watched Sliding Doors and it wasn't as good as I remembered….

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  4. Oh girl, you know I can: She Blinded me with SCIENCE :) Thomas Dolby. 80's music FTW:))

    Gah. I just cannot get into these parallel universe books. Now I did LOVE The Theory of Everything--but that book wasn't like the others, imo. No splitting up one person's life into 2 different ones whereby each decision affects the other conversely or whatever. That was a parallel universe with talking panda's and lots of rock stars (in other words, VERY COOL. :)

    I'll bypass this one because I just think this trend is not for me. But I enjoyed your review as always:)

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  5. I really really loved Pivot Point, but I'm not sure this one is for me.

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    1. It's definitely different than Pivot Point, but I liked both.

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  6. I also loooved this book and just like you I loved the ending!! However, I think that some might have a problem with this particular way they ended this story. I was totally ok with it.
    I am totally with you, love this new parallel universe trend so much!

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    1. It was MUCH better than the ending of Sliding Doors!!

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  7. I've read a few books like this and I like the idea of it as well! I'll have to get a copy once this comes out even though some of the novel is confusing (why are both guys in both realities?!) Nonetheless, nice review!

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    1. Well, the guys are not in the two realities in exactly the same way. I didn't mind that, because it would seem much more predictable and triangle-y to me to have a different guy in each reality.

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  8. Wow. Twins today. I posted a review about this one today as well...and talked about Pivot Point, Parallel and Sliding Doors. Great minds! The author definitely seems to have seen SD one too many times. I was completely fine with the ending and liked the use of the interview to kind of wrap it all up. I did feel like the book was a bit too simplistic though. PP and Parallel were way more interesting imo. I haven't read Through to You or The Theory of Everything yet. I'll have to keep my eyes out for those two. Great review!

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    1. I saw your review on Goodreads and laughed :)

      Theory of Everything is a little different, and though Heather (above) loved it, it wasn't really for me. Both that and Through to You aren't universe splitting -- more like an alternate universe or another dimension. I think I saw a term for this somewhere, but now I can't remember it. I'm not really a science or scifi person…..

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  9. Is this a series Jen?

    I go back and forth with "parallel universe" type books (same with time travel). Some work for me and some feel manipulative.

    I like that the friendship seems to be developed. That's often overlooked in YA

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    1. Pretty sure this is a standalone. There is definitely resolution.

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  10. Books with parallel universe are something that I've just started to discover. While I like when things are being explained sometimes I don't mind if there is mystery around the story. Great review :)

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  11. Parallel universes seems to be an overused genre of the late. I enjoyed Pivot Point and Parallel but this one seems awfully iffy.

    Fab review, Jen! <33

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  12. I love parallel universes and pondering how one change can create two different outcomes. I loved Sliding Doors so I don't need a paranormal explanation but it does make me curious as to how it will end. I remember wondering it during Sliding Doors too. I kind of liked how both lives met up and then it just ended. Sort of showed that eventually you will get where you are supposed to be.

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  13. Science! :P And this is one of those that I want to read. :) I'm loving all of the parallel worlds/timelines books out there right now, but I'm afraid of trends in YA because we tend to get inundated with them. Luckily, I'm not burnt out on this one yet. :D

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  14. I'll be reading it, but I'm glad you reviewed it so that i knew what to expect. I like some explanation, but not so much that it distracts from the story. Love the song choice! =D

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  15. I'm loving dimensional books as well. I read 3:59 which is another dimensional book as well. I totally on board for reading this. Loved the review.

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  16. For some reason, I've avoided parallel universe books like it is my job. I don't really like them. Maybe it all started when I read the end of JULIET IMMORTAL. I just did not get that ending, it felt like a copout. BUt I probably shouldn't judge all these books by that. Okay, I'll admit that it might have something to do with the two guys we have to shuffle between. Anyway, I'm nervous about a book where I can't tell the difference between the two worlds, though maybe that could be a real thing if you kept being shuffled between them? Anyway, I still haven't decided whether I should read this one or not. I've heard positive reviews, but not any RAVING YOU MUST READ THIS reviews. Thoughts? Also, Is this the best of all of those parallel books you've read.

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  17. I'm loving all of the parallel universe/time books this year, and going to have to add this one to my list-it sounds pretty sounds amazing. They're just so interesting with the alternate possibilities, and the main character having to choose one. Thanks for sharing. (:

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  18. It's GREAT that you loved the characters!! Also, I have never tried parallel universe books, but they scare me! lol! Glad you enjoyed it! Great review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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