Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Published by Simon Pulse
4 out of 5 stars
Format: ARC/Egally (available 27th August 2013)
When authors collaborate it will be either brilliant or terrible there is no middle ground, I’m not sure why, perhaps two creative minds can’t meld or perhaps they compromise their own ideas too much in favor of the others. Who knows?! But I’m a big Cat Patrick fan, and despite not having heard of Young, I figured I’d give it a go.
Just Like Fate is the story of what ifs – now don’t get confuddled and think that its a paranormal, its not. Its just a story about a split second decision changing things – and you get to see the story unfold as a result of that decision. The lead is Caroline, who at 17 is about to lose her grandmother, nothing unusual there, but Caroline is extremely close to her Grandma, having lived with her since her parents divorce. Having spent days at her grandmothers side, fighting with her mother and sister, Caroline’s best friend, Simone asks her to come to a party – for a few hours, its here that the story breaks into two sections ‘stay’ and ‘go’ and its the knock on affect that decision causes that we follow in the book. Caroline’s grandmother dies that night, and in one world she’s by her side, and gets to say her goodbyes, in another she’s out at a party and misses it.
Just Like Fate is a real gut wrencher. Having had a close relationship with my grandfather I really felt Caroline’s distress, in both worlds. The characters surrounding Caroline, and Caroline herself, are particularly well written, there are flaws in all of them, and I loved the fact that as a family they were not perfect, and there were cracks through out. Caroline was particularly damaged, and the reader senses that a lot of damage was there before her grandmothers death, that its hanging over from the divorce and that the story is as much about trying to get over that, as it is getting past her grandmothers death.
There are no great revelations, no science about multiple universes, no real answers (and annoyingly no way of knowing what the RIGHT decision would of been), the point is that these decisions come into our lives and may change our paths, but it makes you wonder if that path actually changes anything….. Its hard to explain without giving everything away, but it pretty deep for YA.
I can read Patrick all over the book, how much input young had in the writing style I don’t know – having not read any of her books before, but any Patrick fan won’t be disappointed. Don’t expect a satisfying ending, or a light read, its not heavy but it does make you think, and its pretty heart breaking in places. I worry that it won’t stand out from other YA contemporary, or even from Patrick’s previous works, its not an outstanding read, its a good read, and a highly recommended read, but not outstanding.
ARC/Egally provided by Edelweiss and the Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.