Caroline has been at Gram’s bedside since her stroke–just like the rest of her family. The only problem is that Caroline’s closest family is Gram. She barely knows her mother and she can’t speak to her older sister without it turning into a fight.
Caroline wants to be there for Gram the way Gram has always been there for her. But she also wants desperately to get away for a little while. Just one night.
When her best friend invites Caroline to a party she has to decide if she should stay with Gram or go to the party.
Both paths will lead Caroline down different roads with very different results. One might bring closure and one might bring something unexpected. But only one is the right choice in Just Like Fate (2013) by Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick.
Just Like Fate is part of a spate of recent books featuring alternate universes and parallel lives. Unfortunately unlike other books this one doesn’t have any science basis (or even a magical one) for Caroline’s living two lives. It’s not an ability or an artifact. It seems to just be a thing that happens.
While the story is still interesting, alternating between “Stay” and “Go” chapters, it was never quite as compelling as my current favorite alternate universe book Pivot Point.
Although we meet them at a low point it was nice that Caroline had a non-traditional family in Just Like Fate as well as supportive friends. There are two endearing male leads. And Caroline is an approachable heroine even if you might not agree with all of her choices.
The main problem with this book for me personally (and possibly for other readers) is that Caroline’s grandmother is dying in the wake of cancer and a stroke. My aunt died suddenly from a stroke this fall. I thought enough time had passed to be able to read this book. Then I started to hyperventilate and tear up when the aftermath of the grandmother’s stroke was described.
While I’m sure Just Like Fate is delightful for other readers and will appeal to anyone who likes the idea of living two different choices, my personal experiences made this book a very difficult read.
Possible Pairings: If I Stay by Gayle Forman, Two Summers by Aimee Friedman, Parallel by Lauren Miller, Fair Coin by E. C. Myers, The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood, The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski, Pivot Point by Kasie West
*This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA 2013*