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?|