Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young

Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Simon Pulse | Hardcover, 304 pages
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Oh how my life would be so much different if I were given a the chance to preview the end result of a decision I must make at a given time!

Just Like Fate is not so much a story about a girl who’s been given the chance to re-do one night but more like readers are given two perspectives on how each of her choices turned out. We see where each roads will take her and what’s waiting for her at the end of those roads.

It wasn’t anything to do with some freak thing that happened a la Groundhog Day or anything. This is more like the authors telling Caroline’s story in two tangents; sort of what would happen if she chose one path over the other. On a night when her grandmother was practically on her deathbed, she had to choose between staying beside her or to go to a party with her friends.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. This should be a no-brainer. Unless Caroline is a selfish, spoiled girl who only cared about herself that she would choose to go to a party. Honestly, I’m thinking the same thing. I don’t care how difficult life has been for you but if you claim to feel so much love for your grandma, you better damn well stay right beside her bed until she expels her last breath. But if there was only one choice then there wouldn’t be a book.

So the authors created two stories of what if scenarios.

If she goes, she meets the most incredible guy in the entire universe.

If she stays she has the chance to say goodbye to her grandmother.

If she goes, she’ll resent her best friend for coercing her to going.

If she stays, Joel, her long-time crush will finally pay her some attention. 

If she goes, her grandmother will perish into the night without a word, goodbye – thus earning some underlying resentment from her family.

If she stays, she’ll miss the chance to bridge a broken relationship between her and her estranged father.

What I like about this story was even though there were two paths, they ended up parallel to each other somehow. If Caroline got injured in one, she’ll also suffer the same fate only in different circumstances. We’re also given two different Carolines: the one that stayed was a little bit braver despite being completely devastated. The one who went somehow lost some of her courage, defeated by guilt. She gave up way too easily and had become easily fooled.

Over all, I do like the concept. Some readers will find a certain lack of cohesiveness to the story but you’d be missing the point if that’s what you’re worried about. You should just enjoy its simplicity.