“There are exactly sixteen minutes left in math class when there’s a faint double knock on the classroom door, and we all perk up. Through the window I can see the office assistant with the frizzy hair standing timidly, like she’s afraid of even herself.”
With a knock on the door of her classroom Caroline Cabot’s life turns upside down. Her grandmother, her rock, the woman she has lived with for years and loved all her life, is in hospital. Caroline keeps vigil at her bedside when she can, only leaving to go to school when her mother forces her too. Then the weekend comes and Simone tried to persuade her to go out, live a little like her Grandma would have wanted. Caroline has a choice and the decision will split her life in two.
In the 90s there was a film starring Gyneth Paltrow where she misses an underground train by a second, but she also manages to get on it. Her life splits into two just from that one moment and each way gives her a different outcome. Just Like Fate was just like that, the chapters were split into ‘Stay’ and ‘Go’ depending on which decision Caroline made and I loved it. It was such a brilliant way of doing it and I loved the differences in the characters depending on the different outcome.
The book was written by two authors and I am not sure how it was split up. I’d like to think one author did the ‘stay’ chapters whilst the other did the ‘go’ but I may be wrong. I thought I could tell a difference in the writing and the characters as I though Caroline was a bit more of a bitch in the ‘go’ chapters, at least early on! However it was obvious there was a lot of collaboration as to what was going on in the overall story and I loved the stuff with the two boys Caroline ends up with, especially because its not a triangle because they happen in the different outcomes, kinda.
The story is hard to talk about because there are actually two. I preferred the story of ‘stay’ at the beginning but I thought the Caroline in ‘go’ was better developed and grew more throughout the book. I’m glad that some of the things that happen, like with Natalie, do so in both parts of the story but in different ways and I liked that Simone was there for Caroline pretty much all the way through both stories, even if there are a couple of hiccoughs. The romance was brilliant and obviously I loved Chris way more than Joel, as Joel was a massive ass, but I think it shaped the Caroline in ‘stay’ a lot more having Joel around as she took her Grandmother’s words more seriously.
The whole book really was brilliant and I really did enjoy seeing how the two scenarios played out. The whole idea of ‘what if’ gets to me a lot and I’m a bit of a believer in fate so I really enjoy seeing this kind of thing play out. Well done to the brilliant Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young for pulling this off!
Just Like Fate was published on February 27th by Electric Monkey. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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