Published by Simon Pulse on 08/27/2013
Genres: Paranormal, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
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...
~ I can’t seem to get enough of these parallel life books! I don’t know why I find it so fascinating, but I love that a simple choice, like whether or not to go to a party can have a profound effect on your life.
~ This book was a bit different than that though, because although the mc’s life does change based on her decisions, both paths bring her to where she needs to be. I kind of loved that.
~ I haven’t read any other books by Cat Patrick… yet, but I’m a fan of Suzanne Young’s book The Program.
~ And in case you’re keeping track, this is another awesome ARC that I failed to obtain at BEA. I got a lot of great books, but unless I’d had a Parallel Kate or two roaming the floor, there was just no way to get all the books I desperately wanted.
~ Caroline lives with her grandmother because she couldn’t handle her parent’s messy divorce. I liked this because of a lot of kids don’t live with their parents, but it’s rarely seen in YA unless the parents are dead. Although the book starts off with her grandmother in the hospital, you get the sense that she and Caroline had a special relationship. I wish we could have seen more of it.
~ Once Gram moves to the hospice, the writing is on the wall. Hospice is a bit like a Roach Motel, the sick check in, but they don’t check out. Okay, not really. I fully support any and all hospices, since I work closely with several and they were a huge help to my mom when my dad was dying. But still, ya’ll, Roach Motel.
~ Caroline has two older siblings, Teddy, who is a doll, and Natalie, who’s a bit of a wench. She has a little sister, Judith, who’s 2, and whom I’m assuming is her half sibling from her mom’s remarriage, although this is never made clear (at least in the ARC). It’s a safe bet since her parents have been divorced over 5 years and her mom has an Albert, who, again, I’m assuming is husband #2?
~ The authors liken waiting for a loved one’s death to being told that a tornado is coming. You can prepare and brace yourself all you want, but you still don’t know exactly when it will hit or how much damage it will do. Only they put it better than I just did. It rang true to me, because even when you know death is a welcome release for someone in pain, it still hurts more than you think it will.
~ After chapter 2 the following chapters are labeled Stay (for if Caroline had stayed at her Gram’s bedside) and Go (for if Caroline had gone to the party). I loved the simple labeling, and the fact that I never had to guess which reality I was in.
~ There’s a lot of character growth going on in both realities- which is good, because Caroline needed it, as did other characters- Natalie, I’m looking at you. I’m a huge fan of characters actually having some kind character arc. Caroline is far from perfect, but she’s a very real young woman. Even in her selfish moments I could find her relatable.
~ Although there are two boys in the book, I don’t think there’s much of a contest. Boy A is Joel, although technically we meet Boy B, Chris, first. So does that make him Boy A? Confusing, maybe, but I liked Chris from the very beginning.
~ Love, lust, crushes, whatever you want to call it, makes sane, smart people stupid with craziness.
~ Caroline’s parents aren’t perfect, but they aren’t horrible either. I really loved how cute her dad and step-mom were together, and it was nice to see a more realistic portrayal of an extended family.
~ I want to go on a date with Chris- hot cocoa and pumpkin pie? He’s my kind of guy!
~ There were a few things that bothered me in the book- and please remember that it was an arc, so perhaps they will be explained in the finished copy: Albert. Who is he? I can only assume that he is Caroline’s step-father and father to Judith, but again, that is never stated. Also, why does Simone call Caroline “Linus”? I understand that it’s a Charlie Brown reference, but again, never explained. At least not that I read. Of course, I did read this book fast and furiously (it’s that kind of book) so maybe I missed it? Rather small complaints, really. Certainly not enough to ruin the book, but my curiosity is left wanting.
~ And the authors really need to find someone to record the full version of Magnets for Fate, because that song sounds awesome!
~ I liked the ending. It’s a bit ambiguous, but I found it clever. I really hope these two authors collaborate again!
Caroline- our main character, reeling from her beloved Gram’s death.
Joel- the boy she’s longed for most of her life.
Chris- he’s mine. Don’t concern yourself with him.
Simone- Caroline’s bff. Flirty, but a good friend when she’s not going through boys like Kleenex.
Lauren- Joel’s girlfriend when the book begins. Most of what we know of her is from what other characters say, so I’m not sure how she really is.
Natalie- Caroline’s older, neurotic sister.
Teddy- Caroline’s awesome older brother!
Gram- Caroline’s ailing grandmother. Gives good advice that all young people should listen to.
Judith- C’s little sister. She’s just there to be cute in a few scenes.
Phillip- Teddy’s bff and roommate. Totally thought his storyline was going a certain way, but I was wrong. Very wrong.
Maria- Chris’ friend who’s just a mite too needy in my opinion.
Aaron- a very stereo-typical varsity jock.
Tricia- a.k.a. Miss Severity.
There were several moments- one in a WTF kind of moment is what Joel says immediately after kissing Caroline. I’m positive you would all agree with me if I told you what happens, and that you’d be just as “WTF?!” as me.
Chris and Caroline’s date in the park. I loved their witty banter, it was just the cutest thing. Ever. Well, other than that Too Cute show on Animal Planet- because what’s cuter than baby puppies and kitties? But this is pretty close.
Stop The Clock:
Definitely worth reading. I know the whole parallel life/world trend in YA, this one does stand out. It’s not just a Sliding Doors for the YA set.
Just Like Fate gets a Midnight Book Rating of: