I’m a really slow reader and it’s very rare when I read a book in one night, even a short one. Well, last night I read a 300-page book all at once! I just couldn’t put it down. The book is Just Like Fate, written by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young, and it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a really long time. What first drew me to the novel was its tagline, “One decision, two paths.” The book begins with Caroline learning that her beloved grandmother’s cancer has taken a turn for the worse and that she doesn’t have much time left. The entire family gathers around Gram in hospice care while Caroline thinks about how much Gram has meant to her over the past five years. Caroline moved in with Gram when she was 12 and her parents were going through a nasty divorce. She has lived with Gram ever since, causing a rift in her relationships with her mother, father, and her older sister. Not only is Caroline losing the one person in her family who truly understands her, but her mother seems like a stranger now and her sister is filled with animosity toward her. Caroline feels like she can’t take the sadness and pressure anymore. Her best friend Simone tries to convince her to go to a party to take her mind off things for a while. Caroline is conflicted because she feels like she needs to get away, but at the same time she feels like she needs to stay with her grandmother. The second chapter ends with Caroline starting to give Simone her answer. Then the book diverges and every other chapter is titled “Stay” or “Go” as Caroline travels down the two different roads.
I don’t want to say any more about Just Like Fate because I loved following the two stories as they unfolded, not knowing where Caroline’s decisions would lead her next. I can’t wait for other people to read it, though, because it is so thought-provoking and I want to be able to discuss it. This reminds me of one of my favorite novels, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, which is about a girl who lives her last day over and over. Both books talk a lot about fate and relationships and they gave me a lot to think about. The other intriguing thing about Just Like Fate is that it was written by two people. I had to keep reminding myself of this while I was reading because the authors’ voices blended together seamlessly. I really want Lily and Courtney to read it since they’re doing a writing project together. I can’t wait to read interviews with the authors to get more insight into their writing and I’m really looking forward to their next project.