Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Something Like Fate

Author: Susane Colasanti

Published: May, 2010

Number of Pages: 288

Rating: 2/5

Quote:

I’m all frustrated about what happened in swimming yesterday. Why don’t I just admit that I’m never going to learn how to swim? Forget diving and all that fancy stuff. Never going to happen. I’m obviously destined to drown in some freak boating accident.

I should just accept my fate and call it a life.

Synopsis:

Lani and Erin are bonded for life. One thing that connects them is their fascination of fate. Lani wonders how much of our lives has already been decided and how much we can actually influence. Since the Unknown can unexpectedly change our lives forever, how much can we really control?

From the minute Lani meets Jason, she can’t deny the intense connection they share. It feels like she’s known him forever. She’s not sure if he feels it, too. But it doesn’t matter. Because Jason is Erin’s boyfriend. Lani is determined to ignore her feelings for Jason, no matter how powerful they are, rather than risk hurting her best friend.

How long can Lani keep running from the boy who might be her destiny? [From Goodreads]

Review:

Yes, you did read correctly. I gave this book a 2/5. Why? Well, for many reasons. And because I’m in the mood for an easy review, I’m going to use bullet points and address my issues with the book that way.

  • The teen-speak was overpowering. I mean, even I say “like” more than I should, but I don’t say it in my head. It’s something I lapse into when I’m speaking. Goodness. There were conversations that looked somewhat like this: “I was like …. and then he goes …. I was like ….” No kidding. It drove me insane. Writing for young adults does not mean you have to pound more “likes” into their heads. We should try to shed that habit. When I read, I’m looking for proper English. In dialogue, it’s natural to use slang and like things, but otherwise, I expect decent word choice. Overall, a simple “said” allows the entire passage to flow better.
  • Lani could be very shallow. I don’t enjoy it when characters blow things out of proportion, are immature, or seem to never look to their parents for answers. I understand that this is something teenagers do a lot. Me, too. However, there are certain things that, quite evidently, don’t matter that much, and some of the “crazy issues” in this book seemed to fall under that category. In the long-run, I didn’t find much in Lani to admire. She also didn’t seem too interesting to me. She was well-developed, but even then, there wasn’t much depth.
  • I don’t agree with the whole “slave to your emotions” thing. Sure, you can’t eliminate them. It’s difficult to pretend they’re not there, but you don’t have to act on them. If you’re so worried about the fact that you maybe-sorta-like your best friend’s boyfriend, then don’t do anything. Let it play out as it will, but goodness gracious, don’t flirt with him and then pretend you feel guilty about it (and, by the way, if you really had no choice, you wouldn’t have felt guilty). In addition, I felt like one of the major problems in the book could have been easily avoided. Why did Jason pursue the relationship when, right from the beginning, he liked Lani more? What’s respectable about that? I understand that it was “scandalous” to dump Erin and then date her best friend, but it’s better than flirting with the best friend and spending more time with her than your girlfriend while she thinks you’re still interested. I see an ethics issue, here, folks.

I could go on, but most of what really irritated me has been covered. So much of the problems didn’t matter in the long-run, not to mention the fact that, in all probability, Jason probably isn’t fated to be with Lani. It’s unlikely that they’ll get married and live happily ever after. You don’t often run into your true, eternal love in High School. Sure, it happens, but it bothers me when so many books portray the love interest as someone’s soul mate.

Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say that’s positive about the book. I was entertained, but I’m not totally sure that had nothing to do with the fact that I was sitting in an airport or airplane for most of the time I was reading it. It’s a very quick read, probably due to the fact that it’s simple overall.

In the end, I think Something Like Fate was sorely lacking in the plot and character areas. There were some funny lines, and there were some sweet ones, but a bit of sugar and a bit of salt can’t make something yucky taste good.

I don’t mean to sound as harsh as I do. I promise! Honesty can be a killer at times, and this book has been eaten alive.

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