Hi bookworms! I took a short hiatus from blogging as I was traveling and preparing for the fall semester, but I’m back! I will hopefully keep posting at least once a week, if my workload is not too crazy.
This month I read Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer, a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while due to the premise alone. When I saw it on my library’s shelves, I grabbed it immediately despite my growing physical TBR pile. I am a huge fan of the enemies to lovers trope, so I was eager to read this book.
Release Date: November 2020
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance, magical realism
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Chronic overachiever Prudence Barnett is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her. Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to mean gossips, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner. Quint is annoyingly cute and impressively noble, especially when it comes to his work with the rescue center for local sea animals. When Pru resigns herself to working at the rescue center for extra credit, she begins to uncover truths about baby otters, environmental upheaval, and romantic crossed signals—not necessarily in that order. Her newfound karmic insights reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed, love and hate . . . and fate.
☆ My Rating: 3/5 stars ☆
I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate it either. There were a few times where I had a smile on my face and freaked out over the romantic moments, but it wasn’t enough to make me rave about the book. I’m glad I read it, but I definitely would not reread it, as there are plenty of other books I could look to if I’m looking for some good fluff.
If you’re going into this book expecting some amazing magical realism, you’ll probably be disappointed. Pru’s magic serves to change her path and mindset about certain things, but it is definitely not the main focus of the book as I initially thought based on the synopsis. I actually forgot she had the ability for a good part of the book. I think this is purposeful, as Pru learns to rely on herself and trust others rather than the universe, but since the power is so built up in the synopsis, I was somewhat disappointed.
I was not a huge fan of Pru when I started the book. I know that the story is supposed to highlight Pru’s character development, as she goes from someone who is uncaring and honestly a bit selfish to someone who is not those things. But her behavior in some parts made me cringe, or even angry at her. It made me want to stop reading, but I kept pushing through so I could finish it and give a full review.
I know that protagonists can’t always be likable, but I believe they should have some redeeming qualities that you can relate to or some reason to keep rooting for them. Pru was so unreasonable with resubmitting their project and her hatred for Quint, I just couldn’t find a reason to root for her.
Likewise, the other characters except for Quint are very one-dimensional and it was difficult to care about them. The book is very much focused on Pru’s character development and her relationship with Quint. I did like Quint a lot as a character, but I felt like his backstory and personal problems were dismissed by Pru unless they directly affected her.
The romance had it’s cute moments, but because I disliked Pru so much, it was difficult to root for them as a couple as well. Quint was written as a really great guy who Pru hates just because he would be late for class and didn’t do his work. Pru on the other hand was incredibly self absorbed and condescending, and I find it hard to believe that Quint could fall for her with those qualities.
Also, this may be just nitpicky of me, but there were quite a few elements in the books that were just unrealistic. For example, Pru claims she had no idea who Ed Sheeran was until one of her sisters told her because she doesn’t keep up with trends or listen to the radio. Yet she’s active on social media, indicating that she does not in fact live under a rock. I don’t think someone who is active on social media would be completely out of the loop when it comes to popular music and artists. It was just something that bothered me, as it seems that Pru’s character is entirely based on the stereotype of the goody two shoes, rather than rooted in reality.
I’m still glad I finally got to cross Instant Karma off of my TBR list. I am not sure if I would recommend it to anyone, maybe if you’re looking for a simple YA romance that you could get through quickly, this book would work for you.
Have you read Instant Karma or any other Marissa Meyer books? Let me know what you thought of them, because I haven’t read any of her other books so now I’m curious if they’re worth the hype since Instant Karma was disappointing.
Thank you for reading! ❤
All the love,