Something Like Fate

What if your soul mate is ... your best friend's boyfriend?

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.

What if the boy who is your destiny is the one person you can't have?

Something Like Fate, by Robert McGill

Ordering

Blurbs

Colasanti has her finger on the pulse of teenage dialogue and emotions.

As a realistic portrayal of first love and BFF betrayal, this hits the mark.

Intelligent, fast-paced...will resonate with readers.

An honest portrayal of romantic turmoil and backstabbing.

Reviews
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Colasanti has her finger on the pulse of teenage dialogue and emotions.

As a realistic portrayal of first love and BFF betrayal, this hits the mark.

Lani, a reserved, grounded Taurus, and Erin, an outgoing, mercurial Leo, are best friends who couldn’t be more different. Then Lani meets Jason, who has just started dating Erin. Lani and Jason have so much in common it’s like they’re joined at the soul, and they fall for each other quickly. To avoid the school rumor mill, they keep their love a secret through the summer, even after Erin goes away to camp and Jason breaks up with her. Lani gets wrapped up in her summer relationship with Jason, but not to the point where she loses herself. When Erin finds out the truth about what Lani and Jason did over the summer, she is furious with Lani, lashing out publicly, and leaving Lani fearful that her senior year will be fraught. Lani recounts both the thrill of romance and the terror of losing what little social status she has in an intelligent, fast-paced present-tense narration. Despite her suffering, she is determined to hang on to her fated relationship with Jason, which will resonate with readers attracted to bittersweet and tear-jerking romances.

Colasanti turns a tired cliché–falling for your best friend’s boyfriend–into an honest portrayal of romantic turmoil and backstabbing. Lani, 17, a well-meaning Jersey girl, is president of her school’s environmental club and a firm believer in horoscopes, fortune-telling, and fate. When Erin, her friend since childhood, begins dating Jason, Lani finds that she is attracted to him, and it turns out that they have incredible chemistry. With Erin away as a leader-in-training at summer camp, Lani and Jason start a secret romance that Lani knows is wrong, but she wonders if fate is pushing her and Jason together. When Erin finds out about Lani’s betrayal, she outs her friend as a manipulative backstabber. It’s not every day that one reads about a sympathetic boyfriend-stealer, but it’s hard not to root for Lani when she and Jason so clearly belong together. This novel will be an easy sell to reluctant readers and chick-lit enthusiasts.

Lani and Erin are older teens who share an interest in fortune-telling. Erin is less serious than Lani, who backed out of the popular crowd because she is more interested in things like environmental action than parties. Although the two girls have a deep bond that began in childhood, Lani’s true best friend is Blake, who fears his father will discover that he is gay. Erin is delighted when she starts dating Jason—one of many crushes she has shared with Lani—but when the three start hanging out together, Lani realizes that she and Jason are meant for each other. Colasanti provides credible and engaging character development for each cast member and interactions that spark just the right amount of tension to make this a romantic page-turner. A bit of steam is lost in the final pages, but a number of issues receive insightful inspection along the way: the meaning of friendship, whether fate plays a role in whom we love, intolerant parents, and coming to respect others' needs and feelings.

Lani is just your average girl, but not. Erin is Lani's soul sister; a girl who she has an unbreakable bond with. Jason is Lani's soul mate, and the boy who she is determined not to let come between them. When Erin starts dating Jason, Lani couldn't be more happy for her. After all, that's what best friends do. But from the moment Lani and Jason meet there is no denying the out of this world connection they have. He's the only one, other than Erin and her friend Blake, who really gets her on that deeper level. Too bad there's that unwritten rule girls just know from birth: never date your best friend's boyfriend. Ever. But how can you survive knowing that you've found the one you're supposed to be with, but it's impossible to be together? Can anyone resist the pull of their one true love, even if giving in means hurting your best friend?

The thing I think I love most about Susane's novels is that it feels like you're reading a letter from your best friend who you haven't seen in a while. Like it's been so long that you don't even really know them anymore, but from that first sentence it's like you never spent any time apart. Her characters really speak to you on that intimate level, where you feel like you know their life story. Lani is such an awesome girl. She's passionate, she's not afraid to go after what she wants, she's as loyal as can be, but she also makes mistakes. It was so much fun to hear her story. The other thing I love about Susane's novels is that there is somehow always a deeper meaning within the stories. When you pick up one of her books you can totally expect to learn about a girl who can learn to overcome her fears and the obstacles keeping her from what she wants; a strong girl who always learns how to get past the obstacles within herself. There's also the fact that her books always highlight the dark and the light in every story. In Something Like Fate, Susane told the story of a love that prevailed despite the obstacles. But she didn't shy away from the heavier aspect of Blake's story. This contrast just makes the story that much better. The final thing I love about Susane's books is that they always leave me thinking. Each of her characters bring something new to the table, something that makes you want to better yourself. I love the weird reflective mood I always get in when I finish one of her novels; how I can't immediately go back to everyday things until I take a while to think about what just happened. Needless to say I absolutely loved Something Like Fate and all of her books come highly recommended by me!

When Lani's best friend Erin begins dating Jason, Lani is happy for her. He's not the type of guy Erin normally goes for, but she seems to really like him. However, as Lani gets to know Jason, she begins to feel this amazing connection to him. He's unlike any guy she's ever known...but he's taken. Then Erin goes away for the summer, and Jason and Lani are free to hang out without Erin knowing, but Lani can't do that to her best friend. She and Erin are supposed to share a bond that runs deeper than any romantic relationship...right?

Something Like Fate is a bittersweet and wise book about the trickiness of relationships between friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, and teens and parents. Colasanti's protagonist, Lani, is responsible and goal oriented, but she has a passionate side, and her avid beliefs in fate and the truth in horoscopes make her a unique and memorable character. Her feelings for Jason are strong, but her loyalty to Erin is stronger, which is reflected in her conflicting feelings and ever-increasing confusion throughout the book. Though Something Like Fate isn't quite as layered as her previous novels, Colasanti keeps the plot busy with Lani and Jason's complex relationship and Lani's friend Blake's own issues with his father.

As her relationship with Erin and her other friends becomes more and more complicated and eventually sours, Lani continues to act mature and be an admirable character, despite her pain and feelings of betrayal. The book ends realistically and there is plenty of room for optimism for Lani, Jason, and Erin. Something Like Fate serves as a funny, insightful, and sometimes painful reminder that friends can and do grow apart, and that clinging to past bonds can get in the way of future relationships.

Cover Comments: I've always been a big fan of Colasanti's covers and the couples on them. This one is a little different (there's a third person!) but I do like it. I think it'll grab a lot of people's attention just because of the implications of the couple(s)...and I do like the bright colors and the fact that it is set in an ice cream shop (which is significant in the book)!

This is my first Colasanti. I'll admit it. As big of a YA fan as I am, this is my first book by her. Boy have I been living in a hole. After reading this, I want to see what else she's done!

Lani is the kind of girl that you just miss in high school. She heads the One World club, bent on recycling and saving the planet; she has a great relationship with her BFFs Erin and Blake; and she has a great senior year slowly approaching her. Lani also is dealing with a newly found obsession involving horoscopes, tarot readings, and every form of fortune telling that’s become mainstream – including the Magic 8 Ball. Her life is pretty good.

Until Erin gets a new boyfriend. At first, Lani likes Jason. But when they first meet, Erin and Blake sitting around them in the pizza place, she feels a connection, something that is undeniably there, between her and Jason. Lani begins to sit with Jason at lunch – all under Erin’s good graces, of course – and they begin to foster a friendship that goes beyond what either of them expected.

He feels and thinks many of the same thoughts as Lani. He gets Lani in a way that no other guy had before or that she imagined a guy could understand her. The moment that she knows that Jason has a connection with her that’s deeper than a mere friendship, that she can’t deny the idea any longer, is when he shares her knowledge of the color rule: the idea that each bottled water brand’s flavor is based on a shape and color. Poland Spring is a red circle. With this knowledge, Lani finds herself venturing into uncertain territory. With Erin going away to camp over the summer, it’s just her and Jason. Can she help the connection she has with a guy that is just too good to be true, or will the thought of hurting her best friend Erin be too much to bear?

A cheating novel is okay in my book. The one thing that troubles me in romance novels the most is the plots revolving around babies, so this was not a major concern of mine involving the novel. Granted, it’s towards teenagers, so I did hope Colasanti would write it in a way that wouldn’t be like “Go cheat on your best friend”. Thankfully, Colasanti managed to do that.

The plot of the novel was actually well done, much more than I thought it would be, anyway. Lani is a sympathetic protagonist. She has a great first person voice that speaks to teenagers very well. Some of it may come off in a bad way to more adult readers, but it’s genuine message is very appropriate for the audience. The biggest plus you have within the plot is that Jason breaks up with Erin a third of the way through the book, so you don’t have a full-on cheater’s festival going on. Lani’s feelings of guilt are always present in some way, making it clear that keeping with a guy she’s growing to love isn’t coming without consequences.

Colasanti's characters are done in much the same manner. I’ve already stated how well I like Lani, especially her many little quirks. I also appreciated her genuine kindness; her positivity makes for a breezy read that is a welcome break from many darker YA books. Jason is also put together well, and his role as a hero was never questionable. His feelings came off pretty well when they were revealed, and he and Lani’s relationship as a whole had the 'summer love' feeling that feels good to read about.

Erin was also done extremely well – her actions towards the end of the book, while verging on ‘Super-Bitch’ in tendency, were understandable and classic high school, and really spoke volumes for how important communication and delicacy are in friendships and love lives. Blake, Lani’s main male friend, who just so happens to be gay and my favorite character, was left to rot. Frankly, with as well as Colasanti pictured the other characters, it disappointed me that Blake was sidelined until the very end of the book. Lani has fleeting thoughts involving his summer job, but Colasanti never brought him in enough to make him feel as important as he was to Lani.

After reading this, I feel like I’ve been missing out. Colasanti handled a tough relationship with class and teenage sensibility that ultimately worked out in a really positive manner. After all of the positive things, I have to say I'll be looking out for more from her. Something Like Fate is a keeper for sure - simply for the sweetness and fun characters that inhabit its pages. Rating: Five Stars

I literally read this in two days, or nights more like. With a good book in hand, insomnia doesn't seem so bad. But then...when I'm finally tired, this was extremely hard to put down! The first night, I got to 'part 2', since the book is divided into three parts; April-May, June-August, and September-October. Part one explains what we needed to know; Lani and Erin are the best of friends. They have a friendship that defies cliques and the circles that friends are supposed to run in. Lani's the kind of girl who wants to save the planet. She's very driven and ambitious, not to mention talented and unique. Erin is everything Lani could want in a friend. She's like her sister, her support system, the person to be there when no one else is. They've been through a lot together, and in Part One, we learn in not-so-much detail yet, that Erin has in fact saved Lani's life. Literally.

I was drawn to their past. It made me question again the blurb of the story. Lani is going to fall for Erin's boyfriend...but they're such good friends, I thought, why would she do that to someone who she said, "saved her life" and she "owes her"...but then... Jason.

He was introduced when Lani noticed Erin had a certain look about her. Lani could tell it was because of a boy. For a while, Erin and Jason date, and Erin keeps Lani up-to-date on the news between them, clearly so happy that he's interested in her and how smitten she is. She arranges a double date with Lani and Blake, who is Lani's other best friend, who has his own *secret*. They're always getting mistaken for a couple, but that couldn't be farther from the truth.

Then, Lani starts to see the cracks. Her and Jason have so much in common and it's not just her that's noticing; Blake is...Jason is. But Erin is oblivious, and so Lani hides her feelings. But she believes in fate, and horoscopes and the universe's signs. Jason knows her like he's known her for so long, and it's all a little too close. She doesn't want to hurt Erin; a lot of the story is about Lani not wanting to hurt her. But no one can truly ignore it when fate is a constant reminder. Jason is everywhere Erin is, so Lani can't truly get away. I no longer blamed Lani for unintentionally hurting Erin. Not when you read about the way it seemed her and Jason were meant to be. But Erin...she wasn't so forgiving. And the story took a full whirlwind that knocked me off my feet.

Susane has written one of the best contemporary YA novels I have ever read. Not ever have I ever been so drawn to a novel that I find myself wanting to read it all the time, and read it in two straight days. It explained the truth to fighting with a friend, the pain and heartbreak of first love and the trauma of facing an old memory that is too hard to let go. I felt sorry for Lani, for Erin, for Jason, for Blake...so much was going on for every character and I loved that the way Susane wrote the book, and made me care for the characters. That hardly ever happens to the extent that you feel truly sympathetic and can feel their pain.

It's times like this when I wish I could give a book 6 stars. This is a 5 star++ read that I just can't get enough of. I can't wait to read more of Susane's novels and envelope myself in the storyworlds once more. I highly recommend this to anyone who's a sucker for a YA romance, drama and friendship. A huge must read.

For some odd reason every one of Susane Colasanti's releases match with how my life is going when I read them. Her previous release, Waiting for You, left me crying like a little baby because I could relate so much. I could relate to Something Like Fate somewhat but thankfully not completely. Susane is truly such a talented writer and her characters are so three-dimensional. I felt Erin's pain and Lani's shame and confusion. Of course I must mention how mouth watering Jason is. *drool* He's the perfect guy and I found myself giggling at his sweet moments. The way that Susane Colasanti made Lani and Jason react to each other, their connection, it was like nothing I'd ever read before. I literally had chills.

Yes, there have been a number of similar books in the YA world, but Something Like Fate stands on its own. Colasanti did not make her ending sugar coated. She showed the reality of how evil people can truly be and how they act when angry. And also how people react to pressure. I was hoping that Susane would take this deep and she didn't let me down. She is a beyond talented author that I hope is nowhere near done writing novels because I am now a devoted fan.

Videos

In this video, I discuss a bit about the plot of Something Like Fate.

Playlist

Enjoy on Spotify.

1. "Northern Sky" - Nick Drake
This song is all about finally finding the person you've been searching for. After waiting for so long, this is what it feels like to find and be found.

2. "Dice" - Finley Quaye
I first heard "Dice" on an ep of The O.C. Ryan was running in slow motion to get to Marissa on New Year's Eve. I always think about that scene when I hear this song. It's about taking a chance and making a decision to be with someone. Nothing can compare to when you roll the dice and swear your love's for me.

3. "Move On" - Jet
The Unknown can be scary. Especially when you're letting go of something you don't want to leave. We try to trust that the next choice we make will lead us down the right path. This song is how it feels to make that choice.

4. "Cry Me a River" - Justin Timberlake
When the person who is your whole world chooses to be with someone else, then realizes that they made the wrong choice. Angsting!

5. "In Your Room" - The Bangles
How much do I love this song? I obsessed over it in 10th grade. That was before I had a boyfriend, so I could only imagine what it would be like to make out with a boy in his room. There's something about seeing his room for the first time, that feeling of here are all his clothes. Classic.

6. "Transatlanticism" - Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab was on heavy rotation while I was writing Something Like Fate, so it's no surprise that this song plays an important role in the book. I need you so much closer...

7. "Do You Know Me" - John Mayer
Surprise, John Mayer is on my playlist! No, but this is one of the most wistful, beautiful songs I've ever heard about about longing for someone you don't know. Longing for the idea of someone. Waking up from a dream you had about this person you're searching for with such a strong sense of who they are. It's like you can't even stand it, knowing they're out there but not knowing where. It also applies to the connection Lani and Jason have. When you first meet a soul mate, there's this immediate connection you can't explain, but you could never deny.

8. "Bring on the Night" - The Police
There's something so magical about the night. Lani lives for those summer nights with Jason. The night has an energy the day can never know.

9. "Nightswimming" - R.E.M.
This song is perfect for the scene where Jason is teaching Lani how to swim at night.

10. "Maybe I'm Amazed" - Paul McCartney
Jason is overwhelmed by his feelings for Lani in a way that changes his whole life. That's what this song is about - being amazed by how much one person can make your world a better place. The live version of this song is awesome, by the way.

11. "Let Go" - Frou Frou
If you overcome your fear and give in to your heart's desires, there's magic waiting on the other side.

12. "Helplessly Hoping" - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
They are for each other.

Tour

Visit the sites that hosted the Something Like Fate blog tour. In the book, Lani and Erin make a list of ten concepts related to fate. During my blog tour, I discussed each of these concepts and answered three questions from each blogger.

Day 1 - Presenting Lenore

Day 2 - The Story Siren

Day 3 - Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf

Day 4 - Shooting Stars Mag

Day 5 - The Page Flipper

Day 6 - TeenReads

Day 7 - A Good Addiction

Day 8 - Book-lover Carol

Day 9 - Pop Culture Junkie

Day 10 - The Compulsive Reader