I have been excited about this book for so long now. As I very much adore Marissa and would read anything by her. Despite not really having a thing for contemporary, I was excited to try this one. The cover is gorgeous. The story sounded awesome. Felt sure I would love this. And yet, I ended up not loving it. Oh.
Which is breaking my heart just a little. Giving this book three stars. There were parts that I found to be all kinds of adorable. But there were too many meh parts for me, and things I just did not like. Will still read anything by Marissa, but yes, hoping she will write more fantasy books, as those are more my thing, ha.
I am going to end up writing way too much about this book. And so I am apologizing in advance, haha. Turns out I have much I need to share about this story. And a few spoilers with warning farther down. Will try my best to explain what I liked and what I didn't like about this book. I might just ramble a little too much. I simply have so many thoughts about this book. It's told from the point of view of Prudence, about sixteen years old. She lives in a smallish town near the beach. Which I found to be interesting. This is a story about her and Quint getting to know each other better, getting to become friends, maybe something more. It is a book about Prudence learning so much more about life, as she was so clueless in the beginning of this book. She did get better, though, thankfully. I fully liked getting to know both of them.
There is a little bit of magic among the contemporary of this book. Prudence begins this book by falling down and hitting her head. When she wakes up, she had this special kind of power. She can bring instant karma on people she sees. If she witnesses someone doing wrong, she just has to squeeze her fist, and karma happens to them. Which she loved taking advantage of. It was fun, except that it often led to bad things happening to others, which was not a good thing all the time. Still, this was a twist that I did enjoy.
We see a little bit of Pru's family in this story. Her twin brother Jude, whom I liked a lot. More there during the beginning of this book, then mostly missing. She had three younger sisters, all of them pretty much adorable. Their parents were pretty great too. I liked that they owned a vintage record store. But liked less that they were haven't trouble keeping it, and that Pru could have helped more, but always said she didn't have time for it. Which was true, but oh, I wish she could have had time to help her family out a little too.
We meet her friend, Ari too, mostly during the beginning of the book. And I very much adored her as well. I loved her love for music. And I loved their friendships. We get to know Pru a lot in this book as well. And for the most part I adored this girl. I loved that she was curvy, that she was insecure about a few things. It made me love her more. I had a few issues with her thinking she was the best at everything, better than everyone else. A few of the things she did made me crazy. Ack. But for the most part, I liked her a bunch.
Then there was Quint. He and Prudence did not fit together at all. They had been school lab partners for nine months. Hating each other the most, not working together like they should have been. And so their final grade before the summer was low. Pru wanted to change it. But they had to work together. Which seemed impossible for two people who hated each other. But they tried. Prudence went looking for an animal rescue center he had mentioned in his report. Where she found out he and his mom worked at.
Which is what this book is all about. Prudence and Quint trying their hardest to work together. Pru having to volunteer at the rescue center. Her not knowing anything about animals or caring about them before she got there. Quint trying to make her understand why rescuing these animals were important. And I did like that a whole lot. The scene with them snorkeling was the best thing. But then, a time jump. I did like Quint a lot, mostly. And I did ship them too. I just wish there had been more, more details, more together.
What I disliked most about this book was the time jumps during the one summer. We get to see Prudence have her first day as a volunteer at the animal center, which was pretty great. But then it jumps forward four weeks. So we barely get to read about her being there, four days a week. Which was depressing to me, as I wanted to know more about the animals and the work done there. Then at the very end of this book, there is a three weeks time jump. And that bothered me the very most. I did not like it one bit. Sigh.
Especially because of why this time jump was there. So, spoilers. Because I cannot not talk about it. As is always the case with every contemporary book I have read, there must be a part where the couple breaks up, because of some insult and such. And of course, that happened here too. Sigh. The reason for why I almost always hate this genre, ha. In this book, it was because Pru was accused of stealing money from the center. Quint and his mom was sure she had done it. He was awful to her, didn't listen. And I hated it.
But also because Prudence did not even try hard enough to explain how she had not stolen the money. And so they broke up, the very day after they had first kissed. Sigh. And then there was suddenly three weeks gone by. With Pru alone and hurt, no one trying to find out the real truth. And Quint and the rescue center continued to plan Pru's gala idea, doing all without her, without giving her credit for anything. And I just. No. That was not okay for me. It was all her idea. Prudence was the one who got it to work. Hmph.
And then the book ended. With Quint apologizing, and Prudence just forgiving him. To me, it was way too little, way too fast. It had been three weeks. He had not gone to see her, he had not tried to find out the real truth. I am still angry with him. And a little with Pru too, that she didn't try finding out the truth either, until the day of the gala. Sigh. But even so. I did like the ending. I just wish there had been more, done a little better. I wish that there had been more romance too, ha. They only have two kissing scenes. Rude.
Even though I was a little disappointed, Instant Karma was still a great book. I liked reading about the sea animals and how this small town had a rescue center for them. I liked reading about all that they did. And I did like Prudence and Quint, despite having some issues with them both. I liked their friends too, though they weren't there much. The small magic part of this was good too, but felt like it was forgotten about for much of the book. I am glad that I read this one. Only sad that I couldn't love it more. You must all read it.