This review was written before I was educated and informed about the problematic and incorrect use of karma is this book. That being said, I’m keeping my review below (because I need to be able to look back and make sure I don’t recommend it) but definitely would not recommend this book for this reason.
Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer
Publication Date: November 3rd, 2020
Rating: 4/5 (updated: no stars)
In this young adult contemporary romance, a girl is suddenly gifted with the ability to cast instant karma on those around her—both good and bad.
Chronic overachiever Prudence Daniels 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 karaoke hecklers, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner and all-around mortal enemy. Soon, Pru begins to uncover truths about Quint, her peers, and even herself that reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed . . . love and hate.
I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for a review which is unbiased and honest.
When I heard Marissa Meyer (author of one of my favorite fairytale retellings The Lunar Chronicles) was going to be writing a contemporary romance novel, I freaked out! The synopsis had me already in love and the cover is just so cute!
The idea of being able to give instant karma (and yes, it’s related to the song) to anyone was just a really fun idea! I knew going in that it was going to be a fun romance (and guys… it’s rivals to lovers YAY!) but I did expect that her new power would play a bit more of a role. And while it did have an influence to the story, there wasn’t as much of it as I hoped!
I thought Prudence was a really interesting and flawed character and I really enjoyed reading in her point of view knowing that she had a lot to learn. It was great seeing her slowly realizing her flaws and seeing her growth! And being around Quint? ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE.
Quint is the kind of person that I would probably have problems with too if I were to ever meet him in real life because I saw a lot of myself in Prudence. It’s easy to fall into a one sided point of view and it was great to see that there are multiple sides to a story through Prudence’s POV.
When I went in, all I knew was that it was romance and that there was some sort of “magic” involved, so I was so pleasantly surprised to see that there was a lot to do with the environment and marine life in this small beach town.
I loved seeing Prudence interact with her friends and her family. Everybody’s relationships to the main character were really great and I’m a huge fan of sibling relationships so getting to see that was also fun! Honestly, I’m not a big fan of super small towns, but this book made me really want to live in a small beach town!
This is perfect for someone who wants some fun rivals-to-lovers high school summer romance! If you enjoy beach life, The Beatles references, karaoke mishaps, excellent character growth, amazing banter, scuba diving, and absolutely adorable seals (er… sorry, sea lions!)! You’ll love this if you love fundraising parties, photography, girls with lots of ideas, misunderstandings leading to drama, and family and friendship!