Writing by Kyle Freelander
Something Like Fate is the story of Lani and Jason discovering that they are “soulmates” while Jason happens to be dating Lani’s best friend, Erin. Jason and Lani try to fight their feelings for each other for the sake of Erin, but you cannot fight fate.
Overall, the book is well written and the storyline is easy and engaging to follow. However, there were a few things about this book that were strange for me as a reader. Some of these were aspects of the story line and other aspects had more to do with the way the book was described and marketed to readers. I’ve broken them up by category below.
This is, undoubtedly, an overwhelming aspect of this book. If you don’t believe in fate or horoscopes, don’t pick this book up. You will be frustrated. That being said, if you do believe in those things (to whatever extent may apply to you), this book references these things a lot. Lani reads her horoscope every Monday and her and her friend Erin designed their own curriculum, so to speak, for learning various ways to predict how their lives will play out by having a different topic of study for every month during school (tarot cards, dream interpretation, palm reading…you get the idea). This is a main factor of what leads both Erin and Lani to believe that Jason is their soulmate. (Is this a Jason conspiracy?)
The Erin-Jason-Lani love triangle
I want to start this off by saying that the description on the back of the book is not an accurate depiction of the story line. The marketing (including description and cover) make it sound like Lani is stealing Erin’s boyfriend when, in fact, (not such a spoiler alert) nothing happens between Lani and Jason until Jason and Erin are already broken up. In that sense, she isn’t “stealing her best friend’s boyfriend” as it sounds on the back of the book and is depicted on the cover. However, there is chemistry between them from their initial interaction (even if the reader has to be told that the chemistry is there instead of shown) which only increases as they begin to hang out more (per Erin’s encouragement). Lani and Jason have a bunch of random little things in common (including a strange desire to give colors and shapes to bottled water and abbreviating words while speaking) that are meant to build on this idea of the two of them being soulmates that fate has finally brought together. Given that Lani and Jason are likely the only two people to attribute colors and shapes to bottled water (I’m still hung up on the strangeness of that part of the book), maybe they really are meant for each other.
After finishing the book, it only took me a few minutes to pinpoint what it was that really threw me about it. There was just something off. The characters in this novel are supposed to be around 17 years old, and yet they act much younger. As a young adult author myself, I found this to be really frustrating. Erin was constantly trying to figure out what Jason was saying about her (pushing Lani to get intel on her behalf even while they were dating). Lani and Jason spent lunch time creating codes to write secret messages in (you know, when they weren’t talking about colors and shapes of water). Lani is afraid of driving and drowning (which is why she begins to take swimming lessons with little kids where she continues to fear drowning even though she could stand in the water). Erin is self-centered, mean, and shallow which are not really endearing characteristics in a best friend. Erin also pulls a really childish move towards the end of the book which I will not divulge here for fear of a real spoiler, but it is not characteristic of a seventeen year old. The way others react after that also seems rather unbelievable. However, we can all rest easy over the fact that Lani, Erin, and Jason all enjoy giving back to the community and are members of various groups and clubs whose goals ranged from helping middle school students to saving the planet…just like all seventeen year olds. So yeah, there’s that.