I’m straight-up putting it out there – YA is not my jam. I’ve read too many overly dramatic/smut-heavy “novels” that range from the eye-rollingly unbelievable to those that romanticise toxic relationships.
Sooo with any YA, my expectations are naturally low. Which means that when I find a book that breaks those YA stereotypes, there’s a high chance I’m going to rave about it to everyone I know.
Cue Instant Karma.
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Genre: Young adult
Published on: 10 November 2020
Pages: 388 (paperback)
Published by: Pan Macmillan Australia
Yes, I just rated a young adult novel FIVE STARS. Or 4.7 to be precise:
– Plot/narrative – 4.6
– Writing style/readability – 4.7
– Characters – 4.8
– Diverse themes – 4.6
– Ending – 4.6
Overall – 4.7
More than just a love story
I don’t know about you guys but I need my books to have more substance; romance is rarely enough for me to feel invested which is why I avoid that genre like the plague.
As with most YA books, this one had it’s fair share of romance BUT it didn’t revolve around it. It was enemies to lovers which is a trope I’m indifferent towards (although I thought it worked brilliantly here) and it definitely added to the story but it wasn’t like the plot relied on it. It was a nice slow burn and very much a closed-door romance with very little steam (another bonus).
So if the book didn’t revolve around romance, what else could there possible be to retain my attention?!
Fortuna Beach Sea Animal Rescue Centre
There you have it, what won me over in this one was a rehabilitation centre for washed-up sea lions, turtles and other marine life. It pulled at my every heartstring and taught me so much about rescuing sea animals and volunteering for such a worthy organisation.
I was so invested and inspired, I even signed up to be a volunteer myself in my local area. When a book makes that much on an impact, how can it not be worthy of five stars?!
The most relatable character that ever did (fictionally) live
Main character Pru was a judgemental perfectionist; someone who was absolutely not okay with getting a C and an over-achiever who would rather do everything herself than trust anyone else (ringing bells for anyone else or just me?). She had a strong fiery temper and a defiant determination to turn the rescue centre in a profitable business. She was driven and ambitious, although this was sometimes overbearing to other characters (but I could relate, obviously).
Quint really surprised me and although I wasn’t his biggest fan in the beginning (lazy, never on time, arrogant), I was more than rooting for him by the end (especially when he made the error of all errors)…
You’d be right to assume that the ability to inflict karma on people would be the major theme of the book, considering it’s the title. But actually, it was more of a secondary plot, blending into the background and adding just the right amount of magic to keep the book rooted in realism. It definitely influenced Pru and her decisions but it also allowed for other themes to take centre stage.
For those looking for a multi-layered plot with likeable characters, a slow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance and lots of cute sea animals, then I highly recommend Instant Karma.
Wrapping this up by saying this would make an awesome movie (from the person watches, on average, three movies a year).
Shout out to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a copy of Instant Karma to review.