Review | Instant Karma
Spoiler Free Review
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5 stars.
Author: Marissa Meyer.
Length: 390 pages.
Trigger Warnings: N/A.
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 mean gossips, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner. Quint is annoyingly cute and impressively noble, especially when it comes to his work with the rescue center for local sea animals.
When Pru resigns herself to working at the rescue center for extra credit, she begins to uncover truths about baby otters, environmental upheaval, and romantic crossed signals—not necessarily in that order. Her newfound karmic insights reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed, love and hate . . . and fate.
I’ll be honest, I’m a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t read this sooner. How come this novel is so fantastic, and no one bothered to tell me? I’ve heard many mixed reviews about this, but the consensus was that it wasn’t anything special. Well… I DISAGREE. I don’t know if I just miss YA because I barely read it now, or I don’t know if this is actually as great as I think it is, so I’ll just say it’s a combination of both.
None of this happens of course. My dreams of cosmic justice never do come true.
What I probably liked the most was the setting of this story. I mentioned about 10 times in my notes (the ones I take while reading the book) that everything felt so FRESH. This is the perfect book for the summer. And guys, I live in the Caribbean. I am an island girl that is sick and tired of the heat and the beach, and somehow this book made me long for beach days in the summer. I hope you understand how big (and surprising) of an accomplishment this is, because I just think that the description of this sea-side town was absolutely perfect. On that note, I have a very small thing I want to point out. There is a restaurant in this book that I think is Puerto Rican, and for some reason this author decided to say that tostones are a Puerto Rican specialty/delicacy. *AHEM* I’m sorry but I if it’s not a Dominican specialty (which I’m pretty sure it is), then it is a Caribbean one. I’m not trying to be petty, but credit where credit is due (you can ignore my small and unnecessary comment, but I wanted to say it).
Anyways, when it comes to plot, I was also pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the animal care center storyline, and it was very fun learning about all of these species and how important it is to take care of our oceans, not only for the environment, but for them as well. Everything revolving around this was very cute and I googled to many pictures of sea animals I didn’t even know existed, so I’m grateful for that as well. Regarding the romance, I really enjoyed the enemies-to-lovers dynamic, and it also had a strong stuck-together trope going on. But, the main reason I thought all this had a good balance is because of the characters.
Fun-loving, easygoing, obnoxiously charming Quint Erickson–having a thing for Prudence the Prude? Yeah. Right.
So Prudence is a very peculiar person, and throughout most of the book she was incredibly annoying. However, I did eventually warm up to her, and I think that having characters like her is extremely important for several reasons. First of all, not everyone is nice and gentle and friendly. That is the plain truth. Prudence is strong-willed and cares a lot about the things she considers important, which means that she absolutely hates it when others try to undermine her strong efforts. Still, she is also quite ignorant of some things, which really showed how dangerous it can be to go around life without being properly educated on important topics. Don’t get me wrong, Prudence is very smart and open-minded, but because it is hard for her to trust other people, she struggled to sit down and listen to other’s reasons behind their actions, which turned into an extremely important storyline in her character development.
As I said before, I really enjoyed Quint and Prudence’s relationship, and I don’t have much else to say about that. I did think that the ending was a bit annoying, because the main miscommunication/conflict between them (the one that is always present in romance novels) was a little problematic. I guess I could consider letting it slide because they’re teens, they have hormones raging about and it’s normal to get very angry, but some hurtful words were thrown about that should’ve been addressed more seriously. The apology at the end wasn’t good enough in my opinion, and there should’ve been a better conversation between them, but there’s nothing to do about that now. The scene with the karaoke was cute though.
She counts off on her fingers. ‘That’s recycling, supporting a local business, and making sure that the sacrifice of these animals has a purpose, rather than them ending up in a landfill.’
‘No, that’s contributing to a culture that values fashion and vanity more than the sanctity of life.’
Overall, it was a very sweet romance with lots of important information about protecting wildlife. I really enjoyed the role of karma and trying to be a good person, because it proved to be more complicated than everyone thought, which made it that much more real. I recommend it if you like romance, tropical-feeling books, and learning about the repercussions of karma!
Setting: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🌟 / 5 stars.
Plot: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / stars.
Characters: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / 5 stars.
Writing: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.7 / 5 stars.
Pacing: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5 stars.
My main rating is not an average from my breakdown, but an estimate of my personal enjoyment.
14 thoughts on “Review | Instant Karma”
Pilar thank you for such a lovely review, I’m really glad to hear that you loved it as I’ve been hearing mixed reviews. Ahh the setting and the message of wildlife protection sounds so incredible, I’m excited! 💖
Thank you Cherelle ☺️!!
Wonderful review! I’m so glad you enjoyed this. I’ve wanted to read it since it was announced but I’ve still not got around to it!
The synopsis can be misleading in my opinion, and if I had known more about it, I definitely would have read it sooner! I’m glad you liked the review Georgia and I hope you decide to read it ☺️
So glad to hear you enjoyed this one Pilar!! I’ve been wanting to read it for the longest time (because HELLO it’s Marissa Meyer 😂) but life got in the way. I’ve definitely read quite a few mixed reviews, but it looks like your enjoyment really depends on whether you click with the book or not. I can’t wait to check it out for myself!!
Great review ❤️
Definitely! I understand why so many people didn’t like it as much, but I thought it was very entertaining and fun (and just like you I think Marissa Meyer is a great author 😉)! Thank you so much Abby ☺️ I’m glad you liked it!!
I think the book was fine but one of my biggest gripes is that the official summary doesn’t actually mention the sea animal rescue at all, you know, the entire point of the book. It focuses on the instant karma, which is actually a small part of the book, and I think people’s expectations would have been more aligned with the story if the summary had been more accurate.
I completely agree with you Briana!! I thought the Karma aspect would be much more important, but it turned out it wasn’t really relevant in the grand scheme of things (in my opinion). If the synopsis had focused more on the wildlife center, I’m sure I would have read it sooner!
Thanks for taking the time to comment and sorry for the late response!
You definitely convinced me to just give this a shot haha! I’ve only read Cinder by Marissa Meyer but I think she’s an amazing author (though for some reason I was not sure if I was gonna pick this up). Lovely review!!
I think The Lunar Chronicles are amazing 🤩🤩 And this book was very different, but just as entertaining and fun for me. I hope you do decide to pick it up!! Thanks Birdie ☺️
I love this review Pilar!! I’ve been on the fence with this book because I don’t read Ya romance and I haven’t been loving this authors books like I used too. However, I’m more interested in this book now. Thanks for this awesome review <3
I think everyone is very skeptical before picking this one up because the synopsis is kind of misleading… 😬 But if you like Contemporary YA, I think you might really like this one. It was a very fun and fresh read!!
Thanks Alicia, I’m glad you liked it ☺️