Posted in Reviews

Review: Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer
Verdict: a weak romance with unlikable characters but a delightful focus on saving marine life and ecology

Recommended: not really
If you want a story with a focus on entrepreneurship and ecological sustainability, for a dash of YA romance but not the strongest kind ever; stay away because of cliches and tropes, stay away because of plot points that don’t get resolved and unlikable characters

In this contemporary romance with a bit of magic, 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, during a night out with her friends, she slips on a spilled drink and hits her head, only to wake 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. Over the course of a summer, 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.

What I liked about this was the focus of the story being very ecological. There have been a growing number of YA books with this focus lately and I love it! The information given made me cheer — like pinnipeds! — and recall how much I enjoyed learning about marine biology.

That said.

I did not like Prudence. Like not even a little. I guess I didn’t hate her, but she’s someone I would make obligatory small talk with at a party and then carefully edge away as soon as I could.

I know the point is that she’s judgy and unlikable and almost annoyingly ambitious. My main issue was that it didn’t feel like she actually grew past those traits, or that she was rounded out to have balance in positive ways. At the end, she’s still judgy and wishing for her ability to dispense karmic retribution. She’s petty. She never considers what someone else might be going through, or gives people the benefit of the doubt. She’s self-righteous. I just did not like her at all.

SHE DOESN’T EVEN LIKE PUPPIES. Her capitalism is all that matters. She doesn’t care about the actual animals, even in a general way, until wayyyy too late in the game. I was already lost.

Unfortunately, the love interest Quint wasn’t really my favorite either. He’s fine I guess, but I didn’t get a lot of depth from him. Probably in part because it was inherently filtered through Pru’s opinions (of which she has many.). And he’s standard-romcom-idiot at moments too, so no points on that either.

So I didn’t like the characters at all, but the story itself was alright. Overall I enjoyed it more for the arc of trying to save the animal rescue shelter rather than for the romance-y character-y parts.



Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

4 thoughts on “Review: Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

  1. Oh, yikes! The story sounded cute (and the cover is adorable), but Prudence sounds like she’d make it hella hard to like this book 😂 How annoying! Just reading your description of her sets my teeth on edge! Sorry this was such a bust–always disappointing when the story sounds like it’d be good fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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