Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer
Rating: 2/5 Stars
Chronic overachiever Prudence Barnett 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 know in the mid year freak out book tag I said that Carve The Mark was the biggest disappointment but I’m changing that answer to this book. Just wow. This will be spoiler-free.
I love Marissa Meyer and was so excited when I found out about this book and I’m so sad about how much I disliked this book. I’m shocked. I honestly didn’t even want to finish this book but since I just bought it, I chose it for my 24 hour read-a-thon, and I love Meyer’s other works…I decided to suffer through. Under other circumstances I would have DNF this book.
The biggest problem with this book for me was Prudence. I despised her so much. I was 60 pages in and I was so over the whole book so I just listened to the rest of it on audiobook because I knew that was the only way I was ever going to finish it. I just couldn’t stand Pru and for being the main character that’s a pretty big problem. She’s honestly just an awful, selfish, self centered, annoying, and childish brat. Most of the book was her boohooing about herself and everything was “me, me, me”. She was so inconsiderate and didn’t care about other people she only cared about herself. She was just so annoying and made me want to bang my head against a wall.
It only got worse when she got her newfound “power” of “Instant Karma”. I say it got worse because she was already selfish and annoying but then she got this weird superiority complex andt just made her even more dislikable. For example this whole “instant karma” thing seemed to make her think she’s just so great because here she is making people get the karma “they deserve”. Sometimes the people deserved it and sometimes it felt like it was just her being kind of controlling and giving people the supposed “karma they deserved”. That bothered me for a few reasons. I mean that’s no longer karma…right? Like I said some of the people didn’t deserve the supposed bad karma it was more so Pru felt they did because she didn’t like the situation. Another reason I didn’t like it was the fact that she’s sitting here talking about how good she is righting these wrongs but she’s allowed to be mean, rude, and nasty without consequence? I mean she literally acts like she’s some great person for it but then turns right around and is absolutely awful to people!
I honestly thought the plot sounded interesting, but it wasn’t executed well at all. The “instant karma” felt like an afterthought that was just thrown in. It felt like a pointless addition to the story and I felt like either you commit to it being a main part of the story (for obvious reasons) or you don’t include it at all. I just really don’t understand why Meyer’s used it. I’ve read some of her other books…I know fantasy is a strong suit of hers. So, to be so completely underwhelmed by this fantasy/magical element in this book was beyond upsetting to me. Not once did this “instant karma” feel like a real thing…it never once felt magical. It fell flat and just felt like it was all in Pru’s head and was coincidence. Hence why I keep using quotes (pretend they’re air quotes) because it didn’t even feel like it was a real fantasy element. I would probably say this book was contemporary YA romance…not fantasy or fantasy realism. It never gave me that feeling.It never felt magical to me. I just can’t get over how lacking this supposed fantasy romance type book was. Like I said it just made it feel like adding the instant karma was pointless and kind of took away from the story since it felt like a random afterthought.
I didn’t mind the other characters I thought they were pretty nice and I would have rather someone else be the main character. Everyone seemed so nice except for Pru she was just awful. Ugh it bothers me so much that I can’t stand her but oh well haha. Oh, I also didn’t like the character Morgan…but she’s not really important so…*shrugs*
I honestly didn’t even care for the romance in this book. Maybe it’s because Quint deserves someone good not Pru. I just wasn’t invested in their budding romance and I don’t even think it was done very well. It didn’t feel all that cute like I expected it felt kind of random, but maybe that’s just my opinion. I mean the trope is more of a enemies to lovers kind of trope but I don’t think it was executed well. It felt kind of rushed at the end like “oh yeah they’re supposed to fall in love eventually”. So, I wasn’t a fan of that. I just didn’t find them cute but that’s probably because I couldn’t stand Pru.
I also didn’t like how she ended this book. I felt like it wasn’t executed well and was just a rushed attempt to wrap everything up. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t go into detail about what happened. I just think the ending was executed in an odd way. It wasn’t the worst but like I said it felt rushed. Some of the stuff could have been solved sooner but instead was drug out to create some drama and then was rushed…like that just seems like an odd way to execute it to me.
Honestly, the only reason this book is getting two stars from me is because Meyer’s is a good writer and she’s a good author. I just don’t think this book or it’s plot was done well. Her writing isn’t bad, but I didn’t like the main character or how she executed the plot. I still think her writing itself is good and she does great with imagery and explanation. I just don’t think this was a good representation of her talent. Like I said the plot is an interesting concept and there are some things I did enjoy about the book. The book as a whole was a disappointment to me.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book. I would recommend her other works, but not this one. I’m sorry if this review is a bit of a mess but this book left me a mess haha. I just can’t get over this book. Anyway, let me know if you’ve read this book and what you thought? I’m really curious! If you loved this book more power to you haha this book just wasn’t for me at all. I can’t express enough how much I expected to love this book and give it five stars so my heart feels broken today haha.