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Something Like Meh

Susane Colasanti's Something Like Fate didn't quite live up to the potential that Meghan saw in it.

Something Like Meh

BOOK REPORT for Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

BFF Charm: Meh
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: Like, He Goes, Totally
Bonus Factor: Fortune Telling, Note Codes
Relationship Status: I'm Just Not That Into You

The Deal:

Lani and Erin are bff and bonded 4 life. They were in a car crash when they were kids, and Erin totally saved Lani's life. But by the end of their junior year, Lani's drifting away from their crowd and Erin's the only one she's still tied to. Erin starts dating Jason, but Lani quickly discovers SHE'S the one with the soulmate connection with Jason. Natch, major dramz to follow.

BFF Charm: Meh

So, Lani's nice and all, but she's kind of boring. I didn't get any sort of feel for her at all, except maybe that she wishes she was Princess Mia (big environmentalist, likes to make lists, dunno about the diary but the story's written in first person). But she's not as sweet or hilarious or endearing or lovable as Princess Mia -- she's just kinda dull. And all she does is talk about Jason. Jason Jason Jason. I mean, I know they have this soul connection, but sheesh. I'm really interested in what's going down with her friend Blake, who's deep in the closet -- only Lani knows he's in there -- because of his scary dad, and Danielle, her environmental club buddy with the super strict parents, but Lani never really gets into that. She's just flat, and not in a Margaret Simon kinda way. It also takes forever for her to spill the deets about her car accident and why she's terrified to learn to swim, and man that's some important info I'd like to have earlier on. So I'd let her sit with me at lunch, and I wouldn't mind being partnered with her on a science project, but I'd also roll my eyes when she kept going on about Jason. Oh! And I'd definitely want her to introduce me to cutie Canadian Connor, the art genius and a character who deserved more attention.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

Jason's pretty 2D, too, but there are some cutie flirty conversations between him and Lani as they're discovering their meant-to-be-ness. And the sparks -- the almost kisses, the hand game (you know, the whole "slide your hand close to his and see if he moves a bit closer, then move so you're accidentally-on-purpose touching hands to see if he'll grab yours, then he hooks his pinky over yours, then you hook yours back around his, then he takes your hand and OMG you're FINALLY holding hands!" thing), the first kiss -- all these are pretty sparky and pretty authentic. If I felt like I knew Jason and Lani better, I'd give it higher marks, but it's still pretty sweet for that innocent first love stuff.

Talky Talk: Like, He Goes, Totally

I'm all for authentic teenspeak in my YA books, but dude, I don't ACTUALLY want authentic teenspeak -- you know, all that "He goes, 'Oh my God' and I go, 'I know!' Then she goes, 'Like, no way!'" That kind of talk just distracts me and is the stuff I'd rather infer than have to read out in dialogue. But I will say the first-person narrative totally reads like an embarrassing diary entry of a high school girl -- pretty self-(and Jason-)centered stuff, and the tone is right on.

Bonus Factor: Fortune Telling

Lani and Erin and Blake are totally into astrology and the magic 8 ball and palmistry. There's a lot of fate talk, and asking the great energy for a sign stuff -- the whole plot is that Lani and Jason are fated to be together, and Erin's just the unwitting facilitator of their relationship.

Bonus Factor: Note Code

Jason and Lani have a code for writing notes. It's not complicated, but I love the days of coded notes slipped in lockers. Way better than txt and mYsPaCe-ese.

Casting Call:

This was really hard because honestly, I didn't connect enough with the characters to pay much attention to casting this. It's easiest to throw in a couple of the latest Disney kids (and can I throw in here OMG the Disney Channel site is SO ANNOYING). Although Miley Cyrus could totally be Erin -- kinda bitchy, way too into herself to notice everyone around her.

Demi Lovato as Lani

Robert Adamson as Jason

Miley Cyrus as Erin

Relationship Status: I'm Just Not That Into You

From its Match.com profile, this book had SO MUCH potential, and I was pretty stoked about our first date. But I quickly realized it'd never open up to me and I'd never get to know it well. It kept giving me glimpses of a cool personality -- Blake and Danielle, the unexplored metaphor of swimming and self-discovery, that magnetic connection between two people -- but every time I tried to get to know it better, they just disappeared. So sorry, book, but I just don't think it'll work out between us. You're a good match on paper but there was just no chemistry.

FTC Full Disclosure: My review copy was a free ARC I received from Penguin. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Something Like Fate will be released May 18, 2010.

Meghan Miller's photo About the Author: Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas and writer for Forever Young Adult. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.