Book Review: Touching Fate by Brenda Drake

by - 1:18:00 AM

Title: Touching Fate (The Fated #1)
Author: Brenda Drake
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 172
Release Date: 12 October 2015

From Goodreads: "Aster Layne believes in physics, not psychics. A tarot card reading on the Ocean City Boardwalk should have been a ridiculous, just-for-fun thing. It wasn’t. Aster discovers she has a very unscientific gift—with a simple touch of the cards, she can change a person’s fate.

Reese Van Buren is cursed. Like the kind of old-school, centuries-old curse that runs in royal families. Every firstborn son is doomed to die on his eighteenth birthday—and Reese’s is coming up fast. Bummer. He tries to distract himself from his inevitable death…only to find the one person who can save him.

Aster doesn’t know that the hot Dutch guy she’s just met needs her help–or that he’s about to die. But worst of all…she doesn’t know that her new gift comes with dark, dark consequences that can harm everyone she loves."

Thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review!

This was such a quick and fun read that I absolutely devoured in no time at all! I loved the synopsis and thought that the idea of a girl that loves science having a "very unscientific gift" tied together with a guy who is cursed to die on his eighteenth birthday would make for an interesting read, and it definitely did.

Aster never imagined that a fun tarot card reading would turn into her having the gift of a fate changer- one who can alter someone's fate for better or for worse. Nor did she ever think that she would bump into the person that she was fated to be with on the same day. Reese is fated to die on his eighteenth birthday thanks to a family curse that takes the lives of firstborn sons and never expected to run into a fate changer who could possibly reverse his curse and save his life. His plan? Trick Aster into falling in love with him so she'll have to change his fate. The problem? Reese has fallen in love with Aster and can't bring himself to trick her into saving him. The other problem? Aster's fate changer powers are wrecking havoc in her life, and she doesn't feel safe changing fates anymore. Will fate rip apart the two lovers or is there a way to remove the deadly curse?

What really drew me to this book was that it was described as one that you could read in one sitting. I've been on the lookout for a quick read or two, and Touching Fate fit that description perfectly. It was very fast paced, and a lot happened in what felt like a really short period of time, but I think that this book benefited from the quick storytelling. That being said, I did find it difficult to really connect with any of the characters that I encountered and I couldn't really allow myself to dive as deeply into the story as I would have liked. I certainly didn't dislike this book, I rather enjoyed it, but I just couldn't fall in love with any of the characters or the world like I wanted to.

Speaking of characters, let's talk about the ones in this book. Aster was quite sassy, and very independent, which were probably my two favorite things about her as a character. She cares for her family, takes care of her sisters, and has pretty much sworn off guys after her last relationship crashed and burned. That is of course, until she meets Reese, and ends up wanting her entire life to revolve around him. In a book with tarot cards, magical powers, and a family curse that kills firstborn sons, I found the romance to be the hardest thing to believe. Initially, Reese's intention is to trick Aster into falling in love with him, which definitely rubbed me the wrong way and made me dislike him as a character. Another thing that bothered me was how quickly the two fell in love. The very first time that Aster and Reese meet, she walks off thinking about his six pack abs, amazing blue eyes, and "dark blonde hair that brushed his brows just right." I thought it was incredibly cheesy and even rolled my eyes over the interaction. However, the reason behind the insta-love was explained later on in the book, which allowed me to believe it a bit more than I initially had and eventually root for the two lovers to end up together. Discovering how the two were connected really made me able to believe their feelings for each other more, and I liked that it added a bit of depth and backstory to the characters. I think on their own, Aster and Reese were good characters, and I would really like to see some more development from them with the next book. I'd also like to learn more about Aster's sisters, Iris, Violet, and Daisy, as well as Aster's best friend Leah!

The plot was different and fun, and really made this book easy to read through. Girl meets boy, boy thinks girl is cute, girl thinks boy is stupid but secretly thinks he's cute, girl discovers she has magical fate changing powers, boy is dying soon, boy plots to trick girl into loving him in order to save him, boy and girl fall in love, and the rest is filled with spoilers so I won't be talking about it! But really, does that not sound like it would be an interesting read? Because this is a book that can be read in one sitting, a lot happens very quickly, making it somewhat difficult to really believe some of the things that happen. Aster discovers she has the power of a fate changer, something she knows absolutely nothing about and doesn't believe in, and is pretty much a master of it after only doing it a few times. She's also sworn off boys that are the typical type that she goes for, but falls hard and fast for Reese who is basically the epitome of the type she usually goes after. But what I understood and accepted was that this was intended to be a quick read! Books like this are supposed to have the hard and fast romance and crazy things happening really quickly. As I said before, I think the fast pacing really worked for this book, and while it may have not been my favorite book of 2016, I still really enjoyed it for what it was. Sure, the romance was a typical love-at-first-sight, but the author gives a good explanation as to why it happened so fast, which kind of gave me an "oh, so that's why" moment towards the last 3/4 of the book. I may not have been able to fall head over heels in love with the characters, but I'm still really looking forward to reading the second book and seeing more of this world and the characters in it.

Brenda Drake's writing was fun, fast paced, easy to read, and very likable. Her writing style is one that I enjoyed very much, with it being the right amount of descriptive but still keeping it fun and easy to follow. If you're looking for an interesting story involving tarot cards and the ability to change your fate, definitely check out Touching Fate by Brenda Drake!

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