Hello everyone I swear I’m coming back for real this time! Anyways, I read Instant Karma last year and absolutely loved it so is there possibly a better time to gush about this summery book than this summer?? Pls read it.
Title // Instant Karma
Author // Marissa Meyer
Publisher // Feiwell and Friends
Publication Date // November 3rd, 2020
Synopsis // 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.
My Rating: ★★★★☆
So at this point we all just need to accept that Marissa Meyer knows what I want to read better than I do. She could probably write a shopping list or something and I’d end up loving it. Anyways, I love every single one of her books and of course this one was no different!!
I have to say though, the title and synopsis felt really misleading, and I thought the whole “instant karma” thing would play a much bigger part of the book than it really did. In reality, it was more of a minor side point, definitely not what the plot revolved around. Honestly, it felt like the weakest part of this book, and I wish it had been explained better because at the end I’m left wondering, did she really have this power? How? Why? Is there magic in this world?? or was it just a bunch of coincidences?? So I wish that was either wrapped up better, or better yet, I feel like the whole “instant karma” thing could have been cut out of the book entirely and I would have loved it even more.
Because… instead of being about instant karma, this book was really about a sea animal rescue center!! And I feel like that should have been what the title and synopsis were all about because it was a huge part of the book and it was the BEST part of the book and it was so enjoyable and adorable to read about!!
Part of this is me of course because I love marine biology haha and a huge part of this book revolves around marine biology! I swear Marissa wrote this book just for me because I never knew how much I needed a cute summery contemporary about marine biology and a sea animal rescue center before I read this and now I’m like where have you been all my life?? There were so many adorable and fun scenes describing the animals! Telling the difference between a sea lion and a seal haha. Sea lions playing with their toys! Also baby otters. Also going snorkeling with turtles!
The book also talked quite a bit about conservation and the importance of protecting sea life, particularly describing, sadly, how animals are hurt by human actions like getting tangled up in fishing line or ingesting balloons, and I thought this was a really good message. Especially as the main character Pru learns to be more compassionate and care about the animals, which are severely underfunded, to try to better rehabilitate and home them. gAH I am such a biology nerd so I loved reading all the facts about sea life, and it’s clear Marissa did her research!!
Even beyond the Sea Animal Rescue Center, the whole beach town setting was so cute and amazing! I loved the descriptions of the town, the shops, karaoke in a diner, the family record store. I especially loved a scene of a end of school year beach bonfire, and I could really close my eyes feel like Marissa was perfectly describing my own experiences in those bonfires, down to it feeling a bit like a dream until you wake up to lingering smoky hair the next morning!
There are also fun Beatles references galore! Prudence is named for the song Dear Prudence, and all her siblings have Beatles names too haha, and there’s even an event themed for Yellow Submarine! Of course set this down in a family record store, and sprinkle in some scenes with a friend who is an aspiring singer songwriter and great karaoke nights and just make my music loving heart sing.
One complaint I’ve seen people have and somewhat agree with is that Prudence can come off as pretty unlikable. She can definitely be selfish and conceited, and has a bit of a superiority complex at the beginning, and grated on my nerves a bit. But this also allows her to experience a bunch of character growth, and I loved the fact that the sea life rescue was woven in, so as she cared for animals and worked together with people, she became a better person. There are also (unfortunately or not, you tell me) bits of me, particularly me from a few years ago in high school but also a bit now, that I related to, like being a bit of a perfectionist and getting really annoyed with people who are late, that I could see myself in Pru, so it was kind of nice to see her learn there are more important things and learn to loosen up, be more compassionate, and have fun, as a bit of a reminder to me to not be so uptight lol.
Of course this is a cute romantic contemporary so I must talk about the absolutely adorable romance!! It’s rivals (enemies?) to lovers, which is potentially my favorite trope there is, so yes I was down for this! I loved seeing Pru and Quint bicker in the beginning lmao, but then start to be drawn to each other, and aGH there were a couple scenes that just made my heart sing!!!
Anyways, the moral of the story is that I will continue to read literally anything Marissa Meyer writes and love it.
What’s your favorite Marissa Meyer book? Do you like marine biology? I’d love to chat in the comments below ❤