Instant Karma – Marissa Meyer

In this young adult contemporary romance, a girl is suddenly gifted with the ability to cast instant karma on those around her—both good and bad.

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, 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 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. Soon, 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.


I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating: 3 Stars

Marissa Meyer has done something that her readers have wanted for years – she has finally delved into the romantic comedy genre. I always love the romance in her series and was so excited to read a book from her that was wholly focused on romance. The added twist of “instant karma” sounded incredibly fun and this quickly became one of my most anticipated reads of 2020. 

Since reading this book, I’ve developed a newfound love for sea creatures and preservation. Honestly, the time spent at the conservation center was my favorite part of the book. I loved the animals, the new information I received about them and their care, and I overall appreciated the research that must’ve gone into those scenes. 

The story is set up as a sort of hate to love romance between two lab partners who just can’t seem to get along. Pru is a perfectionist and focuses heavily on her grades and little else, while Quint seems to always show up late. In Pru’s eyes, Quint fails to pull his own weight time after time, and his lack of interest in their joint project infuriates her. 

adored Quint. It was clear almost immediately that there was more to his character than met the eye and honestly, he was likable from the start. He had an affable personality and tried to be nice to Pru despite her frostiness towards him. As he developed as a character and Pru learned more and more about him, he just became more likable and was my favorite character by the end of the book. 

Pru on the other hand was…awful. She was self-centered, judgmental, and rude. She assumed that Quint was constantly slacking and when he tried to explain himself and provide her with a (very reasonable) excuse for his constant tardiness, she told him to stop talking and wrote him off. The way she used her instant karma powers was mildly infuriating, particularly because all I wanted was for her to receive a bit of karmic justice for her own attitude. I understand that she is meant to be a bit rough around the edges for the overall progression of the plot. That being said, she almost made the book unbearable. There was just nothing relatable or enjoyable about her or her POV and it made the first three quarters of the book difficult for me to read. 

Though I did guess how the book would end, I enjoyed the wrap up and in the last ten percent of the book finally saw a side of Pru that I enjoyed. 

The book ended on a hopeful note, with the door open for another book with this set of characters. While I didn’t love Pru, I did enjoy her brother Jude and would definitely be interested in a spin off story featuring him. I also feel that there is more story to be told when it comes to their family’s record shop and look forward to seeing what happens there. 

Although this particular book fell short for me, I will absolutely read any spin off Marissa Meyer writes because she is consistently an author whom I adore. 

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