Instant Karma is a cute young adult contemporary novel that follows the life of overachiever and very self-centred Prudence as she tries to convince her former lab partner to re-do an assignment with her over the summer break as she figures out how to use her newly found karma inducing powers.
Prudence could be seen as a very unlikable character, which was the reason why I loved her so much. I love seeing female characters who put themselves first and are selfish about their own goals. For me, she was a very likable unlikable character, I always found myself cheering for her when she wanted to get things down her way. It reminded me of me during my high school years — self-centred and obsessed with grades. Honestly, the best part of the story was Pru and using her ‘weakness’ as her strengths while learning that we shouldn’t be quick to pass judgment on people.
While Prudence was a fantastic character and a joy to read, I felt the story itself wasn’t all that special. It just felt like your regular old contemporary story — which there is nothing wrong with that! Because there are plenty of people who love these types of stories, it simply was not my personal favourite.
From the blurb, it gave a bit of enemies to lovers trope— and I am always down for that troupe. But Quint, our protagonists love interest was never really an enemy, he was too sweet all the time to be an enemy. Prudence didn’t even see him as an enemy, not even a rival, just as a terrible, irresponsible lab partner, which just isn’t the same as an enemy. Which for me was a major let down.
Don’t take me wrong, Instant Karma was a charming book, with lots of marine animals and adorable scenes between Prudence and Quint, but it wasn’t enough for me. Aside from the not enemies to lovers trope, the ‘big problem’/ climax was resolved in like 3 pages which again, was a bit disappointing because I wanted a bit more drama — maybe some police involvement and some intense yelling but it sorta came and went.
Maybe I am a bit harsh when it comes to a contemporary story, but it didn’t really feel like anything. I wish we could have seen a bit more of Ari and Jude in the story. I love me some good side characters, but I won’t complain because I absolutely adored Prudence. We need more self-centred female characters who know what they want and willing to fight for their own personal goals rather than the greater good. World give me more Prudences!
Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for a finished copy of the book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publication Date: 10 November 2020
RRP: $19.99 AUD
Personal Rating: 3/5