Rating: 5 stars – LOVED THIS BOOK!
First, let me preface this review by saying that to earn 5 stars in my eyes, everything better be damn near perfect. “Fated” definitely was one of the first books in a really long time where I loved every single bit of it. I have nothing but good things to say about this book, the author, the plot, the characters and the writing. Before I pour the accolades onto S.H. Kolee, I’ll give you a brief summary, while trying to not give anything away.
Summary: 26 year old Lauren Sloan is at a point in her life where she is still trying to come into her own. After surviving a brutal and tragic childhood, she decides to move to New York City for the summer to sublet her friend’s apartment while she’s away. Her friend, Macie, works for the renowned, controversial photographer (and scorching hot playboy) Caden Riley. Macie needs Lauren to fill in for her at work during the summer and Lauren grudgingly accepts. Lauren and Caden embark on a discovery of themselves and each other while at the same time trying to overcome their own personal pasts and demons. In a nutshell, it is about two people with tragic pasts that try to find happiness while continuously asking themselves if they are even capable of being happy?
First, I LOVED Lauren. For one, I love that she was an adult (26 yo) and has had life experience (albeit minimal social interactions). I loved that even though she was guarded and perfected her “blank” face, she was self-aware of her issues and knew when she was being irrational. I love that she didn’t let her fears and insecurities control her every move. Lauren is the first character that I’ve encountered who is strong and fearless, yet realistic. She is not whiny, unreasonable or irrational. S.H. Kolee did such a fabulous job of balancing Lauren’s exterior indifference with her candor. Just when you got annoyed with Lauren’s lack of emotion, Lauren herself seemed to get annoyed with it and showed emotion. It was such a great balance. There was never a moment that was dragged on forever because Lauren wouldn’t speak up, which in my eyes, is much more realistic. This was probably one of my favorite things about this book.
I also love how the plot wasn’t cookie cutter where everything seemingly fell into place. The plot was actually realistic and the characters’ actions were ones that you could imagine yourself doing. For example, when Caden and Lauren met up in Chicago for the first time, I assumed that this would be where the cookie cutter plot would fall into play – they’d make up, he’d say the right things, etc. etc. But no! It wasn’t like that and I LOVE THAT! It made the story unpredictable and made me root for the characters even more.
This story was flawless. I ate every bit up and am so grateful that S.H. Kolee wrote such a fabulous book. It has been a long time since I’ve enjoyed every part of a book and this is definitely one of them!