INSTANT KARMA by Marissa Meyer: Is it love, hate, or … fate?

I can never resist scanning the teen room shelves at my local library, and during a recent visit, the title and cover of this delightful YA novel reeled me in. But once I began reading, I remained totally hooked until the very last page! All in all, I can honestly say the tagline sums up INSTANT KARMA beautifully.

Perfectionist and overachiever Prudence Daniels casts judgment on those around her and finds most people seriously lacking. High on her list of disappointments is her lab partner Quint Erickson, who waltzes in late for their end-of-year presentation. After getting her first ever C, she seriously wants to throttle Quint. And the animosity is mutual. But that same night, she suffers a mild concussion and wham: she can exact instant karma. While her newfound gift doesn’t work on Quint, it works on everyone else, like the guys who heckle her best friend at karaoke or the girls who talk trash about her twin brother.

The book takes a surprising turn when Prudence discovers her California town has a sea animal rescue center that’s run by Quint’s mom. It turns out that needing to feed the sea lions, otters, seals, and turtles before school is why Quint was habitually late. She hopes to convince Quint to redo their presentation and they end up striking a deal: he’ll do it only if she agrees to help out at the rescue center for a solid month. After a rocky start, the pair work together well, especially on a beach cleanup/animal release fundraiser. But right after Prudence and Quint’s relationship takes off, it crashes and burns when she’s wrongly accused of a serious crime.

Should the tagline be hate, love, hate … fate?

I won’t spoil the end for you! You’ll just have to read INSTANT KARMA to discover what happens for yourself!! But I can tell you this: I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the human and animal characters alike and cheer Prudence as she learns to step outside her comfort zone and become less judgmental. I classify this as upper MG/early YA, suitable for 8th graders on up. If you love this novel as much as I did, I think this next bit of news will make you jump for joy.

HBO MAX is turning INSTANT KARMA into a TV series!! Here’s the link for more information:

Marissa Meyer is also the bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles, Gilded, Renegades, Heartless, and Serendipity. Check out her website ( for lots of helpful information! I was excited to discover that Marissa interviews authors for The Happy Writer Podcast, which is all about discovering and rediscovering the joy in writing. You can follow the podcast through these links:  Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


    1. Thanks, Keri! I really think you’ll enjoy the heavy dose of realism sprinkled with magic in this book, as well as how the main character learns to be less judgmental. I’m so glad you’re following Marissa Meyer’s podcast!!


      1. I just finished Gilded (a cliff hanger…waiting for #2). I requested my library to get a copy when the 2nd book comes out, Cursed (I think). I liked this one. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you for posting this, Laura. On her website, Marissa Meyer shows her query letter for “Cinder” annotated with comments from her agent. Her desire to share what she knows is wonderful. And the TV series will bring her work to a broader audience, adding to her success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joyce, thank you for sharing the information about Marissa’s query letter! No doubt this book in particular will become even more popular when the TV series airs!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s