Instant Karma Book Review

Heyyyyyy diamonds!

Way back in December, I got a book titled ‘Instant Karma’ for Christmas. I know someone requested a review of it, but I don’t recall who. Anyways, I finally read it! And I had some…thoughts.

First of all, it’s important to mention two things.

Firstly, I’m not huge on reading contemporaries. But I have been trying to branch out more lately, and this one did sound intriguing. Plus, (this brings me to my next point,) Marissa Meyer is my favorite author. I love her writing style so much, and it’s just incredible! I love her books. So I *had* to read this one!

(I will try to keep this review spoiler-free!)

About the Book

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 thoughts and feelings

The setting. The setting was fine. It was a summery beach town that definitely makes me want to take a trip to the beach. It was relaxing enough, and it served its purpose.

The writing. This was a big disappointment for me. I love the writing style of The Lunar Chronicles, Heartless, and Renegades, but this was much different. I understand that YA contemperary is written differently than fantasy, but that didn’t change my feelings. Meyer’s other books were written in past tense, third person, and this book was the opposite. I don’t like books written in present tense for some reason. I don’t know why, it’s just a personal pet peeve of mine. Anyway, the writing is really fine, I was just shocked that it was different.

The plot. Here’s the part where I was probably the most shocked. There was almost no focus on the instant karma power that Pru gained. At times, I found myself forgetting that was even an element to the plot.

Speaking of plot elements, there were soooo many. I personally think it was too much going on. There was so much stuff that some things didn’t get resolved. But whatever, at least you can’t argue that this book was too boring!

I also found a lot of elements unrealistic. Supposedly two teenagers planned a whole gala by themselves? and with only a couple hundred bucks?

The characters. Oh goodness. I was forewarned how bad Prudence was, but gosh! She was the most annoying main character I’ve ever read about. She wasn’t relatable at all(for me), and it honestly felt like I was reading about an adult instead of a teenager. I do think that not every character has to be likeable or relatable, but still, Pru was incredibly annoying.

However, Meyer did a fantastic job with the side characters! It felt like the were real people, all with different hobbies and flaws. Also, nothing was casually mentioned. Their fears and quirks were important to who they were and it was easy for the reader to remember these small details.


Overall I would say this book is pretty clean. There is some kissing and mild cussing. There is no violence, but there is some evidence of animal cruelty. For context, Prudence volunteers at a sea life rescue center, so that’s why some of the animals are injured.

Overall I give this book a three-star rating. It was good, and I’m glad I read it. However, it’s not a new favorite or anything.

So yeah! That’s what I have to say about Instant Karma. Feel free to talk about it in the comments, but remember to mark any spoilers!


18 thoughts on “Instant Karma Book Review

    1. Yeah! Have you read any of Marissa Meyer’s other books?

      Not too bad. I think there might have been like one use of the b word and a few of the “biblical” cuss words (h***,d***, etc,)
      I didn’t notice too much swearing.


  1. Huh, I’ve never heard of this book before! But, I’m also not an avid reader or anything.🙃
    I LOVE the featured image! How’d you do that font/is it a font? It’s so cool!
    Anyways, I love you, Diamond! I hope you have a GREAT day!🌈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should read it! I feel like it suits your vibe.

      It was kind of painstaking, so thank you for noticing! I just searched for each letter on Canva and changed the color and size…
      Love you too friend! You too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this book! I’m pretty sure I was the one who requested it because I was planning to read it/was reading it/had read it at the time. Haha. I don’t remember which.
    Prudence was annoying but I thought she was meant to be and that the story had intended to change her for the better, so I grew attached to her and felt really satisfied with her character arc because I saw she had indeed changed from being that annoying person she was at the beginning. Character growth is everything to me. I even cried for her at one point in the story so it shows you much I ended caring for her even though she was annoying 90% of the time and for most of the book.
    I thought I didn’t like present tense first person… but it’s growing on me. Ahh. I’ve read so many books with it now, quite a few beloved stories, so I think that’s the main reason why.
    It isn’t my favourite favourite book ever but it’s still favourite cause I just enjoyed so much. More than I thought I would. It isn’t Marissa Meyer’s best book, but I love that she’s trying new genres. I relate to that as a writer, and it’s encouraging to see a bestseller author doesn’t have to be stuck in one genre or have to change their name for different genres.
    Also I’m glad you still enjoyed it even if it wasn’t your taste or style! ^_^

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you were!

      Yeah, I agree. Character growth is awesome. I still didn’t love her character, but that’s a me thing.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it a lot! I’m not a huge contemporary fan, so it isn’t my favorite. But I still liked it.
      Good point! I think Marissa Meyer is good at contemporary/fantasy/sci-fi/whatever she wants to try next!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 2 people

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