Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Instant Karma

Rate this 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.

400 pages, Hardcover

First published November 3, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Marissa Meyer

61 books120k followers
I live in Tacoma, Washington, with my husband and beautiful twin daughters. Represented by Jill Grinberg. Learn more about me and my upcoming books at http://www.marissameyer.com.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
4,050 (23%)
4 stars
6,969 (39%)
3 stars
4,979 (28%)
2 stars
1,188 (6%)
1 star
309 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,101 reviews
Profile Image for Angelica.
803 reviews1,002 followers
April 10, 2021
I'm a simple girl. I see Marissa Meyer and I hit the "to-read" button before I even read the synopsis. It's just the way it is.

And yet, despite loving Marissa Meyer and her writing. Despite being a ride or die fan of everything she writes. Despite looking forward to anything that she may publish in the future. Despite all that, I didn't love this book.

I did listen to the audiobook and I have to give props to the narrator, Rebecca Soler for making the story engaging. I must admit, that had I been reading it myself, I would have put it down and strongly debated picking it back up.

That being said, it's not that the book was necessarily bad. It wasn't bad at all. Meyer's writing is wonderful as always and it was great to listen to. The issue was that I honestly didn't care about the characters at all. Interesting, likable characters are Meyer's greatest strength, in my opinion. The cast of the Lunar Chronicles remains one of my favorites to this day. So, I don't know what happened in this book that made the main character, Pru, so hard to root for and made me not want to keep reading her story.

Prudence was so immature and selfish. She was narrow-minded and self-righteous. And yes, this is all part of her character arc and growth but I couldn't help but roll my eyes every time she acted like she was superior to all those around her. In fact, I'm not entirely convinced that her superiority complex is fully gone by the end of the story.

Another issue I had was that at times I felt as though the story dragged. There were so many side quests going on, too many subplots. Also, the karmic justice bestowed by the universe felt forced at times. I think the book would have been better without it.

In the end, even though I didn't love this novel, I did enjoy parts of it. I really liked the side characters and would have liked more from them. Honestly, all of the characters were great except for Pru. Maybe I'm being overly judgmental of her, but then again, she was overly judgmental of everyone around her so let's just call that karmic justice, if you will.

I liked the writing, the setting, the general concept of the story, and the audiobook narration. But, it wasn't enough to actually get me actually like the novel as a whole

Overall Rating: 2.5

**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**

Follow Me Here Too: My Blog || Twitter || Bloglovin' || Instagram || Tumblr || Pinterest
Profile Image for jessica.
2,480 reviews29.7k followers
November 24, 2020
i like sci-fi/fantasy MM but, wow, i like contemporary MM even more. this is honestly the genre for her.

because theres not the flashiness of her usual sci-fi/fantasy in this, it feels like MMs writing is stripped down, which helped me realise her writing skills are actually quite good. its simple, but really effective. the character development is great, the pacing is spot on, the banter is adorable. this is everything you could hope for from a YA contemporary.

not sure if this is one of the books whose original release got pushed back because of COVID, but this would have been the absolute perfect summer read. i really hope MM choses to do more stories like this, because its a good look for her.

4 stars
Profile Image for sally.
75 reviews98 followers
December 21, 2020
OH IT WAS SO GOOD. marissa romances make me so mushy 😭 can quint be my boyfriend please!


i will give everything i own and my firstborn baby for this
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,070 reviews38.2k followers
January 19, 2021
Awwww this book is fanfrekingtastic! ( it’s not a word but nothing is better to define this book)

Dear Prudence: quirky, overachiever, A-grade exemplary student, ambitious, a little self-absorbed, judgmental because she’s obsessed to be perfectionist! It’s a challenging heroine to feel sympathy! At first chapters you love to hate her. Then she gains a spiritual power like being a karma bitch or let’s define her as divine punisher.
When she sees something unfair, she just concentrates, snapping and voila : the person who says something unfair or acts like prick finds himself/ herself in absurd, humiliating position! ( there should be a Marvel Character who has karmic cosmo powers! ) if you are one of the lazy, rude, arrogant town folks, you will be probably on her punishment radar.

But her powers won’t work when it comes to her longtime nemesis, reluctant lab partner Quint Erickson : he arrives so late to the presentation, never finishes a task he’s attended, never listens anything she tells him.

And guess what! Her classmates adore him including her twin brother Jude! What a traitor!

When she tries to punish him for his annoying attitudes and lack of discipline, something happens to her ( including getting attacked by a broom: don’t ask me how it could be possible! )
And after her hard work Prudence gets C which is unacceptable like an ambitious, ultra perfectionist girl like her. She needs to redo her assignment with Quint but at first she has to convince him to work with her. But you can guess both of the parties hate each other’s guts passionately!

As you can imagine Prudence doesn’t give up so easily. She finds out Quint’s mother works at Sea Animal Rescue Center and Quint also works there as a volunteer. To convince Quint for redoing the project, she offers her help to work at the center for four weeks. And Quint accepts her offer because he believes she will run away before her first shift ends. Oh Quint, you don’t know how stubborn dear Prudence can be.

And dear Prudence doesn’t like to connect with animals, hating fish smell but she slowly realizes the values of the job they’re doing. And she finally realizes her lazy, absentminded nemesis is a responsible, hard worker! Oh, he’s more than that! Is she blushing? Yes, she’s ! She starts to like him a lot but how their relationship work when Quint hates her so much. Or does he still hate her?

This is triple caramel whip, half-sweet, skim, iced vanilla cappuccino kind of delicious reading! I loved the karmic justice idea! Prudence was a little annoying heroine at the beginning but thankfully the book is long enough for you to get used to her quirkiness!
Quint was sweet pie, adorable hero!

I adored the Beatles references, Prudence’s modern hipster family, her bestie Ari. But Quint’s buddy Ezra was the winner of supporting characters. I truly love to read his own book. ( Ari and Ezra’s story! Yes, I love to read this dreamy sequel!)

I’m lowering one star because of annoying heroine part ( even though I learned to like her, at the beginning she earned hundreds of punching points) and at the last parts Quint should be groveling more because he definitely did something really hurtful in my opinion!

Anyways, it’s sweet, entertaining, feel-good reading that I need! I enjoyed it a lot!
Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,208 followers
Want to read
August 21, 2020
reading this is going to be weird when you're used to seeing her characters as cyborgs
Profile Image for emma.
1,786 reviews43k followers
May 6, 2022
I am so pleasantly surprised by this book, which is thoroughly a 3 star read that I will probably never think about ever again in my life.

I guess I expected to hate it?


In truth, YA contemporaries and summertime just go together. When it is warm outside, I want to be reading a contemporary, and it being good or fun is almost beside the point.

Case in point: his main character is truly intolerable, and the guy she is dating does not seem to like her at all, but who cares? Whatever! They're teens and they're living life and that's what summer is all about, when it comes to me reading.

And for another example, is there simultaneously too much going on here and not enough? Yeah, there is. But again, who can be bothered.

I got what I came for, kind of, almost. No more and no less.

Can't complain too much about that.

Bottom line: Contemporary season!!!

currently-reading updates

reading an ARC 2 years late for character development

(thanks to netgalley for it)
Profile Image for human.
628 reviews934 followers
June 12, 2022
I'm going to be honest here and say that I'm incredibly disappointed.

Marissa Meyer is one of my favorite authors, and when I heard that she was writing a contemporary romance, I was excited. A bit skeptical, for sure, considering my not-so-great track record with contemporaries...


Anywho, despite the mixed reviews I decided to check it out.

And I just-

Prudence Daniels, the main character, was absolutely insufferable. She's the most stereotypical "nerdy-good-two-shoes" character that could ever exist. All she's obsessed about is getting good grades and being successful in life. As a result, she looks down on basically everyone and is the living caricature of the Type A personality.

Over the course of the story, she does gradually become more accepting of others and their individual situations. I for one found Pru's character development interesting and believable. One of the biggest driving factors for her development was Quint Erickson, the love interest, aka the Type B personality.

I couldn't bring myself to really care for Quint, all things considered. (To be honest, I couldn't really bring myself to care about any of the characters). The romance itself was actually alright until about 80% in, and I actually like the way it had been developed over the course of the book.

The whole 'instant karmic justice' plotline was actually interesting, and something I hadn't read about in a book before (or at least, I don't think I have). And sure, I get that the only reason Pru had those powers was to teach her not to be so judgemental all the time, and without it, this book wouldn't really have a plotline, but seriously, Universe?? Pru??

That being said, all the Beatles references made my soul happy and basically allowed me to ignore most of the problems I had with this book.

...that is, except for the second-hand embarrassment. I don't know if this bothered anyone else, but I remember closing my laptop, staring at the wall, and having to force myself into continuing the book no matter how much embarrassment I felt for Prudence.

Despite what my review makes it seem like, side characters do exist in this book. It's just that they have little to no consequence to the plot of the story, and most of them could stand-in for one another. They're there, but they aren't developed in any meaningful way.

All in all, I really do think that this was a good concept. It just wasn't executed as well as it could have, and that was really disappointing for me. :/
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,472 reviews19.1k followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
January 17, 2021
DNF @ ~15%: I made the decision that 2021 was going to be the year of putting down books when I knew that they weren't going to be for me, and this one fit that description pretty quickly out the gate. I originally wanted to read this book because I loooooved Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles back in the day, so when I heard that she was putting out a mostly contemporary story (my favorite genre) I hopped right on it. Unfortunately, this one really didn't work for me the way that I hoped it would and I am bummed! Being inside the main characters head annoyed me SO MUCH from page one and I knew that not even listening to the audiobook (narrated by the amazing Rebecca Soler and was fantastically done, tbh) could save this reading expereince for me. Overall, while this book clearly wasn't for me, I do think that if you enjoy a younger leaning YA story with a sassy/snarky lead, there's a good chance that you will probably still like this and I do recommend checking it out if you're interested!
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,372 reviews9,449 followers
October 1, 2021
I love Marissa Meyer, but I was just here for the sweet rescue animals and Quint and his mom working to help them. Pru got on my nerves the majority of the book but she straightened up toward the end. Although, she should have zapped all the bad people while she could, unless she just dreamed she had abilities. Anyhoo, cute

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for Jessica.
324 reviews358 followers
November 5, 2020
Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer is a cute young adult romance.

I loved the wildlife in Instant Karma. Pru learns about different sea animals and gets to experience them being reentered into the wild. Quint is very passionate about the relief center and sea animals and expresses this many times to Pru.

I really enjoyed Pru and Quint’s interactions. Their romance was exactly what I look for when reading YA romance. Pru’s and Quint’s family and friends were also an important part of the story.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Rebecca Soler and she did a fantastic job narrating. Rebecca Soler is one of my favorite narrators and her narration never disappoints.

I love all of Marissa Meyer’s books and Instant Karma was a great read. I recommend Instant Karma to Marissa Meyer fans and fans of YA romance.

Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan Audio/Feiwel & Friends for the Instant Karma audiobook.

Full review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...
Profile Image for Sahil Javed.
258 reviews238 followers
Want to read
May 14, 2020
um why the fuck am i only just finding out that marissa meyer is coming out with a contemporary novel? the queen of retellings is releasing a contemporary? take my money, my lungs, my kidney, take them all. i need this.

Profile Image for Krystal.
1,302 reviews340 followers
November 12, 2020
Okay, I guess it was pretty cute.

Prudence is, like, super annoying though.

Reasons You Will Love This Book
- Enemies to Lovers cute romance
- Fun beach location
- Sea life vibes
- Karmic justice
- Fun characters
- Music rep
- Realistic character appearances (as opposed to everyone being 'the most attractive person ever')
- Quirky moments
- That one scene in the ... where they're both ... *happy sigh*

Reasons This Book May Lose Stars
- Prudence is super judgy
- Prudence is self-absorbed
- Prudence is kind of oblivious
- Prudence keeps everything a secret instead of just friggin' telling people the truth
- Look, mostly Prudence. She takes a LOT of warming up to

It really did take a bit for me to get into this, but once Prudence started softening up I enjoyed it much more. Quint is fun from the start, and I really love the relationship between Prudence and Jude, even though he treats her way better than she deserves sometimes. Ari is cool, too - I love how generous and warm she is, and I wish she'd been in more of the story.

I'm not usually into romance but this was definitely cute. I enjoyed the way their relationship developed, but how it did so while they both mostly stayed true to who they were. It's not about changing to please someone - it's about being accepted just as you are.

The karma angle was probably a little weak for my tastes, but it means that you can hold on to realism by wondering if maybe it IS all just coincidental. I did enjoy the ethical dilemmas it led to, but it still felt poorly utilised. The story definitely feels more about the romance than karma.

A lot of people are going to love this. I found the writing really addictive, and got to a point where I was surprised to realise I was so close to finishing it. It's pretty adorable, with characters that are easy to fall in love with and sea creatures that will steal your heart. The drama may be slightly predictable, but the relationship dynamics make it totally worth while.

I confess: I would be totally down for a sequel.

With thanks to Macmillan for my ARC
Profile Image for Rayne ♥.
197 reviews90 followers
April 18, 2021
This was love at first sight. I saw Marissa Meyer, and immediately, I had the creeping suspicion that I would love this.

But unfortunately, my instincts have failed me.


I really wanted to love this, truly. I think Marissa Meyer is an amazing author and though I have not finished The Lunar Chronicles yet, the first book amazed me. But this one was not it.

Instant Karma is a young adult romance about a girl who's forced to work with her archenemies through the course of one eventful summer, filled with cute sea creatures and the dreaded Quint Erickson.

This story has all the elements to amaze or at least entertain. The author is great judging by her other works, the protagonist is semi-relatable (or at least I thought she would be in the beginning) and it includes enemies-to-lovers, and don't even get me started on this trope because I love it with a passion. Unfortunately though, all of these elements combined resulted in a boring, predictable, chemistry-less (let's pretend that's a word) book that I did not enjoy.

I think my biggest issue with this book is that it’s a romance, but the characters have no chemistry and are just flat. I felt like the main male character was just too perfect, he was given no flaws, and the “flaws” that we were supposed to believe were true were so obviously false (you’ll see what I mean if or when you read the book).

Prudence, don’t even get me started on Prudence. She was this goody two-shoes who always tried to excel in school and I thought I might be able to relate to her, but she came off rather bitter and rude. We do get to see her change a bit throughout the story, and I think the author did a good job at making her transition from pesky brat to palpable human being, but she was still adamant on being selfish and unlikable.

As I mentioned, Quint was just so PERFECT. It was annoying. I've never understood why writing advice always says to give your characters flaws, but now I do. Quint is everything I don't want in a book boyfriend. He is bland, boring and uninteresting. He was too flawless to even be human, and it was annoying how we were reminded of how good he was every five seconds.

The writing style was basic. There were barley any descriptions of the surroundings and at times I found it difficult to imagine where they were. The dialogue was bland and the characters were too. Nothing pulled me in about the writing style, initially I thought I would enjoy it because it's in 1st POV and I enjoy this genre most in 1st POV, but in this case, not even the POV could make it better.

I'm really disappointed that I didn't enjoy this book but I guess that's life. I definitely reccomend checking out some the author's other books though!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a digital review copy. All opinions are my own.

instagram | goodreads

Update 08/12/2020: I GOT AN E-ARC WHOOP WHOOP
Profile Image for Snjez.
699 reviews326 followers
April 6, 2021
3.5 stars

I was a bit hesitant going into this, but it turned out to be a really lovely story.

What surprised me the most was that I didn't dislike Prudence at all. Yes, she is very ambitious and driven, she is a perfectionist who doesn't believe things can be done properly unless she does them, and she can be difficult. But she also cares about things and people around her and she wants to use her skills for something good. She's an optimist and she doesn't let anything get her down. If something doesn't work out, she'll find a different way. I liked that about her.

The concept of instant karma was interesting, though it didn't play such a huge role as I expected. For the most part, the story was about something entirely different. I won't go into any details since it's not mentioned in the blurb, I'll only say that I found it very educational and it gave a very positive tone to the story. That and all the lovely supporting characters.
Profile Image for abthebooknerd.
254 reviews140 followers
November 5, 2020
⭐ 3.75 / 5 ⭐

This delightfully refreshing, Beatles-infused Rom-Com is full of whimsy, romance, and life lessons.

“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, but there is one person on whom they 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.”

Prudence Barnett

🎶Ah, Dear Prudence. . .🎶Such a journey we’ve had. At the beginning of the book, I struggled with her character. I remember thinking, “My God, girl, stop being so judgy.” Prudence is so incredibly ambitious, motivated, as well as a perfectionist. She doesn’t cut herself, or anyone else, any slack. And she’s constantly judged for it. As Prudence’s story began to unfold, I found that these traits are a result of major insecurities - and that she suffers quietly for it.

As it turns out: Amy March and Prudence Barnett? Well, I think they’d get along very well. Have a nice chat over a cup of tea about how society has done them wrong.

The character development that she undergoes is so refreshing. No, she doesn’t get rid of her ambition, or motivation. But Prudence does quickly learn that she isn’t always right, and the burden of perfection isn’t hers to bear. She soon realizes that this karma gift isn’t a complete blessing, and she shouldn’t be so quick to judge others, least of all herself. It’s an amazing, vital life lesson she learns. Surprisingly, I found a lot of myself in Prudence.

🎶Instant Karma’s Gonna Getchu 🎶

Now, speaking of karma, it was an interesting element to the story. It has a more subtle role than others would suspect, but I believe it’s just the right amount of magical realism in this contemporary. Think of it as a bit of Beatles sparkle, if you will. It plays a major hand in the story but from a distance, crafting this tale so that Prudence could grow as a person, and positively affect those around her.

Quint Erickson

Ah, yes. The lovely sunshine bean. Though he and Pru were total polar opposites (hence the hate to love), they balanced each other out so well. Where he was chaotic, she was organized. Her weaknesses were his strengths and vice versa. They made such a great team.

I loved how completely clueless Pru was when it came to all boys, but especially when it came to Quint.

This was a lot of fun, and even though Pru gave me stress, she was such a refreshing protagonist. The writing and characterization were on point. If you love The Beatles, and you love ambitious characters, definitely give this one a read.

A big thank you to Edelweiss+ and Feiwel & Friends for gifting me with this ARC!
Profile Image for Camila Ochoa.
107 reviews5,912 followers
December 2, 2021
en cuanto a gusto personal, 1 estrella.
pero como siento que es un libro que podría funcionar para middle grade le pongo 2.

eso sí, la trama??? where is it
mm no fue para mí
Profile Image for Lamaleluna.
279 reviews1,064 followers
January 5, 2022
Gratamente sorprendida 🤩

Todo el mundo me había dicho que no me iba a gustar, que no espere demasiado de él, que no era la gran cosa, que tuvo mala crítica, etc
A mí sí me gustó 😅

Y estoy diciendo QUE ME GUSTÓ UN CONTEMPORÁNEO jajajaja
Saben que es un género con el que en general no me llevo. Este fue el primer contemporáneo que no se me hizo aburrido. De hecho, fue muy atrapante y lo leí en dos días 🙈

Karma al instante es la primer novela contemporánea de Marissa Meyer que, para quienes no lo saben, es mi autora favorita y la admiro un montón.

Tenemos a nuestra protagonista Prudence, que es súper organizada y exigente con sus cosas y al comienzo de la novela se pone muy mal por tener una mala nota en un trabajo que estuvo haciendo todo el año. El problema es Quint, quien debía ayudarla en ese trabajo y no hizo nada. O por lo menos eso pensará Prudence.
Durante todo un verano Quint y Prudence deberán trabajar juntos por un trato que hicieron en el que ambos se ven beneficiados. Y poco a poco se darán cuenta que las opiniones que tenían sobre el otro eran incorrectas..

A todo esto hay que sumarle que al principio de la historia la protagonista se da un golpe en la cabeza y DE LA NADA puede controlar el Karma. Este poder tendrá poca importancia a lo largo de la historia y me pareció un poco de más.

El libro lo leí súper rápido y me enamoró. Las parejas de Marissa Meyer son lo mejor que existen. Siempre tan sanas, puras y con tanta química. Me reí y me emocioné un montón de veces.🙈🙈

Al comienzo Prudence me caía un poco mal, pero después la empecé a querer más. A Quint lo amé desde la primera página.

Recomiendo el libro, me gustó mucho más de lo que esperaba y si están buscando una novela romántica y divertida para leer en el verano esta es una excelente opción. 🤩🤩

PD. Amé cada mención a los Beatles. Soy demasiado fan

Yo leyendo Karma al instante: 😅🤩😊🙈😎
Profile Image for Sheena.
560 reviews250 followers
November 2, 2020
Contemporary romance and I just haven’t been getting along recently, at least with arcs. I did have high expectations with this one because I really loved Meyer's book Cinder (and need to continue the series) but this book feels like it was written by another author. Points for the cute cover though!

Prudence suddenly gets the power of being able to grant instant karma on those who deserve it. I wasn’t a fan of Prudence, if anything I thought she should get some instant karma against her for her behavior. She is selfish, annoying, judgmental, and thinks she is better than everyone else. Eventually she changes but by then it was too late for me, I thought she was just too unbearable.

The enemies to lovers could have been cute but Prudence is beyond rude to Quint when he would just mind his business and if he would make a mistake she wouldn’t really allow him to speak. She only cared about herself and her own feelings. I actually liked Quint and Prudence’s brother Jude. All the characters except for Prudence herself were likable.

My other problem was that the concept of instant karma is basically forgotten around the 40% mark of the book and focuses on Quint and Prudence working together at the wild life center. This is where it focuses on the love interest instead but because of that, a whole plot line is basically forgotten about. Eventually it does tie in together but because the book is 400 pages, it gets a bit muddled. I did like learning about the sea life and the southern California setting but it just wasn't enough for me.

Thank you to Netgalley and to Macmillan Audio for granting me access to an advanced audiobook of this book! The narrator did a good job at bringing the characters to life.
Profile Image for Nicci.
41 reviews45 followers
December 6, 2020
Easy read? ✓✓✓
Fast read? ✓✓✓
Emotional read? ✓✓✓
(I mean, come on, this is Marissa Meyer. What did you expect?)

I spent half of the first chapter fearing that this wouldn't be as good as Marissa Meyer's other books, then the next half just laughing and being giddy at this sizzling we-hate-each-other chemistry. I was almost tempted to put it down, but I am very thankful I didn't. This was so cute, so adorable, so quirky, so everything along the lines of that! It was very fun to read, especially if you just came out of a heavy-action, slightly-depressing book.

Marissa Meyer has this talent where she makes me think something's about to happen, and then it doesn't, but when my guard is down, BAM the scene hits me in the face. Every single time. She's done it in TLC, Heartless, and Renegades, and she did it again in Instant Karma. An expert indeed.

However, most of the major plot twists and secrets were predictable. I also felt like a few things were left hanging? So I would definitely embrace a sequel--or even a whole series. I love Fortuna Beach and the characters of this book, and I need to explore more of their lives! (I actually had a bad book hangover after this, because I couldn't let go of Prudence and Quint's story just yet)

Another thing I didn't particularly like was that the whirlwind climb to the end was a bit rushed. I wanted it to slow down a little while I processed what was going on.

BUT! That climax had me shaking. Literally. I was so unnerved with the developments and I was so scared for the characters, and that says so much about the writing.

Definitely a stress reliever of a book. I was thinking about giving this 4 stars when I was almost at the end, but now, as I'm writing this review, I know that it deserves 5 stars all the way. The words are rich, the story is fresh, and the lessons are heart-warming.

It's nice to pick up a book and not only be entertained but get something out of it as well. It really wasn't just a fiction getaway. You'll be awakened to the various needs of the community, plus the things you could do to help! Now all I want to do is meet a cute baby otter and help out in the nearest animal rescue center 😭💖
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone.
1,461 reviews184 followers
January 31, 2021
2.5 Stars

CW: Animal injury/illness due to pollution

Well that was a confusing experience.

There were aspects I liked and then there were the other parts.

Encountering a character like Prudence is like having a sour lolly. The outside is, quite frankly, an unpleasant experience, but if you suck on it long enough to get to the centre it becomes sweet. The question with this book is how many people are going to spit out the sour lolly before they get to the sweet bit. For me it was touch and go there for a while, but I decided to stick it out.

After Pru grew on me, my attention focused on other aspects I found confusing and problematic. Firstly, if the karma element had been deleted could the story have been much the same? The answer is yes. Did the karma element add anything to the story? I would argue that no it did not. In my opinion it was weird and unnecessary.

The next problem was that it felt way longer than what was warranted. The last 25% was actually really good and I wish that the editor had trimmed the early sections so we could arrive at this point a bit sooner. I liked the relationships in the book, but it was a very full cast and perhaps this is where some of the trimming could have occurred.

Despite my gripes I am thrilled to have discovered this book. You have no idea how many high schoolers still want to read books with animals in them. For this age group animal books are few and far apart, so this is absolutely being added to the library. The animal rescue and environmental storyline was the most enjoyable part and in my opinion saved the book. It's a shame that this novel had too many unnecessary elements in there detracting from the good stuff.
Profile Image for ☾.
211 reviews1 follower
January 29, 2023
finishing this book was like returning from war because 1.) prudence existed and 2.) respectfully, this book is a transcript of a disney channel original movie.

solid 3.0000 stars, because it was very average and while i didn’t love it, i can absolutely see another person eating this up. also, i appreciate the amount of research that was put in. but the scenes are so corny (not just typical cliche scenes that i respect. CORNY!) that i would physically cringe. ex: an unrealistic thing happens and it legitimately turns to a “and then everybody clapped” situation. i’m serious. everybody clapped.

the most unrealistic part of this story (besides the questionable scenes) is not that our main character is given magical powers that allow her to give instant karma. instead, it’s that (somehow) all of these high school sophomores are well-versed in the beatles’ discography along with various songs from the 1900s.
Profile Image for Melanie (mells_view).
1,684 reviews311 followers
November 3, 2020
Sophomore year would have been a walk in the park if it hadn’t been for marine biology and Quint Erickson.

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer was super cute. Take a driven, yet sort of self involved heroine, and pair her up as a lab partner with someone who is seemingly lazy and irresponsible. Cue the disaster that is this pairs final science project. That’s where we start this story off. With polar opposites Pru and Quint failing epically at working together.

We then follow Pru over her summer as she sort of comes together with Quint in ways that she never expected. Pru is trying to convince Quint to redo their science project with her, but he’s not feeling it. At least not until she offers to help out at the Fortuna Beach Sea Animal Rescue Center his mom runs. He thinks she won’t do it, but he doesn’t realize, Pru will do anything for the grade, even spend her summer smelling like fish! It doesn’t hurt that she seems to have acquired some sort of karmic magic that she can wield at the squeeze of a hand.

I think it’s smart that Meyer introduces us to these two from Pru’s biased perspective. It really lends to the way we eventually get to know Quint. Reluctantly (haha) through Pru’s eyes. I thought that this was a great YA love story. Their friendship is non-existent at first, more enemies than anything, then grows to more over time. Pru has flaws. She isn’t a perfect bubbly character. I appreciated that because don’t we all have moments of selfishness or poor decision making? I think sometimes in fiction we expect characters to be without fault, and I liked that our lead had faults and had to recognize and grow out of them. Quint also has his flaws, even though they aren’t really as extensive as Pru once assumed. I like that these two got to know each other on a deeper level, and sort of learned that they were more than the people they were in science.

Add in a crew of awesome friends and side characters, karaoke Tuesdays, karmic magic, saving cute sea life, Beatle’s references, and a bit of a real life villain sub-plot and I thought this story was entertaining. I think that anyone can enjoy this read, but I definitely think it will work for older middle grade and younger YA readers.

Profile Image for Sylvie .
603 reviews794 followers
January 27, 2021
2.5 out of 5 stars

This felt too generic for me, but I feel like I would've loved this book if it came out around 2016/17 when my love for ya books started to bloom.

I'm totally okay, not freaking out at all. I can totally wait till 2020 without losing my mind.
Profile Image for Josie  J.
110 reviews11 followers
December 21, 2021
There are minor and major spoilers in this review so read at your own risk. I am surprised by how much I liked this because lately I have been reading some underwhelming and mediocre books so I was expecting the same for this. But I was wrong, this was so good. Prudence has the power to inflict instant karma on anyone doing something they are not supposed to or if they are doing good deeds the universe will reward them. I really liked how this was Incorporated with the plot but at times it felt forgotten. Prudence had some really good character development. She was very unlikable in the beginning. She was selfish and quick to judge people. But steadily she became less selfish and less judgy. Quint was great. He was a solid character that put up with Prudence all year. And he was just a great character overall. Their banter was so entertaining. Definitely my favorite part of the book. I got giddy while reading this. I never do that. They have the best chemistry and I'm glad that their relationship didn’t feel sudden, it was all gradual. The gradual enemies to friends to lovers was very well written. I was dreading their fallout in the end but honestly I think that was well done as well. So I was very surprised by the direction but loved it nonetheless. I would definitely recommend this with a warning of the main character being unlikable in the beginning.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
852 reviews3,761 followers
December 5, 2020
The story would have stood on it's own well enough without the karma thing. It felt like it started as the main idea, but quickly fizzled out with no real purpose. I was mad at the main character for most of the book, but she does have a good growth arc. Would love to read more of this genre from Marissa Meyer!
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
588 reviews3,483 followers
February 6, 2021
2.5 stars

Remember that manga/anime about an honor roll student who discovers he has the power to kill people by writing down their name in a special book and hence decides to play god and execute criminals?

Yeah, this book ain't it.

Instant Karma is plain wasted potential. It's a cutesy contemporary romance about a straight A student (Prudence) who suddenly gains the power to karmically punish people, but instead of running scientific experiments or using her power for big-scale projects like taking down despots and terrorists, she—wait for it—uses it on someone spraying graffiti on a billboard. She also punishes a girl for saying something vaguely mean about her brother. Not to his face, mind you, but in a private conversation with her friends that Prudence had no right to eavesdrop on.

I just expected an an academic overachiever to have a little more ambition. Like go online, look up rapists and mobsters, then see if her powers work. Do they only work if she's seeing an event happen in front of her, or does it work through a televised live event too? How far is her karmic reach? Can she punish that dictator in North Korea? But I guess all that experimenting would detract from the novel's sugary theme and the romance.

The romance did nothing for me, by the way. Just thought you should know. Quint is your run-of-the-mill love interest, complete with constant winks and a lopsided smile. (Does anyone actually wink in real life? I've never seen it.)

There are so many derp moments as well. Prudence’s powers conveniently fail when she’s confronting a criminal at the gala. Fights ensue which could’ve been avoided if she'd used an ounce of common sense and, you know, talked to people beforehand.

I guess I must have defaced a sign somewhere because this was a total letdown.

Profile Image for Amelie.
90 reviews39 followers
January 7, 2021
Prudence is faced with a problem when she receives a bad grade on her marine biology project thanks to her lab partner, Quint, who is a slacker. She devises a plan to volunteer at her local marine life rescue centre to help lift up her grade during her summer vacation, without realising that Quint himself also works there. When she gains the abilities to cast instant karma on those around her, Prudence goes about righting wrongs and punishing evil doers, but eventually comes to realise the fine line between good and evil, and the fact that there is a lot to learn about Quint, and about herself.

Marissa Meyer did not disappoint, and this was a highly enjoyable and cute read which I sped through. The enemies-to-lovers romance was incredibly heartwarming to read about, filling me with satisfaction and giddy joy. I absolutely loved reading about the development in Prudence and Quint’s relationship, including the hilarious banter and chemistry between them, and how they gradually overcame and put aside their differences to work together, while also gradually falling for each other.

The characters were each fun and quirky in their own way, and I liked how the snarky protagonist, Prudence, was a character with many layers, with her flaws being captured incredibly well. As an overachiever, she was determined to obtain good grades in all her studies using whatever means necessary, even if it meant doing things for her own personal gain rather than in benefit of others. But I loved how we got to see her character development in becoming much more compassionate, as she came to realise some of her own faults, as well as, the fine line between good and evil, as shown through the repercussions of her actions when casting instant karma on others.

I liked Quint’s friendly and kind nature and how passionate and caring he was deep down especially towards the animals at the rescue centre. And as Prudence gets to know him better, she also comes to realise that he’s not the slack, lazy person she initially thought he was too. Ari was such a great friend towards Prudence, with a big heart evident through all the simple acts of kindness she performed, and I loved her geekiness over music. I also really liked Morgan’s character and her efforts regarding activism and taking action against injustices.

Instant Karma is more than a simple love story, it encourages compassion toward people and animals, activism, and simple kindness. It shows how first impressions don’t always count, and that there is a fine line between good and evil. And I Ioved how Prudence and Quint came to realise they had a lot to learn from each other, and eventually put aside and overcame their differences towards each other. While the magical elements of the book involving Prudence casting instant karma on those around her felt unnecessary and forced at times, I liked how it showed that while the universe is bigger than us, the one thing we can control is the amount of good actions we put into it. This is a light-hearted read with deeper meaning, which I would highly recommend reading!

4.5/5 stars
Profile Image for Zoeisbookhooked.
230 reviews196 followers
June 12, 2021

1) I wanted to DNF this at like 30-50% and wrote a review at that moment: annoying perfectionist girl gets a bad grade with classmate she hates. He finds her annoying and uptight (I don’t blame him). She begs to redo the protect that they received a C on. In return, she helps at his mom’s animal center for 4 weeks. Meaning they have to see each other for 4 weeks. And they just got on summer break. How will they hold up? Will they kill each other with annoyance? Wait and see in “Instant Crap” coming to theaters hopefully no where near you.
2) My friends who have read this told me I must keep going because the second half is the best.
3) They were right.

Ok idek where to begin.
It didn’t quite feel like Marissa’s writing. And overall I hated the beginning but had a good time w the second half/ending.

Prudence-Even in the end I still hate Prudence. She is annoying, she is self absorbed, she is selfish, she is just straight up annoyingly awful. Though Quint changes her for the better in some ways, she still felt all whiny in the end. Like “oh I am a good person!! How can they not see?? I’m a good person. I’m a good person” and like really she wasn’t being a great person😂
Quint-QUINT on the other hand😌 Love him. Book boyfriend. He is an 18 year old mature Thorne. WHAT MORE CAN I ASK FOR? Though he had similarities to Thorne he still seemed different which I appreciated. I didn’t want two Thornes. I loved him from the beginning and I loved him in the end.


Ok I must say Prudence and Quint were cute. So opposite but they just fit so well. There were times when I was like Quint you could do so much better than her😂 But omg Quint was just adorable confessing his love and everything. I melted.

Ok hear me out, is it just me who ships Ari and Jude?? I think they would be adorableeeee😍


So the first half it was just Prudence being annoying as frick. That’s right, I used the F word. And poor Quint having to deal w her mess of a brain. And it was getting nowhere and it was just not it. The writing was not good in the first half it was cringe and like no🖐💀

The second half was much better. Mostly because the relationship started to grow and that was amusing and Prudence wasn’t as annoying. But she still was. The writing was better but still it was just all weird😭 Like this: (Prudence pov)

Wait why am I blushing?
Oh no. I can’t have a crush on Quint Erickson.
Is that what this is?
Ugh, no Prudence stop it.
I can’t.
Does he like me?
Why would he like me?
Why am I even thinking this?
Of course he doesn’t Prudence.
But I can’t help think of him every day and night.

LIKE NOOOOOO AWFUL BAD NOOO. Ok so basically the relationship was cute on Quint’s part.

But the whole Animal Center and the fundraiser and the beach all felt so summery! And I really enjoyed all the scenes with the Animal Center which is what I enjoyed the most probably. The second half was much more exciting w loads more to the story and Prudence lightened up a bit. And the romance🥴❤️

So yes I gave it 3 stars because it was fun towards the end but I didn’t like the writing and the MC but it was summery and enjoyable in the end. And I mean QUINT!! He is really the reason I have this 3 stars in general.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,101 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.