Cheating Fate

9 February 2009

Cheating Fate
by Audrey Pfitzenmaier
Published by Thistledown Press
Review by Judith Silverthorne
$12.95 ISBN 978-1-897235-41-6

Gripping from the outset, Cheating Fate is a young adult novel that will be remembered long after it’s read. Audrey Pfitzenmaier skilfully weaves together the intertwining stories of the four main characters, who have been best friends since early childhood. Now teenagers, they remain closely bound, but a serious accident and the resulting shared near death experience shakes their lives. They come to believe that their destinies are tied and that they will die together at some unknown time. Their solution is to separate into pairs in the hopes of cheating fate.

Through an intriguing premise and great character development, we come to know these four teens as if they were people we knew. Each has a distinctive background and each handles their reluctance to tempt fate in a different way and on their own terms, as they struggle with everyday problems of growing up.

Over time, the three boys come to believe they are invincible. The only girl in the group worries about the way their recklessness increases. The flaws of their decision to split become glaringly apparent as all their lives seem to spiral out of control at the same time. Their vulnerability in being apart makes them realize that life without each other not worth living. They must decide whether to expose themselves to the fate they fear will take them if they remain together or accept being forever apart. Or has their reasoning been faulty all along?

Cheating Fate is storytelling at its finest, with a conclusion that satisfies, yet leaves one thoughtful about these characters long after the book has ended.


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