Release Date: 05/14/13
Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten.
With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby's senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby's never even met.
As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.
My thoughts on the book:
Parallel just wasn't for me. Lauren Miller is an excellent writer, and there was nothing wrong with the book. However, I simply did not enjoy it. It was a bit too science heavy for me. Also, if I didn't pay very close attention, I'd miss something important and have to go back and re-read to make sure I understood everything. I like to think I'm decently intelligent, but when I read fiction, I'm reading it to let my mind relax. If I want to read something that requires tons of concentration and thought, then I'll read some sort of academic book. As I stated, this wasn't my kind of book. It could be something you'd enjoy, though.
I really didn't connect to Abby at all. Also, Caitlin didn't do much for me. Basically, the characters took a backseat to the overly complex plot. Abby was the typical overachiever who made one mistake and screwed up her life. She didn't really stand out, and neither did any of the other characters in my opinion. It's hard for me to get into a book when I don't care what happens to the characters, and in this novel, I simply didn't.
The plot was extremely intense and kept me on the edge of my seat. It was also overly complicated, though. If you don't want to read something that requires a lot of thought, concentration, and dissection, then this book is not for you. If you like a mental challenge with your fiction (you Literary types with a capital "L"), then you will absolutely love this. I switched from being an English major because I didn't like to think too much about fiction. It made me not enjoy reading. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that I didn't enjoy this. However, it is clear that Miller put tons of thought and work into this novel, and everything lines up perfectly. She's an excellent author, and if you're looking for a book that will give you a bit of a challenge mentally, then this book is perfect for you.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to people who like science and people who like challenging fiction. I thought the idea of parallel universes was cool, but I was looking for something more along the lines of Unraveling, Through to You, or even Pivot Point (though that was more two future paths being lived out in someones mind and seeming real instead of alternate dimensions). I was not looking for something was this complex. But, as I stated, the writing is fantastic, and Miller does an excellent job of explaining things. Just because I didn't love this one doesn't mean you won't. Give it a try if you think it sounds like something you'd enjoy.