Release Date: May 14th, 2013
Rating: 4 STARS
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.
Wow! Parallel by Lauren Miller literally has fried my brain. The concept was so scientific and explained in such a way that I was awed by its complexity yet simplicity of it. It's also an idea that YA authors never grasped, so its pretty cool having a story dealing with it!!
Abby is the type of girl that plan everything and doubts that anything could lead her plans a stray. In her story, we see her Parallel self deal with just that, everything not turning according to plan. Parallel Abby I will admit was a bit irritable and annoying and it's seen as she interacts with her friends, *coughs* Josh, school (in general), and her parents. No matter how much Abby thinks she would have never done the same decisions as Parallel Abby, I think she totally would have. Abby is a determined girl who's life still kind of confused on like that moment you totally understand what's happening, then this small thing or line is said and you're like,"Whaaaaaaa???" Which also is what my reaction was throughout the book.
I loved the conceptual-ness needed for Parallel and seeing how it worked. Ok....well not really the conceptual-ness but I did really like the way it was presented and the idea in general. Gustav Mann (I think that's his name, not entirely sure) was a great Albert Einstein look a like kind of character and it was interesting all his theories on "entanglement of universes". The catalyst for all this was trouble/drama in Abby's life is really just the clash of the parallel universes which may I add coincidentally occurred on my birthday :P
Caitlin was also a great supportive, nerdy but awesome best friend who totally accepted the whole parallel universe theory helping out Abby in any way she could.
The only thing I didn't like about this story was all the unanswered questions buzzing around in my head throughout the course of the book. I think Lauren Miller did try to answer things without giving away stuff that would spoil the book but it took my brain quite some time to get used to the whole sci-fi-ness of it all. There also may be some spoiler questions so you're warned!!!
- Was her being in L.A, her actual life or what?? *does not know how exactly L.A fit into this*
- Follow up to previous question: And if L.A was her actual life, then shouldn't there just be only another parallel universe? Or was it specifically suppose to show her life in L.A and then branch two ways and show just the parallel universes of her other life if she didn't get to choose drama class?
- When Michael and Abby meet, they didn't know each other, but when she's talking to Caitlin, Caitlin says that Abby did kind of know Michael. If that were the case then why didn't Michael know Abby when she first saw him? Or did that happen because of something Parallel Abby did so her and Michael had never met until Abby officially met him?
- And I wasn't really sure but does the whole parallel universe affect all the other characters too?
Then there's Josh....and Michael. *groans* Two lovely, fantastic guys..yet again. In the beginning, I honestly thought Josh was a super-ly minor character that would have been thrown out one she meets Michael, but then Parallel Abby starts dating him and they're so cute and adorable together!! He is super awesome and understanding of course. And then there's Michael, who I LOVE and is dating Abby. But then this super spoiler-y thing that I won't be telling you thing happens and I had the "OMG!WHATJUSTHAPPENED?THISISAMAZINGBUTNOT!ANDIMKINDACONFUSEDNOW" moment and expression which involved a lot of squealing, "Oh my god(s)", and spazzing. Don't judge me, I'm crazy like that. The thing I didn't like about the romance was that I felt that there wasn't a big connection between Abby and Josh/Michael and that it lacked moments of them truly together, not just on a date. However Lauren did an exceptional job piecing together everything so you understood what happened between all of them by the end of the book.
Parallel is a world that will most definitely have you in a legit book hangover but was well done! It's definitely a book for a all the nerds and science/theory loving readers or just someone looking for a new kind of thing to read. However if you're not one for complexity and just want a straightforward book, this may not exactly be the book for you. Happy Readings!