by Lauren Miller
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Format: Hardcover, 419 pgs.
Published: May 14th, 2013 by HarperTeen
Genre: YA/New Adult, Sci-Fi
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"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." -goodreads
“At every moment, each person has the freedom to choose a different path, thereby changing the trajectory of his life. Nothing is set in stone.” (89)
Abby had a plan for her life; something secure and straightforward. She soon learns that everything cannot be as straightforward as it seems, and as it seems her life is spinning out of control and out of her hands, realization hits: it doesn't matter how you get there, your destiny will still be there in the end.
This book had me captivated from the very beginning! I love, not only the concept of this book, but the plot, the characters, the sci-fi genre, and THAT ENDING. Such a beautiful intricate story! I would absolutely want to read it again and again!
“We’re all just a decision or two away from destroying the relationships that are most important to us and to the people we love. And most of the time, we never even know it.” (312)
If you know anything about my choice of books, it’s that I abhor love triangles. Parallel has a love triangle, BUT it is done so spectacularly well, and it’s necessary and convoluted, and it’s just one of, if not the best, love triangles I’ve ever read in a book. I totally approve of this love triangle, and you will too. This book really grabbed onto the science geek in me with the talk, and explanations of parallel universes. With the “Here” and “There” you can get sort of a sense of foreboding every day, and it’ll end up playing out completely different than what you assumed! I love that it’s unpredictable like that! It’s like there’s suppose to be a domino effect in there somewhere, but some of the dominoes fall and some don’t and that can completely change the outcome of Abby’s life. Or does it?
“We spend so much time worrying about how the future is going to play out, and not nearly enough time admiring the precious perfection of the present.” (402)
The slightest choice, the smallest decisions we may have made in our past affect where we are, and the way we live today. These choices, whether made by ourselves, by others, or due to extraneous factors, only direct the our paths, but our destinies remain the same. Overall, that’s what I got from this book, and it told it so well. That denouement, that “A-ha!” moment, was greatly felt and very philosophical that it gave me the chills! I don’t input spoilers, but the ending was perfect, even if I wasn’t expecting it. It rounded out the entire book nicely, and proved it’s message.
“Who knew fate was so fragile?” (222)
Overall, I believe this to be a very successful book with a clear message that was played out beautifully. Parallel exceeds the standards of the young adult genre, and I could easily put it into the new adult genre as well, although I don’t believe this story and topic can strictly be put in any one genre. I also am extremely pleased that it is a standalone book because it meant that only the essentials are put in this book (no side stories, or tangents like some series may have to stretch out the book.) I actually loved this unusual love triangle and am now a fan of Lauren Miller. I would love to read more of her works! I recommend this book to everyone, especially if you love sci-fi and books that make you go “hmmm!”
First Line: “I hesitate, then point my gun at him and pull the trigger.” (3)
Last Line: “He doesn’t know what I know, but what I know is enough.” (419)
“My life has officially become unrecognizable.” (4)
“‘I just found out that my life is being controlled by a parallel version of me LIVING. IN. A. PARALLEL. WORLD. I’d say that warrants an afternoon cocktail.’” (91)