Sunday, 2 June 2013

Parallel by Lauren Miller

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
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.

Parallel by Lauren Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Parallel(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
17-year-old Abby didn’t realise how much one small decision could change her entire future.
Being forced to take Drama in her senior year, she somehow ends up with a major part in a big movie, co-staring alongside one of Hollywood’s hottest young actors, and a million miles away from where she thought she’s be celebrating her 18th birthday, but then everything changes again.

An earthquake happens, and suddenly she’s not in LA, she’s at Yale. More bizarrely though, the earthquake happened a year ago, and the only memories Abby has of the last year, are her memories from LA, a place that ‘Abby who went to Yale’ never went to.
Now Abby is slowly trying to make sense of her life in this parallel world, and catch up on what has happened to her counterpart during the last year.
Can Abby figure things out though? Can she work out who she’s destined to be with? And how many major twists and turns will her life take in the meantime?

This was an entertaining YA paranormal/sci-fi story, which was slow to start, but escalated dramatically!

Abby was a really likeable character, and I liked how much thought and effort she put into trying to work things out, and trying to change her new life to what she wanted, all without really knowing what was happening or how it would all turn out.

There are quite a lot of discussions of parallel worlds/realities/lives etc., which are actually dealt with in quite an easy way for the reader to comprehend thankfully. The most difficult part for me was the fact that we started off with one reality, then switched to two others – one where Parallel Abby was at Yale, and the second Parallel Abby one year ago, to show what decisions led Abby to where she is now. This meant that there were 3 (yes 3!) love interests – Brett - the Hollywood actor in LA, Josh – the boy that parallel Abby 1 year ago liked, and Michael – the boy that current Abby at Yale now likes. Slightly confusing, and yes, confusing for Abby too!

This book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting though, from the blurb I assumed that the two lives Abby would be living would be her life on the film set, versus her life at Yale, which wasn’t actually the case. Instead, we got only a short time period with Abby on the movie set, and then the rest of the book alternated between Abby at Yale, and parallel Abby from 1 year ago, ie; the point at which her two different paths were put into motion.
Anyway, I did find this a little confusing at first, but I did then realise what was happening, what I expected though was for Abby to have to decide somehow between her life on the movie set, or the life that her parallel was leading, which didn’t happen.
Thus, the book was actually about Abby learning what had happened to her in the previous year in her parallel life, and working out what she wanted going on from there. Abby actually had no choice other than to get on with her life at Yale, because her original life didn’t exist in that dimension.

I did think the story was quite slow to start with. We’re introduced to these three separate realities, and it’s not until a bit later in the book that we really realise that what happened to Parallel Abby 1 year ago is effecting where Abby is now at Yale. I’d say that this slowness continued until about the 50% mark, where we really began to see what massive differences small things have on Abby’s current existence, and see how these alter Abby’s ideas about people in the current time.
Quite a few people are affected by this is seems, most notably Abby, her best friend, and her boyfriend. At the 60% mark I started to really care about the decisions parallel Abby made, and how these affected our current Abby’s life. By this point the book became pretty un-put-down-able, and I was desperate to find out what would happen next, and who Abby would end up with at the end.
Although it took a while to get into, I did enjoy this book, and the number of twists and turns was just phenomenal! I have to say that I also liked the ending. I’ve read a couple of books this year about parallel worlds, and this is by far the best, and the ending although twisted, did give a clear indication of who was really Abby‘s soul-mate, which was good.
Overall; a great YA paranormal/sci-fi story, about parallel worlds.
8 out of 10.

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  1. I'm glad you liked this overall, despite the slow start. It's great to hear that it has some brilliant twists. Lovely review! :)

  2. I love reading about parallel worlds so I will look out for this book. But I'm a bit wary now that you mentioned that there are 3 love interests!

    Glad to hear you enjoyed it Sarah. :)

  3. I like this idea. It would make more twists and turns than I could probably think up. :-)

    Anna from "Shout with Emaginette"

  4. Wow. I kind of got confused reading the blurb. This certainly looks fascinating, nonetheless.

  5. I love parallel reality books. This one sounds super fun.