REVIEW: Parallel by Lauren Miller

Title: Parallel
Author: Lauren Miller
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Pages: 432, Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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.

  • Abby's reality is constantly changing based on her parallel self's decisions. It was suspenseful to wait and see what decision would cause a new reality. And as I started getting attached to certain people and situations, I started rooting for certain things to stay the same, or change. 

  • I loved the friendship between Abby, Caitlin, and Tyler. They made a pretty rock solid trio. Caitlin was just super great and deserves extra kudos for being the world's best best friend. I also loved Marissa's character, and how great of a roommate she was. 

  • The ending was a little crazy. There were two plot twists I definitely did not see coming. I wouldn't say that I LOVED the way the book ended, but there was enough promise in the air that I am ok with it. 

  • "Your path changes. Your destiny doesn't." I really love this concept, and I loved how it was executed in this book. 

  • It was hard for me to really enjoy either love interest. I didn't dislike the romance by any means, and I had a favorite, I just didn't swoon for either boy. I think it was a little bit of the way the romance played out in each reality, and the shitty situation it ended up being (that's all I can say). 

  • I always have a little difficulty following parallel stories in the beginning until I can get a handle on what is going on.

I think Parallel was a well-excuted, suspenseful story and stand-out among books with that parallel worlds/uncertain futures/alternate realities theme. The plot was engaging and well-paced, the characters were good, and the ending was reassuring. It wasn't perfect, but definitely an interesting and enjoyable read for those looking for a book of this type. 

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