Review * Parallel by Lauren Miller

November 21, 2013 Reviews 3 ★★★★★

Review * Parallel by Lauren MillerParallel by Lauren Miller
Published by HarperTeen on May 14, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
five-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.

What I Thought…

  • I’ve heard a lot of good things about Parallel but I was a little nervous because it has also been compared to Pivot Point, which I absolutely loved. I can see the similarities between Parallel and Pivot Point, but it was also quite different, and I loved it!
  • The multi-verse/parallel universe concept is one that I’ve just recently gotten excited to read about and I loved where Parallel took me. There were a few parts that were a little sciency and I’m not ashamed to admit that it made my eyes gloss over and I just kept right on plugging through. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I really don’t care if the science actually works, as long as the plot does.
  • In parallel there is an incident and two parallel worlds collide and Abby’s whole future changes and there is some fluke that causes Abby to be affected differently than everyone else and she remembers her other past not the parallel’s past, until her parallel lives out the year (yes, I know that was confusing)! Obviously every decision parallel Abby makes affects Abby. Small decisions may go unnoticed in Abby’s new life but big ones have a huge impact. I like that Miller paid attention to those facts and had both little and big changes in Abby’s life. There were also a few subtle hints throughout the book about how things were going down.
  • Abby’s two different lives were vastly different, resulting from the fact that in her own life she took a drama class and in her parallel’s life she ended up with astronomy. Despite all the differences it was nice to see that Abby was still (kind of) the same person.
  • I didn’t love Abby, but I didn’t hate her either. Even with the memory gaps Abby made some baffling decisions, though I can believe that some of it came from the stress of what is happening.
  • Obviously there is a love triangle. We have Josh who is in her past (parallel Abby’s life) and Michael who is in her present. I was so much more drawn to Josh than Michael. There wasn’t anything particularly awful about Michael, but he just wasn’t who I wanted for Abby. I liked the twist involving the two boys and even though I didn’t see it coming, it didn’t surprise me either.
  • Abby’s BFF Caitlin was my least favorite character. I thought Abby and Caitlin had a great friendship though, but Caitlin rubbed me the wrong way a lot of times. She was just a little too perfect.
  • What made Parallel so amazing was the ending. I loved how it came together, how Abby made her choices (not just regarding the boys, but everything in life) and how it impacted others.
  • I’m so glad that this isn’t a trilogy or series. Sometimes it’s just great to read a standalone!

Notable Quotes

“That’s the funny thing about life. We’re rarely aware of the bullets we dodge. The just-misses. The almost-never-happeneds. 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.”

Kimberly

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