Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Book Review: Parallel by Lauren Miller

**Thank you to HarperCollins for a review copy**

Synopsis (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.

My Thoughts:  While this book had me completely confused at points, I thought it was very entertaining and definitely interesting.  It kept me on my toes and even though I had to reread certain parts just to try to understand it, I finished it quickly.

Abby is living a life that most almost 18 year old girls would love to live!  She is in Hollywood filming a movie with one of the hottest actors.  However, for Abby, it wasn't how she had her life planned and she was miserable.  She had had her whole senior year of high school planned out so that she could get into the college she wanted to go too and pursue the career she wanted. When the teacher of her music class decided not to teach it after all, she was thrown into Drama which led to her being completely out of control of her life.  

The night before her 18th birthday, she goes out with her fellow actors to party.  When she wakes up the next morning, she is at Yale.  Abby has no recollection how she got there or who her roommate is.  Luckily, her best friend, Caitlin is there to help. With the help of Caitlin and Dr. Mann, Abby figures out she is living an alternate life.  

I could really relate to Abby because like her, I am a Type-A, control freak personality.  When things don't go my way, I tend to have serious freak outs.  I have to have things planned down to the very smallest detail.  I totally felt Abby's pain when her plans for senior year got screwed up.  I can see how she could get annoying to some people though with her constant need to be in control but I got it.  

Caitlin was an awesome character!  She looked like a super-model (in fact, her mother is one) but she is a nerdy scientist underneath all those good looks.  She is so smart and doesn't care that she is beautiful.  She cares about getting into Yale and spending time in the lab.  She also isn't perfect.  She has dyslexia which causes her to have some low self-esteem.  I just liked how she was gorgeous but wasn't your typical popular, beautiful girl.  She was popular and beautiful but she had learning problems and liked science.  

A couple things I didn't like...the book was very jumpy.  You jumped between Abby's current life and then a year ago, where Abby was living her parallel life.  Some of it got a little confusing.  I also had no clue what Dr. Mann and Caitlin were talking about when they discussed the parallel universe.  I reread it several times and still didn't really get it.  I am not sure that I liked the twist at the end either.  It was a huge twist and I didn't see it coming at all but I am just not sure how I felt about it.  

I really enjoyed the concept of this book.  I liked how every day Abby experienced something new because of some choice her parallel made the year before.  Abby never knew what was going to happen and had to learn to just go with the flow.  This book really makes you think about how every decision you make could totally change the course of your life.  

This book was interesting and I didn't want to put it down.  Even though it was a little confusing at times, it held me attention through the whole book.  

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