I received this book for free from Publisher, Swap in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Parallel by Lauren Miller
Published by HarperTeen on May 14th 2013
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Source: Publisher, Swap
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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.
Parallel, I’m sorry, I haven’t been fair to you. We got off on the wrong foot, I went into this relationship thinking you would be like Pivot Point due to the parallel universes thing. In hindsight, I recognize how ridiculous this was on my part, just because two books share a plot device doesn’t mean they will be anything like each other.
Unfortunately for you, it took me awhile to realize you weren’t going to live up to my expectation of a cute, quirky, funny read and that may have colored my initial impressions. You weren’t what I was expecting and I think if I had realized you were going to be so wistful and serious, I would have tried again later in a different frame of mind.
I don’t want you to feel bad about yourself, you had so much going for you. You had a good message, one you some up quite nicely here:
We’re all just a decision or two away from destroying the relationships that are the most important to us and the people we love. And most of the time, we never even know it.
I think it’s important to remind people not to be assholes to each other and the whole entanglement theory-based vehicle for your message was pretty neat as well. I like theoretical physics and am quite taken with the idea of multiple realities (granted, I can’t totally keep up with most people who talk about them because my brain naturally rejects scientific terms, but as far as I can tell, you broke it down nicely).
I mean, okay, if we’re being honest this isn’t an entirely clear cut ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ situation. As interesting as the parallel realities thing was, the way it shifted back and forth was a little disorienting. Mostly it was the out of sync timelines and way the past reality could change the present that had me pinching my nose in frustration. Abby spent so much time playing catch-up, trying to figure out what had changed about her life, that it meant a lot of the meaningful relationship building between her and the love interests happened off camera. I felt distanced from the story and didn’t connect much until the very end and at that point, it was too late, you were almost over.
While I’m on the topic, love interests? Really? It was a new take on the love triangle in a number of ways, I’ll give you that, it didn’t bother me too much at first. However, in the end it came with it’s fair share of MAJOR OUT OF THE BLUE PROBLEMS and didn’t end up seeming like it needed to have happened like that.
Another thing, Abby kind of bugged me. She spent a lot of her time whining about her parallel and being mad at the choices she was making. I also couldn’t help but feel that she spent more time worrying about the choices for the wrong reasons. I get that which college Abby ended up at, who she dated and whether or not her friends were dating were important issues to her, but what about her other life stuff? There was the whole thing about acting versus journalism that was never really resolved AT ALL. It was in the sense that she ended up with one of them, but it wasn’t a decision she ever really made, more like a side effect of the resolution and felt disappointingly passive.
I’m sorry, let me take a step back, I’m not trying to throw blame around, we’re both at fault. I wanted you to be something you’re not, you deserve someone who will get wrapped up in your romance, it’s the bulk of your substance. I am not that person. As much as I like the idea of soulmates, I think it’s weird when people actually call each other that.
Maybe one day I’ll feel differently. Until then, I hope we can still be friends.