Review: Parallel by Lauren Miller

13 November, 2013 Reviews 8 comments

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.

Review: Parallel by Lauren MillerParallel by Lauren Miller
Series: Standalone
Published by HarperTeen on May 14th 2013
Pages: 432
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher, Swap
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

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.

From Goodreads

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.

Meg Morley

Meg Morley

Co-bloggery at Cuddlebuggery
Meg is an all-around book nerd who just really wants to talk about books, preferably with other people but by herself will do. Find her on Goodreads.

8 Responses to “Review: Parallel by Lauren Miller”

  1. Johannah

    Ooh thank you for the laugh! I’ve had a letter to a character in a book explaining why he was going back on the shelf. I hadn’t posted it because I was worried people wouldn’t understand it…

    This made me smile tho. thank you and I’m sorry you had to break up with the book.
    Johannah recently posted…Defending A Good Books HonorMy Profile

    • Meg Morley

      I say go for it! I love clever posts. Although, take this with a grain of salt, people often tell me they have no idea what I’m talking about. Glad you liked it!

    • Meg Morley

      Ahhh, the old ‘uh, sorry, unexpected thing, must run. No, no, I’ll call you!’ approach. I like it. Poor Parallel, maybe it should find a new bar to hang out in.

  2. Ellis

    Did you just *whispers* friendzone a book? Remember when I told you I wanted you to write me a letter? About that… Please don’t make it one like this, ‘mkay? However much I love what you’ve done with this review, I don’t think I could take it if it was addressed to me.

    Any-way. “As much as I like the idea of soulmates, I think it’s weird when people actually call each other that.” Yes. I also have this with star-crossed lovers. My main problem, execution-wise, is that it rarely even considers the aspect of choice. I don’t know, the meant to be thing, I think I’d burst out laughing if someone ever said this to me and meant it.

    I don’t think it’s entirely your fault. The fact that she doesn’t make a decision about what she wants to study ticks me off. I’m not saying it’s the most important thing in the world, but some consideration of priorities might be nice. I’m on the fence about reading this. I’ve seen some calling it “how to ruin a great premise involving fringe science with slut-shaming and petty high school drama”. I don’t know if this is true, but I haven’t read any reviews that indicate I would enjoy this. Well, here’s to hoping you’ll soon read an amazing book you’ll completely fall in love with!

    • Meg Morley

      I did friendzone it. It wasn’t a bad breakup, just quiet and sad.

      The weird thing about the romance situation is I was rooting for the guy she ended up with in the end, but there was so much reality weirdness, I didn’t start rooting for anyone until the last 15% of the book. I like to comfortably settle into a ship early on so I can enjoy it throughout the whole story, you know? (Series excluded bc they can make up for it in other books)

      “how to ruin a great premise involving fringe science with slut-shaming and petty high school drama” <— way harsher than I would have put it, but not entirely unwarranted. You may like it, I've seen great reviews. I think I would've liked it more if I didn't spend the first chunk being all 'where's the witty bits?'

    • Meg Morley

      Oh no! I hadn’t considered that! It seemed so sweet, I’m sure it’ll go gracefully into the night.

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