Sunday, June 30, 2013


Book:  Parallel
Author:  Lauren Miller
Publisher:  Harper Teen
Date:  Available now
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
My grade:  B+

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. (Cover and description from
Initial reaction
Holy alternate universe, Batman!  I need to think about this idea!

Cover story
I like this cover.  I love the way the 2 sides of the face are slightly different.  You know, symbolism! : )  The title is good as well.

What’s the Story?
The more I read, the more I liked this book. At first, I was sort of ho-hum about it, but then as it neared the end, I found myself so entranced with the story.  Let’s face it—the idea rocks!  I mean, a cosmic twist in which you are suddenly aware of a parallel universe and your own parallel self?  And she keeps changing your reality?  It took me a while to get into the book, but I think it’s because the two storylines had to be established.  But once this book grabbed me, whoa!  Hold on to your hats, people!  It really grabbed me and it was a roller coaster ride!

The angst factor is pretty high in this one, though, which made it a little difficult to read. I felt Abby’s anxiety as she woke up every morning, wondering if her reality was going to be the same as it was yesterday.  It was very nerve-wracking.  When I say it was difficult to read, I mean it was difficult in the way I felt that HP and the Order of the Phoenix was difficult.  I felt all the anger, nervousness and anxiety that the main character felt as if it were my own.  I just had to keep barreling on in order to see what the heck was going to be the next reality.

Now, I must say that there were times when Abby really got on my nerves.  I mean in a really, really bad way.  In fact, for quite a while, I really didn’t like her.  She seemed whiny and self-centered.  Of course, the nice thing is that as the book progressed, so did she, and I found her to be much more likeable as the story moved along.  Which is a good thing in a book, right?

I loved the edgy science talk in the book as well.  I mean, the whole concept of parallel universes is totally cool, and having a college professor and a geeky best friend there to explain the physics of it all was pretty awesome.  It was a fun concept to ponder as a I read.

All in all, I really enjoyed Parallel.  It was an awesome story line with a fantastic concept.  I think the author did a really good job of making a complicated idea work in execution.  That was not an easy thing to do.  Even though Abby irritated me in the beginning,  I'm glad I stuck with this one and read it to the end.

The Soundtrack

Don’t Look Back in Anger by Oasis

Otherside by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

I Miss You by Björk

It’s Alright with Me by Harry Connick Jr.

Parallel Lives by Revolver

The Final Grade
My final grade for this book is B+.  I thought the author pulled the story off magnificently.  The main character was really annoying at first, but once I got into the story, this book was unputdownable!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  I received no money or other compensation for this review.  Not even a parallel me who is younger and thinner.

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