Publisher: Harper Teen
Rating: 4.5 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.
When Andrea sent me Parallel I really didn't have any idea what to expect. The blurb sounded super interesting, but still....how was this going to work out? This girl has a parallel self that is changing her every life decision? What? Sooo...when I started it and was confused by the second chapter, my misgivings were creeping in at a quick rate.
Then, I stopped. Read something else. Took a deep breath and said to myself "Self, you need to read this book. Quit being a whiney bitch, and get to it." And so I started again. I went back through the dates at the beginning of the chapters and while I still wasn't getting the time frames being a year apart I just went with it.
Moral of this story: Do Not Quit This Book. After that little bitty bump in the road, the story really picked up. We have Abby in the Here = Present Day for her, and she is an actress and really hating being in California for this movie and missed out on all this stuff. She fell into this life, and can't help wonder what it would be like to be doing something else. Ergo, her dream of college. THEN: the day of her 18th birthday she wakes up across the country in a dorm room she's never seen....cue suspenseful background music.
In the There = A Year Before = Repeating Abby's Senior year. Things aren't going quite the same way they did the first time around...which is in turn affecting Abby's present day life. She ends up in Astronomy class instead of Drama. She ends up injured instead of running....event after event after event goes entirely differently and Here Abby doesn't know each morning which event from There is going to change her life and rip her into somewhere else into the universe.
She has a cast of friends that make up her Here and There (romantic interests in both places, but I wouldn't call this a romance...no smut here, folks...and they say you can't write about college kids without a sex scene...ppssh) and one BFF that is in the know and helps her figure out each day. Events unfold, the suspense gets cray and I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. I did have a couple of Aha! moments of guessing (Okay, ONE moment) what might be ahead of me...and I got really excited and started manic tweeting Andrea how good this book is! (Sorry!)
Sorry this is so long, but its kind of a long book. Whew, catch my breath. THEN just when I think I've gotten everything figured out. The effing end. OMG. The end. I have been sitting on this for a few days to decide how I could write a review about it. Parallel is intricate, and developed and really blew my mind. I especially liked that one of the love interests was a geeky guy that wore pleated pants and everything wasn't always the best and the most beautiful with these kids...which has really been lacking in some books (A, I know you tweeted this displeasure recently...not everyone can be beautiful and messed up and virginal, right?). I really enjoyed it, and hope that you might give it a chance if it crosses your radar at some point!!
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