Author: Lauren Miller.
Publication Date: June 6th, 2013.
Format: Paperback, 381 pages.
Source: ARC Provided By Publisher.
Two worlds. Two separate identities. Two guys.
A collision of parallel universes leaves 18-year-old Abby Barnes living a new reality - every time her parallel makes a new decision. Never-without-a-plan Abby is forced to cope with the consequences of waking up in a life she has no memory of creating.
With chapters that alternate between our world (Here) and the parallel one (There), Abby's Here comes complete with a Yale address, a new roomie, and birthday blind date with a super-hot lacrosse player. In the parallel world, Abby's still navigating senior year class schedules, college applications, and her relationship with Astronomy Boy at her high school.
I was a little hesitant to start reading Parallel at first; mainly because I was worried I wasn’t going to enjoy it as much as I wanted too. I’m glad to say my worries were really not warranted and I very much enjoyed it! Parallel is a fantastic and fun book with just enough humour to balance out some of the seriousness throughout it. Although it took me a while to get into it, I’m glad I pushed past the slow beginning in the book and continued to read on, it was definitely worth it!
Abby is our main character, and I had mixed feelings about her – sometimes I’d find her really annoying and at others I quite liked her. Abby has a plan for everything, from what she’s going to be doing throughout her last year in high school, to wanting to land a job at a national newspaper. To be perfectly honest; I have respect for people who plan their futures so thoroughly, but I also find them incredibly intimidating - It kind of feels like they’re putting the rest of us to shame. Abby seemed like a fun, kind and caring character – she makes a lot of mistakes, but we all do – that’s what makes us human. Overall, although Abby definitely wasn’t one of my favourite characters I’ve read, I didn’t end up disliking her like I thought I was going to.
Caitlin is Abby’s best friend, and I absolutely adored their relationship! It was really heart-warming to see how wonderfully close they were and how much they relied on each other. Caitlin is a total science nerd, and it was really adorable how obsessed with it she was. I did find it a little hard to understand how quickly she believed Abby about her living her parallels live. To be honest, I found it kind of strange – but I think that’s probably just me, because I have a hard time accepting the possibility of a parallel universe actually existing in real life. Caitlin was an awesome character, caring and very funny – I really, really loved her! I wish it focused a little more on her throughout the book though, because I would have loved to read more about her.
As for the two love-interests; Michael and Josh - I wasn’t that keen on either of them to be honest. Although, when I got just over half way through Parallel, I really started to love Josh’s character. All of a sudden he seemed really sweet and just completely amazing – there were some amazing moments between Josh and Abby that I just loved and made me melt in a puddle on the floor. Michael just wasn’t the type of character that I like at all, he seemed a little self-absorbed and was pretty closed off from everyone. An air of mystery in a guy is really hot sometimes, but Michael just seemed uninteresting to me, and I didn’t think there was a lot of depth to his character.
Lauren Miller’s writing is beautiful and such a pleasure to read. The story flows wonderfully, although, I did get a bit confused at times when it switched between the here and there chapters. Once you get into the flow of the chapters and the constant time changing though, it’s easier to read and understand. Unfortunately, I did find myself having to flip back to the previous chapter quite a few times to reread things I’d already read beforehand to make sure I'd read it correctly. That’s the main reason why Parallel didn’t receive a 5 star rating, (It was close!) but I do believe it well and truly earned the 4 stars I’ve given it. Overall, Parallel was a fantastic and interested read and I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s a sucker for parallel universe novels or just sci-fi fans in general. I can’t wait to read more from Lauren Miller in the future; she’s definitely an author to look out for.
We're all just a decision or two away from destroying the relationships that are most important to us and to the people we love. And most of the time, we never even know it.
“Fiona!” a male voice calls. A hulk of a guy in a shirt that could double as a bedsheet is waving from across the courtyard. His forearm is the size of my thigh.
“Be right there!” Fiona shouts. “My boyfriend,” she explains. “And yes, the size thing is an issue in bed. I once tried to straddle him and pulled my hamstring."
He’s still not looking at me, but I can see his tears spill over. He doesn’t even attempt to wipe them away. “What I feel... these aren’t someone else’s feelings, Abby. They can’t be. The way I love you...” His voice breaks. “Don’t tell me that’s not real.”