by Lauren Miller
Expected Publication: May 14, 2013
Number of Pages: 432
Abby Barnes had a plan. Get into a great college, major in journalism, land her dream job at a major newspaper. But on the eve of her 18th birthday, she's stuck on a Hollywood movie set instead, wishing she could rewind her life. But the next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. A collision of parallel worlds has left Abby living a new reality every time her younger parallel self makes a new decision. Forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go on her plans for the future 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 in reach.
*An ARC was provided by Water Street Books for review purposes*Lauren Miller has done it; she's written a book that has awesome characters, a unique, sci-fi-like element, compelling writing, and an eye-opening premise. From page one, this book had everything going for it--I couldn't put it down.
I am so hooked on this idea of parallel universes. Before I read this book, it wasn't an idea that I'd ever even thought about before. The execution was really well done--Miller articulated a complicated concept in a clear, straightforward way, which I appreciated. I don't usually go for books with these kinds of ideas in them, but this book convinced me that even the craziest of ideas can go a long way.
The characters were very strong. The protagonist, Abby, was lovable in all her flaws. Sometimes I found myself laughing out loud at her narration, and it just seemed like an honest book, despite this idea of parallel universes, which no one would ever really give a second thought to unless they read this book. I think that Lauren Miller has done a really good job of balancing out the several elements in this book and making sure they mesh. For example, Abby is totally a normal girl, filled with thoughts of prom, boys, friends, etc., and yet she's caught up in this crazy scenario. And yet Miller manages to fit in bits of humor and excitement, and it created a really connected, captivating book.
Lauren Miller also clearly knows how to keep the reader's mind fully on the book. While I was reading it, I couldn't put it down--literally. I carried it around with me everywhere and refused to stop reading until I finished.
This book, as expected, has a love triangle, but it's so much different than any other love triangle I've ever read about. Because, well, the guys are in different universes. Is that your typical love triangle? I think not. I'm so glad things ended the way they did. This book wrapped up really nicely, but what I'm really hoping is that Miller will write a second book! This story just has to continue.
So I didn't just like Parallel, I LOVED it, and I'm just so in love with everything about this book: its idea, its characters, its plot, its everything! Definitely thumbs-up for Lauren Miller on this one; it was really fantastic, not just for a debut novel, but for ALL novels!