Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: Parallel by Lauren Miller

Parallel
Parallel by Lauren Miller
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.
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Publishes in US: May 14th 2013 by HarperTeen
Genre: Paranormal
Source: via Edelweiss

Buy it:  Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound BookDepository.com

Find Lauren online: site   twitter Google+  facebook  blog   book trailer

 
    I just love concepts like these. The idea of parallel lives and how each little decision can effect so much is something that I have though about so much, and in Parallel I get to go through this with Abby. It was executed really well. She would wake up and rely on her friend Caitlyn to fill her in, and it was frustrating for her to have the gaps. She still remembered what she'd learned and the memories come back, but if it was changed by her parallel life then it felt more distant. 
    I was torn over which year I liked better, and it was neat to see the different aspects of her personality come through in different ways in the different realities we get a glimpse of. She has the same characteristics, wanting to be in control, stubborn, strong and smart in all of them it just comes through in different ways. I think it is so interesting how she fights the decisions that have been made and she felt like there was no control. 
    It was hard to see some of the best outcomes, or things that I liked keep changing by past decisions, and the people who get hurt along the way. But it is all what makes Abby develop and grow as a character, the pain and guilt and weight of experience that only she can remember. The hard times are also what makes the novel so deep and rich; the plots all tie together beautifully. 
    The Josh and Michael plot line was especially trying! I couldn't decide which one was the right choice, but I love how it all worked out, and how destiny and fate played out to make the right choice obvious. It added a great element to the story, and while I wouldn't call it a traditional love triangle, it is definitely something that adds a lot of tension and ultimately resolve and closure to the story. It was so romantic though, and I loved every second, and was on the edge of my seat as to what would happen and how destiny would nudge things in the right way. 
    I liked her character and I totally empathized with her as far as her confusion and jumbled feelings while all of this is going on. There are a few plot lines (actress by accident anyone?) that are a little far fetched, but its sci-fi and it's a novel, so I didn't have any issues with it. 
    I also liked the constants, her friend Caitlyn was also fun to read about. I loved the combo of super-smart and nerdy plus fashionista. It made her realistic to me. I loved how she rolled with the punches and was a good friend no matter what choices or what seeming "craziness" Abby came up with or what she'd forgotten or changed. It is a true friendship and I liked watching that play out. 
    There were some elements that went a little over my head like when Caitlyn and the professor were talking about sciences, but luckily I had Abby who didn't quite get all of that either, so it was broken down. I just enjoyed the ride and the time jumps, putting all of the pieces together and Abby as a main character so even if I didn't fully understand the whys, I still had a great time reading it. 
     I had no idea how Ms. Miller was going to tie everything up and fix the wrongs, but the ending was awesome. It left just the right amount of resolve, and while I wouldn't mind going back into Abby's world, I also know that the beautiful ending she wrote for this story would be messed up. But let me just give a shout out for an awesome standalone with a beautifully tied up ending meaning no cliffie. Great resolution, plot, character growth and swoony romance in one book. 

Bottom Line: I cheered for the best possible ending for Abby and loved reading the ways that even the small choices effected her life and those she loved in such a big way.

Books similar to :(links go to my review) Pivot Point by Kasie WestThe Locket by Stacey Jay

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you want to explore your parallel lives?

52 comments:

  1. Parallel worlds/lives is so big right now and I love it! So happy to hear you liked this so much. Can't wait to read it! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

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  2. Thanks for your review! I'm reading this right now (halfway done) and agree with all of your points. I kinda disliked Abby at first because she seemed so perfect, but the realities both her and her parallel shared just made things so interesting. As I get further in the story, she grew on me, and I always feel dismayed whenever her parallel screwed something up!

    I was worried about the unconventional love triangle (right now, I'm not rooting for anyone), but I'm glad it all worked out in the end. At least that's a sigh of relief from me!

    Faye @ The Social Potato

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    1. I know! It was such an unconventional triangle, it was hard to pick

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  3. I like ideas like this as well, but haven't found a lot of books like it. This one sounds amazing and I will definitely add this one to my tbr :) Awesome review!

    Janina @ Synchonized Reading

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    1. The closest I can compare it Pivot Point

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  4. I like time-travel, but for some reason this one doesn't quite attract me.

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    1. Not quite time travel, but didn't know how else to label

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  5. Yeah for a beautiful well tied up ending! THat is always a bonus. These Parallel life books are super popular this year. I have this one coming up and I m really looking forward to it!

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    1. I know, you don't find a para stand alone that often and it was a refreshing treat

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  6. The premises sounds wonderful and I am glad the execution worked..I love watching the ripple effect each action creates. Thanks for sharing and I am so glad you loved this one.

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    1. I know, even the smallest decisions can make an impact in this kind of world set up

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  7. This is the kind of premise that could drive me crazy, but I love that it has a lot of character growth and that the ending ties it all up. Makes that a total plus for me!!

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    1. It can be a little crazy making when parallel does something to mess up a good thing but then fun to watch how she adapts

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  8. I'm glad you loved this one cause I have it on my TBR! Wonderful review!

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    1. Hope you enjoy as much as me, will watch for your review

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  9. Oh yes I like the idea too! It must be so intriguing and interesting to see how everything affect the others.

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    1. The butterfly effect is amazing to see in action

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  10. Yay -- glad you liked this one too. It was a really fun book to read :)

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. It was fun and loved seeing how eveyrthing tied together

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  11. I think this is the first 5 star review I've seen from you yet so I guess I'll have to get my hands on this one ASAP! Glad to hear the friendship stuff was well written.

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    1. I do 5 stars occasionally :)
      I think Under Never Sky got one as well. But anyways, will be watching for your review. I don't know if its still there but was on Edelweiss

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  12. Hells yeah, so happy to hear this one was good. I am dying to read it. EEEE. I love the concept.

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    1. I know, me too. I thnk Miller carried it out so well

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  13. You can't imagine how happy I am that you LOVED this! Parallel is actually on my wishlist and I'm about the start on my ARC really soon, so it's encouraging to hear that it was enjoyable. Also, I'm intrigued about this "best possible ending." Squee!

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  14. This really does sound very interesting. Not sure if it is one for me,but I am glad you enjoyed it.


    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. This concept isn't for everyone for sure

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  15. Excellent review! This book sounds very interesting to me. I'm really entertained by the parallel lives story as well. I think it would be a very confusing and sometimes frustrating life, but that's what makes it so much fun to read. Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

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    1. Oh, I can't imagine how frustrating to wake up and have little details changed

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  16. Oh, this sounds good! I love books that tackle parallel lives, too. This sounds like a book that I would love.

    Have you read Through to You? It is an awesome book about parallel lives.

    Great review, Brandi!

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  17. This sounds AMAZING - a very interesting twist to how parallel selves may affect one another. I didn't know this is a standalone, but I'm now really interested in reading the book. Thanks for sharing :)

    Exploring parallel lives? The idea certainly sounds interesting but I don't know how I'd feel if I wake up one morning and discover that I'm sleeping on a bed that I don't recognize...

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    1. I know, a standalone-- its a novelty these days.
      It would be hard to wake p and not know where you are or what's changed

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  18. I want to read this! I think it might be a little confusing but fun. It'd be interesting to see parallel lives but how much would that influence my decisions? I don't even know if I'd want to or not, I don't think it'd be a great idea for me lol

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    1. SHe did good with labeling when and where and it settles on two main spots in time and two lives

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  19. I am so frigging confused by your review and the book synopsis I'm not even sure I'll be able to read the book. Explore parallel universes? No Way! I have a hard enough traversing this one, thanks so much!

    Heather
    Some of us were meant to exist in only one universe, I think I'm one of them.

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    1. Oh, sorry... I wasn't trying to be confusing... I loved the book, and I was able to keep up with it, but sometimes this is a concept that some people don't like

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  20. I love fun friends...the side kick they always add to a book. Glad you thought so highly of this book. parallel lives. Interesting * thud* on the tbr pile:D

    Great review!

    Mich

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    1. LOL, yes friends are great when well written

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  21. Recently, I've read two books about parallel lives, Pivot Point and Lucid and I really liked them both, so I think it's safe to say I'll like Parallel as well. I have a review copy scheduled for next week and I can't wait to read it.
    Great review.

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    1. I haven't read Lucid, but I did like PP, will have to check it out

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  22. I can't believe I haven't heard of this book before! I mean it sounds amazing. I don't remember reading a book that deals with parallel lives and all that. Sounds great. I hope I'll get to read this one! :)

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    1. It is really well done. It was on Edelweiss if you're on there

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  23. I love books with this concept too! Loved Pivot Point and really want to read The Locket. Seeing how little changes can make huge differences is always something I ponder. Like The Butterfly Effect movie totally freaked me out. Wondering if every little change will change my life! LOL

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    1. OMG, yes that movie did me too, but loved it hard

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  24. I can't wait to get my hands on this one. I love books with concepts like this. Great review.


    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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  25. This book sounds really interesting (and not just because Abby wants to go into my chosen career path!).

    Sarah

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    1. Hey it always helps to have a connection like that with mc though

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  26. I'm so excited to hear you love this one, because I'm dying to read it! It just sounds like such a cool idea, and I love parallel lives. I absolutely would explore my parallel lives! :-) I think it would be fascinating, but I'd want the ability to resume living my own at some point.

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  27. I love parallel universes and one of my favorite moves is the butterfly effect so I will definitely be reading this one!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

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  28. This one sounds better than I originally thought! I love the idea behind this one, and I'm definitely going to have to check this one out now. Great review!

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  29. Interesting, I hadn't heard of this book, but it's definitely going on my tbr now. I do like the idea of parallel lives or universes where each choice we make provides different outcomes. I do like the triangle romance concept in the book, mainly because we all go through similar scenarios as we get older. older. Eventually we end up with who we're meant to :) great review Brandi

    Neyra @ DrkstAddictions

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