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I Belong

Review: Parallel by Lauren Miller

Title: Parallel

Author: Lauren Miller

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Series: N/A

Publication DateMay 14, 2013

FormatHardcover, 432 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062199773 (Harper Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062199775 (Harper Teen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: This book was unlike anything I have ever read.  It has an amazing plot, with sweet romance, and a fresh new take on a YA Sci-fi book.

Opening Sentence: I hesitate, then point my gun at him and pull the trigger.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Abby Barnes is currently living in L.A. shooting a movie.  If you had met Abby a year ago you would have never imagined that she would be on a set in L.A.  Her dream was to attend Northwestern and become a journalist, but a crazy set of events landed her where she is now, and she’s not the most happy about it.  At the beginning of her senior year she had a schedule change which landed her in Drama class.  She tried out for the school play and one thing lead to another and now she is filming a major motion picture.  What would have happened if Abby had taken a different class than Drama, well she is about to find out.

Abby wakes up on her 18th birthday to a life she doesn’t belong in.  She went to bed last night in L.A. and woke up at Yale University.  Supposedly she is a student there, and the last year of her life is completely different from what she remembers.  She has a faint memory of the first day of her senior year and it happens to have changed, there was an earthquake and it made Abbey’s parallel worlds collide.  Instead of taking drama, Abbey took astronomy and it changed the entire course of her life.  As Abbey goes through her life she realizes how a small decision can change the course of your life.

This book is told from multiply points of time.  At parts Abbey is at Yale and living life as a student and at other times Abbey is back in her senior year of high school.  It is really interesting to see how decisions that Abbey made in high school affected her life at Yale.  I really liked Abbey as a character.  She is a very determined girl that has drive.  She has a really shy streak when it comes to boys and at times she is a little clueless but that made her more endearing.  I loved seeing her grown and come to terms with her life and her destiny.

In the Yale version of her life, Abbey starts dating the flirty confident Michael.  He is gorgeous with dark hair and green eyes.  Abbey meets him her first day at Yale and instantly feels a connection with him.  They start to date and she soon finds herself falling for him, but she has hesitations because she can’t remember the last year.  The few memories she has there is a boy in them and she’s not sure what he meant to her.  I really like Michael, he is very respectful to Abbey.  He is really easy going and is confident.  I thought that Abbey and Michael were really cute together, but I totally fell in love with Abbey’s other boy.

Josh is astronomy boy.  Abbey meets Josh the first day of senior year in her astronomy class.  He is slightly nerdy, but in a really cute way.  At first Josh doesn’t seem to be interested in Abbey, but really it’s just that he is shy and doesn’t know how to express how he feels.  Their romance grows very slowly, but it is sweet and feels so real.  I would have to say that Josh has made it onto my book boyfriend list.  I thought he was so adorable and I loved him and Abbey together.   Eventually, time catches up and Abbey is forced to choose between the two boys.  She has to figure out who her true soul mate is.

I loved this book.  The premise is so different from anything else I have ever read.  The idea that your life is constantly changing because the past hasn’t happened yet is so unique and fascinating.  I really enjoyed the characters and I loved seeing how they changed with each decision that Abbey made.  Miller did a wonderful job getting the flow just right without things getting too confusing.  I was totally surprised by the twists and turns in the plot, but everything came together very nicely at the end.  This is Lauren Millers debut novel and I have become a fan of hers and would love to read anything else she decides to write.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys contemporary tales and would like to try a light Sci-fi book.

Notable Scene:

Here goes nothing.  “When I went to bed last night, I was in a hotel room in L.A.,” I begin slowly.  “The same hotel room I’ve been living in for the past four months.  And when I woke up this morning, I was here.”

Whatever Caitlin was expecting me to say, it clearly wasn’t this.  “Huh?”

“I’m not supposed to be here.  At Yale.  I’m supposed to be in L.A. shooting a movie with Bret Woodward.  And he and I are suppose to be having dinner tonight for my birthday, which I’m pretty sure is a date, because he kissed me last night.  Well, technically, I kissed him … or at least he probably thinks I did, but I didn’t mean to, and it was more of an almost-kiss anyway.”  I’m starting to ramble, but I don’t care.  At this point, I just want to get it out.  “Except now I’m here, and everyone’s acting like I’ve been here for weeks, and there are pictures of me doing things I never did-like graduation!”  I point at the photo on my home screen.  “Where did that picture come from?  I wasn’t at graduation.  I wanted to be, but I was already in California by then.  And my ID car-“

“Time-out.”  Caitlin does a T motion with her hands, silencing me.  “You weren’t at graduation?”  I shake my head.  “And you missed it because you were in Los Angeles, filming a movie.  With Bret Woodward.”  Her voice is calm, but she’s eyeing me strangely.  I don’t blame her.  I sound like a lunatic.  I exhale, forcing myself to relax.

FTC Advisory: Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Parallel. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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