Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Parallel by Lauren Miller + Featured Freebie

Abby Barnes had a plan. Get into a great college, major in journalism, and 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.

My Rating: 4/5

Absolutely mind-blowing! Like, Inception mind-blowing. Parallel was an excellent YA that explored the idea of parallel universes and soul mates. A combination of mystery, secrets, surprises, and romance that is absolutely fantastic.

I really liked the idea of this book. Though I've seen YA books about parallel universes, there haven't been any quite like this. The premise could have become confusing very easily, but the author did a great job keeping it as understandable so that it was easy to follow. There were a few problems-inconsistencies-that made me knock off a point, so I'm going to get them out of the way now. Some parts of the book weren't explained. For example, why is Abby the only one who remembers? The (very brief) explanation is that she is merely an anomaly, but I didn't feel like that explained it completely. Also, at the end, what eventually happens regarding the collision doesn't make sense. I didn't get why that happened at the end. They weren't huge issues, but the inconsistency was enough to enough to be a problem.

Now, to the better parts of the book.

Abby was a realistic heroine. After having her life completely altered by a collision of universes, she has a lot to deal with, since she is the only one who remembers her own life. She was realistic in her reactions, from freaking out to finding out how to adapt to the new situation. Her actions frustrated me a few times, but I found that they were totally understandable considering what she was dealing with. Overall, a solid YA heroine.

There are technically two love-interests in the book, but there isn't exactly a love-triangle. I know that sounds strange, but I can't explain it without giving away the story.
Both-Josh and Michael-were wonderful. Sweet and basically perfect. I though the whole exploration into the idea of a soul-mate was incredible. It was well done and it left me thinking about it for a while-which I consider a great feat for a book. I can't go into specifics, but I will say that it is mind-blowing and you will walk away with something to ponder over for hours. I loved that part of Parallel.

The plot was fast-paced. It was told in alternating point of view. Though it was technically in Abby's point of view, it switched from one version of Abby to the parallel version of Abby. The transitions were seamless and it was never confusing. The story had me hooked from page one and the entire way through. There were some serious surprises that blew me away. The ending had my jaw dropping-literally. It was absolutely incredible and a brilliant ending to a mind bending story.

Parallel was an excellent combination of multiple universe theory, mystery, surprises, and romance. If you like any of that, you should try this book out.

*Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for a copy!
Featured Freebie:
Today, I have a YA that sounds very cute: I'll Be Here by Autumn Doughton. Go forth and get it for free!

I'll Be Here
For the past two years, Willow James has been building the perfect life--a life that centers around Dustin Rant, her dimpled, sports-car-driving, cologne-wearing boyfriend. Willow and Dustin have lots of plans. Plans for college, prom, tonight actually. So, when the unthinkable happens, and Dustin breaks up with Willow over a plate of cheese fries at a steak house, she is left stunned and heartbroken. 

With less than two months until graduation, Willow has to start a new life from scratch. She'll have to revisit old wrongs along the way and make the most important decision of all: who does she want to be? She’s going to have help from her wacky ex-best friend, her bohemian mother, and an old flame that is suddenly and somewhat inconveniently back in her life.

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