“At every moment, each person has the freedom to choose a different path, thereby changing the trajectory of his life. Nothing is set in stone.”
Author: 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.
Alternate universes for the win. I adore this book. You want to know why? It’s because this books is good science fiction. The kind with alternate universes and coherent theories you have to read twice to make sure you understood it.
It’s excellently laid out with first, a scene from the ‘real’ world, and then alternating with present-day and memories from the ‘parallel’ world and finally ending with a scene from the ‘real’ world. Trust me, there’s no less confusing way to explain it; but it makes logical sense when you read it.
Now ugh! Love triangles, but I almost didn’t mind it in this book because the MC very literally felt she was two different people. There was a lot of drama when she found out that <spoiler> Josh and Micheal are brother’s </spoiler>, but it added to the plot.
Speaking of the plot, if it can be summarized in a sentence: Fate prevails and so does love.
Not only romantic love, but friendship and familial love remain constant in both universes. Nothing is unfixable. What happened in one world, may not have happened in another. And it takes less for you to undo your mistakes (when it comes to the people you love) than you’d expect.
Also, if it is meant to be- it will happen.
BTW, I’d like to state that in one context Parallel is a misnomer for the title. I’m sure Ms. Miller was referring to parallel universes when she titled this book. But I immediately thought of the math’s definition: two lines on the same plane which never intersect.
Except that’s the whole point (Oh! Look, an unplanned pun.) of the book: World’s collide and there are some things that would have happened anyways.
I love the friendship in this book. The girls know each other so well, are faultlessly loyal and…well, I just love them.
Only negatives in this book:
1.)I found myself annoyed that she had two perfect lives in hand. On one hand, she got to Yale and on the other, she became a movie star.In real life, I know people who might actually kill for one of the opportunities. And she gets both? Unrealistic.
So I removed one star.
2.) There was a little bit of slut-shaming in the beginning of the book with a friend’s girlfriend referred to as a ‘beach-blond barbie’, ‘arch-nemesis since kindergarten’ and indirectly implied to be a sl**. But by the end of the book, I could almost excuse it because the Ms. Miller very deliberately showed that it was all ‘high-school’ pettiness and immaturity that should be avoided, instead of emulated. Also, I think it was made clear that the MC was insulting on her best friend’s behalf (who had a crush, possibly loved the aforementioned crush).
Come on, you can relate to loyalty, can’t you?
3.) I didn’t cut any stars for this because some people really do believe in this and this is the whole point of the book: I’ve never believed in the idea of ‘Soulmates’.
This book will twist your mind in the most epic way. It will educate you on alternate universe theory. But most importantly, it’ll let you sigh in relief because Fate will get you where you need to go.
Overall Rating: 4/5
“That’s the funny thing about life. We’re rarely aware of the bullets we dodge. The just-misses. The almost-never-happeneds. We spend so much time worrying about how the future is going to play out and not nearly enough time admiring the precious perfection of the present.”
“A person rarely gets just one chance at anything. There are second chances everywhere, if you know where to look for them.”