October 16, 2013

Parallel by Lauren Miller: Book Review

ParallelGenre: YA Science Fiction
Release Date: May 14th 2013
Rating: 3/5 stars
Series: Stand-alone
Recommended to me by: Meg  @ Adrift on Vulcan
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. (via goodreads)
My Thoughts: Let me start by saying that if Meg hadn’t recommended this book to me, I would have read it much later some point in my life or maybe not at all. I am not thrilled to say that I basically wasted 3-5 hours of my life reading this mess. Now you are asking, but wait Shelly, your rating is 3/5 stars. If is was so bad, why did you give it a good rating? Let me explain dear reader, this will all be explained.

This book was interesting. The whole parallel universes plot seemed pretty believable and it was well planned out. I enjoyed reading about the parallel universes. The synopsis explains it pretty well so I don’t think I need to sum it up. The characters were also not disappointing at all. I loved Abby’s best friends and her love interest(s) so I was happy with them too. I found it really interesting that the parallel live was a day and a year behind in time so Abby’s past kept changing and she would wake up with new memories/versions of her memories and a detail about her present would change. Interesting, right? In general, only one thing made me pissed off about this book. 


This book was interesting and it even had a very deep philosophical message but the ending was just terrible. I can’t even describe how disappointed I am. I will include the ending but it is such a massive spoiler so do not read the spoiler unless you aren’t planning on reading this book.

[start massive spoiler] The whole book is spent in which Abby’s parallel changes almost everything that happened to her life. In one instance, Abby has a new high school sweetheart named Josh and he is super adorable. Parallel Abby dates him but ends up choosing Michael (regular Abby’s boyfriend). Regular Abby dates Michael but ends up choosing josh. I found that to be super sweet. Regular Abby flies out to see Josh and they get back together *so cute. Abby then realizes that she would have met Josh anyway even without the Parallel thing. She realizes that it’s not how you get there, it’s the destination that matters. And then another earthquake happens (the first earthquake caused the shifting thing). Basically this earthquake erases everything that happened in the book (Abby’s life goes to what it was at the VERY beginning of the book). Abby says that it doesn't matter if Josh can’t remember her (because in her regular world, Abby hadn't yet) as long as she remembers, it is enough. WHAT KIND OF ENDING IS THAT?? I SPENT A LONG TIME READING THIS BOOK TO ONLY HAVE THE WHOLE BOOK BECOME MEANINGLESS AND THE WHOLE PLOT SUDDENLY BECAME MEANINGLESS TOO.UGHHHH [end massive spoiler]

This book was amazing but the ending left me very agitated and angry. I know a lot of people think differently about the ending then I do but seriously, I can’t get over it! I know this seems more like a rant then a review but it must be stated. The overall message of this book was cute but I think we could have realized it without the annoying ending.

Have you read Parallel? Did the ending frustrate you as well? If not, does this sound like an interesting book? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Nooooo, Shelly! My first recommendation and you already didn't like it! :( Lol, just kidding. I'm just happy that you enjoyed the most part of the story, even if the ending was horrible. I really liked how Lauren Miller put a spin to the usual heavy science-fiction topic of parallel universes and added in a contemporary story. It's one of the many things that made PARALLEL so memorable and different to me, and I'm glad that you enjoyed that aspect as well. And I totally agree that the premise was awesome! I've never read anything like it before, though it was a little confusing at the beginning.

    Josh. <3 Loveliest character ever. I knew something was off about Michael the moment he was introduced! Haha, not really, but I disliked him because he had a bit of the bad boy trope to him. So I was so relieved when finally Abby realized her mistake and went after her heart. But enough about Josh and the romance, which was dreadfully sweet and had my heart close to breaking more times than I can count. (Oh, gosh, I really can ramble, can't I?)

    About the ending: I can understand why you wouldn't like it, because yes, in a way, it does unravel basically everything Abby worked towards. Personally, though, I think it was brave of her to learn to let things go, and the ending also gave a very powerful message: the universe doesn't stop for you. Even though Abby figured out everything and got her life together again, the world mixed it up again, and I thought that it was so realistic.

    It did make me kind of mad, though.

    But great review, Shelly! Hopefully if I do recommend to you another book, you'll enjoy it. :D And I WILL get to CINDER soon. Promise.

  2. Hmmm, I like Meg so usually I would trust her but dum dum dummm... looks like maybe she made a mistake? It completely sucks that you can enjoy a story with its characters and plot, but then get to the end and have it all ruined. It's the one time where I can sort of understand why some people like to read ahead (but I would never do that!) because at least then you can see before getting invested in it if it'll piss you off!

    But gasp, what is that in Meg's comment... She hasn't read Cinder? I'm with you Shelly. She better read it NOWWWW!


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