29 Jul 2015

Parallel by Lauren Miller

Parallel by Lauren Miller

Goodreads Synopsis
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.

Here is an example of a great concept and not so great execution. And I think most of my problem with it was the slut-shaming and pettiness that occurred, as well as the fact that the entire fringe science fiction was just a back drop for the romance. 

First of all, I thought that the explanation of the parallel universes was on point and made so much sense. It does take a couple reads to understand some of it because it gets pretty technical, but it has such a fascinating idea. And I think it is completely wasted. I wanted to have more of this science fiction and have Abby research the idea of parallel universes and what it meant for her Hollywood life, but nope. Once it was explained the story detoured to us living life with Abby at Yale. Which wouldn't have been so bad if Abby hadn't been a horrible person.

Abby was petty and mean, but she still should have had more to her story than which brother she would choose. Come on. She had so much going for her in her Hollywood life: she literally took one drama course, starred in one play, and was given a Hollywood movie role. But her and her friend Caitlin were so rude to Ilana for no reason? They were almost more mean to her than she was to them. They insulted her at every turn and it made me really uncomfortable reading it.

The pettiness of the both of them in high school and in college made me want to stab my eyes out of my sockets. And the reasoning behind them was so stupid. But I liked that both Abby and her parallel twin were connected through their actions. I just wish I knew what happened to the Hollywood Abby's subconscious while she was at Yale. It went semi-unexplained. Were we to assume that her path was what Kirby experienced while Abby was at Yale? I would have liked to see more of Abby trying to get back to her life than Abby living day to day and just doing her parallel life as if nothing out of the ordinary was going on.

I really didn't like either of the brothers and I thought it was stupid to put so much focus on them. I thought that Abby and Michael had a bad relationship and something about him made me feel ... weird. Like I got this vibe from his characterization that he was using Abby or something. Josh seemed fine but we also only got bits and pieces of him. But he was written as though he really loved Abby.

Okay I think I figured it out. Michael was written as if he didn't care about Abby; Josh was written as if Abby was a Queen and he worshiped her. It made me as a reader feel like I had to choose one over the other instead of writing them in a way that made you fall in love for both and want Abby to figure out a way to be with both. Instead I just wanted her to not choose either.

Overall: 2.5/5 stars for this one. I also wasn't a fan of Pivot Point so maybe it is that too but it just wasn't as great as it could be. It needed more science fiction and less romance.

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