Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review: Parallel by Lauren Miller

Parallel by Lauren Miller
Publisher: Scolastic UK
Publication Date: June 6th 2013.
My rating: 4.5 stars.


Two worlds. Two separate identities. Two guys. A collision of parallel universes leaves 18-year-old Abby Barnes living a new reality - every time her parallel makes a new decision. Never-without-a-plan Abby is forced to cope with the consequences of waking up in a life she has no memory of creating. With chapters that alternate between our world (Here) and the parallel one (There), Abby's Here comes complete with a Yale address, a new roomie, and birthday blind date with a super-hot lacrosse player. In the parallel world, Abby's still navigating senior year class schedules, college applications, and her relationship with Astronomy Boy at her high school. This story explores the nature of identity, the role of cause and effect in young lives and the defining power of choice.

“Your path will change. Your destiny doesn’t”

Parallel is a book which has been receiving the most conflicting reviews from my friends, with a few not finishing it, some two star ratings and a few four star ratings. Books with mixed rating are ones which often intrigue me the most. I also tend to have a weird track record with these books, with my last couple of one’s ending up as memorable reads.  Also I’ve noticed that parallel worlds seems to be the new trend in YA, this is another concept I’ve been hugely intrigued by especially when it’s done well and the book leaves you all frazzled.

Parallel was a book which ticked off a lot of boxes for me, despite the initial slow start, I’m not the most patient reader. But I’m glad I stuck out the sluggish start, as I was just left mind blown afterwards. Miller took a really unique concept and really flipped it on its head. Due to a cosmic entanglement, the world Abby lived in ends up colliding with a parallel world. The Parallel world is set a year and a day behind the current world, with the parallel self creating new memories for the current self and erasing all the memories the current self may have created. The only person that could remember this had happened was Abby. This concept is a lot to take in but Abby was lucky that her best friend had been studying under one of the professors, who established and believed this theory in the first place. Caitlin was a great best friend despite things not being great in the past year due to Abby in the parallel world. Caitlin was the friend Abby needed the most in the most confusing situation ever. Abby in the parallel world was causing a ruckus, with things being completely blown off course and endless dreams and happily ever afters being destroyed. Because of this I was quick to side with our current Abby. She found herself in a mess with no control over what could happen. I truly hoped that she could get back to things the way they used to be. But as the story progressed I began to hugely appreciate parallel Abby and her world. Miller did a great job in toying with my feelings, there were so many end results possible through the course of the book, and I was up for nearly all of them.

I immensely enjoyed how just one little decision could change Abby’s current world in an instance. It truly had me thinking about all the decisions I had made in the past and if I had decided something else would things have ended completely different? Parallel was such a thought evoking story, never have I found myself so caught up in the two worlds at the same time. Abby’s world was everything to me for the five days that I read this book, I hated all the normal day activities that I had to do such as going to work because it cut in to my crucial reading time. Another thing which made Parallel stand out for me as a brilliant read was its characters; I seriously loved them all even when parallel Abby screwed things over. Even with a potential love triangle couldn’t ruin this story for me because I found myself totally invested and totally torn with who I wanted Abby to be with. Both guys were really different to one another and definitely brought the swoon factor in their own respective ways. With all the chaotic things happening I really looked forward to these sweet and tender moments

Okay I’m totally digressing; this is what these guys do to me. As you can tell from my mini-novella of a review I absolutely loved Parallel, Miller in my eyes has written one of the best debuts of this year. It had crazy twists and turns which were totally unexpected, it had some truly heartbreaking scenes, moments which had me frightened that everything would be screwed over in Abby’s world and some really dreamy scenes. If this year you are on the lookout for a brilliant debut which truly takes the concept of Parallel worlds up a whole another notch I highly recommended Parallel, you seriously won’t regret giving the wonderful story a go. 


28 comments:

  1. I've actually noticed that parallel worlds are becoming a trend in YA as well! I think it's great that authors are stretching their brains to write a confusing topic. The story in Parallel sounds really great-- I'm so happy to hear that you were fully immersed in the plot and characters, as well as the parallel worlds. Love triangles aren't always the best, but the fact that you enjoyed this one is saying something! I can't wait to meet these boys. ;) I'll have to check this one out really soon, thanks for the wonderful review, Jasprit!

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  2. I really enjoyed this one but there were many flaws I couldn't help but notice. The romance was one of them, I wasn't invested in either. Glad you liked this one though!

    Brilliant review, Jasprit! <33

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  3. You got me confused for a moment. I haven't seen this cover, I only know for the other one. I suck at catching different covers of the same book. Anyhow I like you have seen really different reviews for this one and of course I'm intrigued. Also it's about parallel worlds and I haven't read any book about that. I'm so glad you enjoyed! Great review Jasprit :)

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  4. Great to hear you loved this one, Jasprit. I enjoyed it in parts, but overall it was a confusing read for me (time jump books mixed with sciency stuff usually are!) I liked Miller's writing though and would definitely check out future books from her.

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  5. This is the first time I've heard of this book actually and it does sounds pretty intriguing. The world seems pretty complex and confusing though but I think that's what made it a lot more different. I think this is the kind of book that requires some effort and concentration during the first parts but will make you end up getting hooked once you get the ride of it. I might go try this out if I'm in the mood for some complex stories. Haha. Wonderfully written review, Jasprit. I'm glad you enjoyed this despite the mixed reviews this one is receiving. :)

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  6. I really love the sound of this one, Jasprit! I've seen some so-so reviews for it, but the fact that the writing is fluid and engaging, plus it's complex and challenging, gives me hope! I also like it when an author can really tug at my emotions...so, I'm sold! Great review, doll! :)

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  7. I'm really happy you loved this one, Jasprit. I'll be reading it for the summer read-a-thon and I'm so excited. I was a little worried after seeing all those mixed reviews, but yours has given me a lot of hope.
    This will probably be the first book I read!
    Fantastic review, Jasprit!

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  8. I love books with the parallel world premise, too. I actually had this book, but in a moment of feeling overwhelmed, passed it on to my sometimes co-blogger. I'm really glad you have Parallel a chance, despite the mixed reviews. Great review!

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  9. YES JASPRIT! I'm so glad you loved this one too! Yes, the beginning was a touch confusing as what happened was being explained, but like you, I loved that one tiny change from younger Abby would drastically alter things for older Abby. It messed with my head and I loved it. Fabulous review my friend!

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  10. OMG THAT COVER!!!!! There seem to be a lot of books being released in 2013 about parallel worlds...unfortunately the first that I've read wasn't that great :/ I honestly haven't read many reviews for this but I think I might enjoy it :D A book must be INCREDIBLE if a love triangle doesn't ruin one's enjoyment...hmm...must get my hands on a copy :))

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  11. I'm the same way with parallel worlds, I find them fascinating and noticed how it has become the new trend. I am so happy you stuck it out and ended up loving it. I loved it so much too and can't wait for more from the author. :)

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  12. Wow, its amazing when a book and characters can take up your mind so intensely. I love that digression paragraph! Fantastic review Jasprit! I like the parallel world concept too, even though it can become confusing. Definitely will check this book out for myself and decide. I always feel a thrall from mixed reviews too.

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  13. I don't like slow starts either. I've suffered through some and a few of them (The Sea of Tranquility for instance) have made it to my 'favorite reads' shelf. I have only read one book in parallel worlds and it was by a very unkwown author. I think the book was SelfSame. It was pretty well written in my opinion. I don't have anything to compare it to though. I'm glad this picked up for you and became such a good read. Btw, I didn't recognize the book at first since the cover is so different from the US version. I like them both though :)

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  14. Must admit that I looked at the review through squinted eyes because I don't want to spoil it for myself. I'm like you in that I'm an impatient reader too sometimes. I want something to happen NOW, damn it! Really happy you liked it so much :D

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  15. I have this one for review, but I didn't recoginze the cover at first. I have read some good reviews on this one and I have yet to read a parralel world book this year. I hope I enjoy it as much as you and I am glad you plunged ahead despite some of the negative reviews.

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  16. Somehow, this book has not crossed my radar before! It sounds like an interesting read. So glad that you enjoyed it!

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  17. I'm not the most patient reader either, so the slow start might bother me as well. Although, now that I now it is worth it to continue reading I think I might be able to put up with it :)

    Alise @ Readers In Wonderland

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  18. So excited that you like this story!! I adored the ending and then I took the time to re-read the first few chapters and found myself really appreciating the thoughtfulness of the setting. I'll definitely look forward to reading more of Miller's work in the future.

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  19. I'm so glad to see you enjoyed this one! For some reason, while I love the premise both of this and Pivot Point, they haven't appealed to me enough I think. I do need to try both of them, though, since so many readers seem to love both the books. Fantastic review, Jasprit! :)

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  20. I too enjoyed this one and seeing how the little decisions effected so much!

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  21. YAY! I'm so glad you loved it as well, Jasprit! Parallel was a fantastic read, along with Abby, I loved Caitlin. Everyone needs a friend like her. And the guys! Damn! I didn't know which one to pick, they both were great. After finishing Parallel, I can't wait to read Pivot Point. Parallel worlds are turning out to be my favorite. Fabulous review!

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  22. huh I am happy to see such a positive review for this one. I have seen so many different ones and they just seem to be all over the board. It sounds like Miller was able to pull the whole concept off really well and I think I will give this one a try eventually. Great review!

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  23. Great review :D Glad you enjoyed this book. <3 Thank you for sharing your honest review :) I won't ever read it, since you mention a love triangle.. even though it didn't bother you, which I'm happy for you :) I know for sure it would bother me. All triangles does :D Still, sounds like a great book :)
    Thank you for commenting on my blog. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

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  24. I was thinking we were seeing a new trend myself Jasprit, and unfortunately, it's one that doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. I'm glad this is another hit and miss one that became a winner for you. Lovely review :)

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  25. Ooh I'm definitely intrigued! I've already read and loved Pivot Point this year, and I find the whole concept of parallel universes so interesting. I can't imagine not being in control of my life due to another version of me making drastic changes - such a terrifying but interesting idea! I haven't heard too much about this one way or the other, but I'm glad that you ended up enjoying this so much, Jasprit! I hope I do too!

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  26. It would really make me think as well! I'm definitely interested now and so glad you liked it :) Love the review!

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  27. I keep changing my mind about this book! As you said, the reviews are so varied, even from friends, so I have absolutely no idea if it'll work for me now. :D I'm definitely intrigued now though. Glad it worked so well for you in the end, Jasprit. Lovely review!

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  28. Glad to see you enjoyed this one so much, Jasprit! The reviews are so mixed, as you said, I don't know what to think about it. But it seems most of the negative reviews expressed that the main downfall was the frustration they got with the slut-shaming, which bothers me on some occasions but not others, so I guess I'll have to take the plunge and determine whether or not the slut-shaming will frustrate me in this by experiencing it on my own!

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