Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: Parallel by 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.

Publication Date: May 14, 2013

Parallel was a fabulous read! I absolutely adored the premise and I thought the execution was phenomenal. Lauren Miller is a great debut author and I can’t wait to read more of her work.

The setup had an “It’s a Wonderful Life” feel to it: Abby wakes up in a parallel universe where her life has gone in a completely different direction. Instead of being an actress, she is a freshman at Yale. Abby’s life changes each time that her parallel self makes a different decision. I loved the suspense of the novel and not knowing what was going to happen to Abby each morning when she woke up.

The narrative switches between past and present, but it wasn’t jarring. I liked reading about college Abby and high school Abby’s respective journeys. There is a love triangle and there were a lot of romantic twists because of the collision of the parallel universes. I was very happy with how it was resolved and I thought Abby ended up exactly with the right person.

I also loved the friendship with Abby and her best friend Caitlyn. Although they were constants in each other lives, I felt it was realistic how the book depicted the ups and downs of female friendship during high school and college. Abby’s professor was also enjoyable and offered plenty of comic relief. He also served as a convenient plot device to help explain the parallel universe theory. His explanations made it easier to understand the science behind the collision of the parallel worlds.

I adored the end and I thought the author tied everything together perfectly. If you like paranormal romance and young adult books, this is a must read.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book for review!


  1. I really like that the past and present switching wasn't confusing. I've been eyeing this book for awhile and I definitely want to give this a try now :) Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  2. I love a good best friend love in my books. Also this book just sounds so interesting and unique. I have it on my tbr pile. Thanks for the review!

  3. I like paranormal, and I enjoy a good YA book, maybe the romance won't be a turn-off for me in this one. I'll check it out. Frikkin' great review, Heather! WRITE ON!