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.
Whilst there have been a few books that have dealt with the idea of alternate realities, namely Pivot Point by Kasie West and Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris, this book is original in it's delivery and characters. Abby had never asked herself 'What if I had chosen astronomy instead of drama?', yet when she is thrown into this alternate reality she realises just how different her life could be. I really enjoyed every single second of this book.
The romance in this book was fantastic. It's an odd sort of love triangle since there are two leads to choose between, but they aren't fighting over the same person at the same time until the very end, making it absolutely fresh and unique. absolutely adored Josh and even though I liked Michael at the beginning, I really started to dislike him at the end. I was still definitely rooting for Josh all the way through.
My only fault with this book was that I did switch off at the science, it made no sense to me. As well as that there were a few inconsistencies - at one point, Abby's alternate has an argument with her best friend and Abby asks her 'why didn't you tell me before that we had argues?' but Cait couldn't have told Abby, since the argument had only happened a day ago in the alternate universe...
Though there were a few times that I felt the book was going in the wrong direction, it always seemed to end up going the right way in the end. The book's climax was absolutely perfect as well; I could not have asked for a more perfect ending. not everything is tied up in a pretty bow all perfectly and yet you just know that everything is going to turn out right.
Overall, Parallel was a fantastic book that brings something really new to sci-fi books by mixing it in with contemporary themes. The story was well executed and the romance was fantastic. An amazing read!
Overall Rating: A
Book released 14th May 2013 by HarperTeen Books
Book received from the publisher (via Edelweiss) in exchange for an honest review.