24 May 2013

Review: Parallel by Lauren Miller

Release Date: May 14th, 2013
419 Pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

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.

It's a standalone! Really, that's the only bad thing I have to say about this novel. When I read the summary, I expected great things from Parallel and it sure delivered them! With a refreshing premise about parallel lives, compelling and entertaining characters, Parallel will provide you with one of the best reads of 2013.

Admittedly I had some trouble in the beginning to understand what was going on and it IS a complex plot, so you do have to stop sometimes and think about what you read. But that was the beauty of it for me; it has been a long time since a novel has kept me enthralled throughout it. The parallel lives are so different so that you could easily identify which Abby it was, furthermore each chapter's title would clarify about when the scene was happening. Foremost I enjoyed the twists and turns that had been caused by her parallel decisions in the past, so it was really interesting to see how the relationships and events would change because of them.

The characters were really easy to read and identify with. Abby is a normal teenager that is a bit of a control freak (she planned out her entire life!), so when everything went crazy with her parallel calling the shots, you can guess how she reacts. Caitlin was a favorite of mine because she is just unexpected (a beautiful girl who loves physics!), even though I don't enjoy maths as much. I think every character is really realistic, and the romance as well. It's not an insta-love by any means and some twists and turns in her love life were not in the least expected!

I have read many books in this year already and I have to say that Parallel was one of the best. It certainly will be added to my list of favorite books. I'm certain many people won't enjoy that they may have to reread a paragraph (or more) to understand the concept of parallel lives, but for me what won me over was the novelty of it. It was refreshing and unfortunately it's a standalone. The ending is a bit open and that's the only thing still bugging me about this novel!

Huge thanks to HarperTeen for providing me with a copy of this captivating novel!


  1. I'm so glad this delivered! I'm loving the new trend of parallel universes right now, and I can't wait to get my hands on this one. I wish I had requested it when I had the chance!

    Great review :)

    Pretty Deadly Reviews

  2. I have heard the complex complaints more often than not for this book so know you're not alone in this boat, lol. I love math, but physics is not my thing, heh. I think I'd like Caitlin more too though. This book reminds me of Pivot Point (which I haven't read yet, but from the reviews I've read, I've gathered basically the same thoughts as what people are saying about this one). I'd love to read them both and I cannot wait to get into Pivot Point since it's been on my Kindle for a long time and for that reason only, Parallel will have to wait its time. Wouldn't want to give a bad rating if the two are too similar for my taste. Thanks for sharing and I'm so glad you liked this one, Rachel:-)

    Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination

    1. It's true that Pivot Point and Parallel are really similar, now that you mentioned it lol! But I really loved them both anyway (they are both certainly on my list of favorite books this year!). But I guess I would also read Pivot Point first and wait a while to read Parallel, since they both have a similar premise you may compare both too harshly.
      Nonetheless I would recommend you both of them!! For sure.