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, 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.
Review: Parallel by Lauren Miller is unlike anything I have ever read before.
I was completely fascinated by the premise: a parallel version of yourself can change your life in just one day, and you won’t even remember what your life was like before the change. But Abby does. She remembers taking drama and landing a role in a Hollywood movie. But her parallel actually takes astronomy, dates a boy named Josh, and joins the crew team.
When Abby wakes up at Yale instead of in California, she doesn’t remember her parallel’s life. Not her fight with best friend, Caitlin. Not her relationship with Josh. Not even that she decided to go to Yale. So Abby starts living her life as best she can without knowing any of these things. She calls Caitlin. She starts dating a boy named Michael. She goes to her classes at Yale. But each time she wakes up, she fears her parallel will have made another decision that will change everything again.
Throughout the novel, I was rooting for Abby’s friendship with Caitlin. Caitlin is a smart and loyal friend. I liked that her science-oriented mind allowed her to not only accept Abby’s situation but also to help Abby understand it. And of course, my favorite universe is one in which Caitlin and Tyler end up together. I hope that’s their destiny and not just a part of their path. Carefree and funny Tyler is exactly the kind of guy hardworking Caitlin needs.
One of my favorite things about Parallel is that it crosses over from young adult into new adult. Abby is eighteen years old. She is filming a movie in LA after graduating high school, and she is attending Yale in the parallel world. Her parallel is seventeen years old. She is a senior in high school. Miller understands that her two Abbys will act differently. Parallel Abby is highly concerned with getting into college; since Abby is already in college, she lets herself go out and have fun while still focusing on her studies. Abby’s relationship with Michael is filled with going to parties and having sleepovers; parallel Abby’s relationship with Josh involves romantic dates and counting how many times they kiss. Young adult novels that appeal to college-age students rarely still fit the high school demographic, but Miller has written a novel for both young and new adults.
Reviewed by: Stephanie
Rating: 4/5 DIAMONDS