Published by Harper Teen
3.5 of our 5 Stars
Format Egalley – out now in a variety of formats.
Firstly my apologies to the publisher and my followers, I’ve been swamped with exams and thought I’d published this (and a few other reviews) but hadn’t. So its a little late, but the good news is that there is a load of reviews heading your way today!
So Parallel – a debut by new author Lauren Miller, the premise has everything I love in a book, fringe science, double lives, confusion and what ifs? Abby chose to go into acting/drama rather than go to university, it was a good choice – she’s filming on a hollywood set right now, but then she wakes up in a Yale dorm room, which she is sharing with someone she doesn’t know…..things start getting a bit strange.
Yes, Abby is thrust into a parallel world 1 year and day ahead of her own, in this world she chose University and she gets to see how that life played out – which was the right decision, what consequences did her decisions have?
There are gaping holes in the plot – but I struggle to care, its a book that takes the time to explain the science, which is all to often ignored in this kind of story, left as a vague explanation that fits with the plot. But Miller takes the time to ensure the reader has the ‘facts’ about the process, or at least the theory about it. This makes the book for me, I love a book that really gets the reader involved, much like Virals by Reichs – Miller doesn’t presume the reader can’t understand, she presumes that you’ll want to understand and so explains it – not in patronizing terms but in a cleverly written way that means even the non-scientist can get the gist, if not the full theory.
Abby and Caitlin are not nice, they are written as nice, everyday girls but they are really not. They focus on Ilana’s nastiness but they are just as bad. I’m in two minds as to whether Miller did this on purpose, one hand perhaps she did it to make the reader realize that no-one is perfect, that the underdog can be just as bitchy as the mean girl. On the other hand, I wonder if Miller was the underdog and had an Ilana in her life who she’s vented about by making her a character of a mean girl in the book. I hope its the former, although a good revenge is always something I appreciate. The character development is the thing holding the book back really, I feel there could of been more done for the reader to really want Abby to succeed.
The writing is slick, and largely engaging, the science doesn’t take over, but its not pushed aside either. Miller is a promising new voice in a crowded YA market, I’m confident that her books will be the ones that start making headlines, perhaps not Parallel as its limited itself to quite a specific target audience, just based on the plot, but I’m looking forward to see what her future works have in store for us. A definite watch list author and a recommended read for those looking for something different.
Egalley kindly provided by Edelweiss and Harper Teen in exchange for a fair and honest review.