Review: Parallel

First off, many thanks to Andi for hosting a Twitter giveaway for an e-book of Parallel, which is how it came in my possession sooner rather than later (though honestly, I would have bought if I had not won since it was 1.99 that day!). Oh, and thanks to Nikki for retweeting Andi’s tweet so I would learn about the giveaway. 😉

I’m going to warn you up front that there will be spoilers and a LOT of GIFs (like way too many to be tasteful, but I couldn’t help it…), all from Fringe and Star Trek, because duh, parallel universes. Oh, and a lot of ranting about Abby’s decision making abilities and Michael. You’ve been warned.

gr-parallelFirst, let me talk about Abby. I liked Abby well enough, but sometimes it felt like she had multiple personality disorder. One minute she’s shy about the idea of sex and works hard to make good grades, the  next she’s having “rated R” thoughts about a guy (her words, not mine, BTW) and getting drunk (underage, I might add).

showtime-olivia-fauxI liked Caitlin. She was consistent, interesting, a good friend, and it was completely believable, based on her background, that she would be able to help Abby figure out what was happening to her.

yoda-crapTyler, he was just OK to me. He was kind of fun, but he sounded more deviant than Abby and Caitlin, and I guess that bothered me.

scotty-shrugCharacters are usually a big thing for me in stories, but what kept me reading this book was the plot. It was so intriguing. Abby is living out a life in LA after she chose drama class over astronomy (I felt this was a bit extreme, even with the explanation given, but anyways…), when she suddenly collides with the parallel universe and becomes cosmically entangled with her parallel self who was late to class on the first day of senior year and ended up in astronomy. Or something like that.

ryker-cantThrough Caitlin and Dr. Mann, Abby gets an idea of what’s happening, and tries to live her life the best she can while still retrieving her parallel’s old memories and getting up to speed with what’s happening in her life currently. And to make it more complicated, it changes frequently as her parallel self makes different choices. There was so much changing and this happening and then that and then things would get worse that it seriously stressed me out! Not to mention the choices Abby would make in her present circumstances that she thought were best for whatever reason but, well, hardly ever were.

uhura-noI think this book could have been separated into two parts…

PART ONE: Abby Makes Poor Decisions.

Examples of this are: getting drunk, getting drunk around boys who want sexytime when she doesn’t, hanging out with questionable boys when she’s sober, trying to screw up her parallel’s life by quitting things she (the parallel) likes and doing things she (again, the parallel) doesn’t care about, etc.

dumar-drunkPART TWO: Abby Makes More Poor Decisions: The Relationship Edition

Examples of this include: Lying to her friends, saying stupid things to people she cares about, lying to her family, hanging out with Michael, etc.

nimoy-spock-dontevenOK, let me go ahead and talk about Michael, because I have a lot to say about him.

sisko-disapproves Michael is a complete loser. I don’t even know why Abby spends so much of the story trying to like him or saying that she likes him even though he puts her in uncomfortable positions, does not communicate well or even bother to define a relationship, and acts like a total d-bag to his family with basic zero justification. Even though it seemed really obvious Josh was right for her, I was still terrified she might end up with Michael. And if the book had ended that way, it would have gotten less stars. But what still drove me up the wall was this little number…

Josh is my soulmate and Michael is my parallel’s. 

I’m sorry… What the what? No seriously… WHAT?! WHAT?!?!??!?!?!

kirk-khaaaaaanFirst off, what kind of sense does this make? I’m not saying there couldn’t be a parallel Amy out there happily with some other man who is not the husband I know and love, because I think I could be happy with someone else. I don’t intend to find out, but I believe I could be. But in what universe is it acceptable to dump your amazing boyfriend for his d-bag older brother because (paraphrasing what Caitlin said Abby said)…

I knew I was supposed to be with you from the moment I saw you treat your family like crap at Thanksgiving.

bashir-unsureHere’s the deal, I still don’t know what exactly I believe when it comes to free will versus predetermination (or in Christian circles, the latter, in terms of salvation, is known as predestination/Calvinism, which is actually briefly alluded to in this book when Abby reads the John Calvin quote in her philosophy book, but I digress). What I know is that when my husband and I were dating, I felt like he was “the one” for me, and I won’t get into all the exacts of what that looked like for me, but I also unequivocally believe, as I said before, that I could be happy with someone else. I also completely believe love is a choice. I can “fall in love” with someone who’s a total jerk, but I can choose to walk away from someone who isn’t good for me. And I can choose to love someone who is good for me. I’m not talking about forcing yourself with a good guy that you can’t stand personality wise, but if you fall in love with someone, and then one day those warm fuzzy feelings are gone, you can choose to continue loving that person. Parallel Abby, as far as I’m concerned, had a choice, and Michael did not have to be her “soulmate” because of some gut feeling she got at a dinner table. And Not Parallel Abby made her choice, I think for largely the wrong reasons (but at least it was a better choice), to go and find Josh and try to get back with him.

So basically, to sum it up, my feelings about Michael…

olivia-ickyAnd my feelings about Josh…

olivia-happyThank goodness Narrator Abby chose correctly… even if she had to make a million other bad decisions first.

OK, I’m done ranting about Abby’s poor decision making and Michael. Despite all this, I actually really liked the book a lot. The way parallel worlds were presented in this book I think was one of the best interpretations of the idea I’ve seen so far. And it made me think A LOT. It’s nice when a book makes you think so much. The book also made me laugh quite a few times; I tweeted out a few of these quotes, including:


ryker-clapAnd one more thing I want to know… was Parallel Abby living out Narrator Abby’s life for two months in LA? What happened with her and Bret (talk about another potential bad decision right there)?

But ultimately, the good outweighed the bad, even though ABBY DROVE ME CRAZY SOMETIMES. And Michael drove me crazy ALWAYS.

4stars2Also, I hope I never know what my parallel self is up to.

red-v-blue-lincolnWhat are your thoughts on Parallel? Please tell me I’m not the only one who can’t stand Michael! 

Content Advisory: Some language (but no f-bombs), talk about sex but no sex scenes, underage drinking. 


11 thoughts on “Review: Parallel

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it even through some of the frustration. That is always the best when a winner likes something. I highly recommend Lauren Miller’s second standalone Free to Fall. That will definitely get your geek going. It is all about technology. And if you are a parallel life gal I know of a few more books I can suggest. 🙂

    • I definitely plan to check out Free to Fall! As far as other parallel universe stories, I’ve heard good things about Tandem and Relativity. If you have other recs though bring them on.

  2. Very entertaining review, Amy — I loved all the Star Trek gifs! ;D And I have to say, I completely agree with you about Michael and Josh. I REALLY did not understand what she saw in Michael at all, but I she did seem really confused during that whole time, so… lol.

    • Good, I’m glad I’m not the only one! And I know, she was confused and it seemed like she was trying to like him, and then suddenly he’s a viable option for a soulmate? Whatever, girl! At least I got to express my feeling with Star Trek GIFs! 😉

  3. AMY AMY AMY AMY AMY AMY…I just want to keep yelling your name because I’m so in love with your review. I absolutely fangirled over Parallel when I read it last year and I still can’t get over it. THOSE GIFS ARE PERFECT. I loved them so much and I couldn’t stop nodding at your thoughts on love and our parallels and everything in between. Love IS a choice and I just loved everything you said about it.

    I have nothing concrete or intellectual to say, as you can see. I just love this whole post.

  4. Lol, I love how most of your GIFs are from Star Trek. Gah, still need to watch the TV episodes! Anyway, like I mentioned in your TTT post, so glad that you enjoyed Parallel! I don’t really remember Abby having a multi-personality disorder, but then again I read this a while back and have horrible book amnesia. I do remember really liking both her and Caitlin, though, and cheering their friendship on, which was why I was so devastated when in one of the parallel worlds they were no longer friends, but thank goodness they made up again.

    You know, I was actually afraid that I wouldn’t be able to grasp the concept of the parallel worlds thing in this book. Even though stories about parallel universes are some of my favorites, most of the time authors don’t do a very good job explaining them. But whew, Lauren Miller did a fantastic job explaining the whole concept and Abby’s problem. And she didn’t do it in an info-dump kind of way, but gradually revealed the information, if my memory is correct.

    Haha, you’re definitely not the only one who thought Michael was a douche. I hated him, too, but for some reason wasn’t as annoyed with the love triangle as I probably should have been. Maybe it’s time for a re-read… Great review, Amy! 🙂

    • Well, multiple personality might be a slight exaggeration, but she did seem to act inconsistently sometimes.

      And you seriously do need to watch Star Trek, the TV show! If you follow Bookish Whimsy, she’s going through her favorites of each season of each series as she watches the show for the first time. So far she’s covered the three season of the original series and the first two seasons of The Next Generation. You can also do a search on my blog for a post I wrote a while ago: “Your Star Trek Introduction.” 🙂

      Anyhow, the triangle didn’t bother me too much at first, but then I was like OMIGOSH JUST DUMP MICHAEL HE’S A LOSER, ha ha.

  5. Okay, I didn’t read this post because of the spoilers, and this book sounds REALLY good, and I don’t want it spoiled in case I decide to read it. So, I assume it’s one you would suggest?

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