by Lauren MillerPublication: May 14th 2013 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction | Contemporary Romance
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Imaginative and thought-provoking, Parallel is a wonderfully executed story about the complexity of free will and the beauty behind destiny. A two-fold story in alternating POVs, it follows multiple tangents of one girl's lives in two different time and place settings. The Abbi who took a major detour from her life plan and regrets it, then wakes up in a new reality that's still not the life she envisioned but is closer; and the Abbi who is begins to walk the path of her dreams with a few unforeseen turns.
The first Abby, the main one, knows not only is she living in a different reality but she's also conscious of the other Abby, her parallel self living exactly one year and a day behind her, and all the choices she makes because they affect her present—even though they're on completely different paths.
Though complex, the story isn't confusing. It's fascinating and eventually picks up after a somewhat slow beginning. No matter how hard I tried, I wasn't sure where the book was headed, how it would end, whether one life was more real than the other, if at all. As an ever-changing sequence of events that continuously shifted Abbi's lives and those of her friends, it wasn't about one life but multiple. I loved how the results of one person's decisions affected everyone's. Multi-faceted, all the characters stood out and had a significant place in each other's lives and in the story.
But the beauty of Parallel, what made it unique, was the scientific approach and fate combo. All the explanations fed my science-geek and philosophy appetites together, the rational and analytical along with the believer, dreamer, and determined romantic.
Although the shift in theme between science and romance could have been more seamless (the plot fluctuates from a coming-of-age, personal-growth story to intellectual mystery to good, old relationship drama), the ending was fabulous and cinched enough of everything together to make an awesome story that there are no wrong turns in life and you can have more than one soul mate. The book was a conglomeration of foods for thought spread out on a table, each eye-catching and thought-provoking, made only more satisfying and sigh-inducing when taken as a whole. It made me think and stew over it for days.
Parallel proved both journey and destination matter, that knowing and not-knowing both have their pros and cons, and in the end, it probably wouldn't make a difference. In the pursuit of happiness, it's good to pause and just be happy. HEAs are everywhere, and a person will catch up to it and many eventually.
eARC provided by the HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!