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Bibliophilic Monologues


Parallel - Lauren   Miller Reading this novel is like turning into a yoyo. You are up and then you are down and then you are dizzy and then your head is spinning and you are not aware whether you are standing up or sitting down. Or if you are in fact upside down. These things happen.If you are familiar with chaos theory (which I am not) and know anything about The Butterfly Effect (Wikipedia helps), you will know that according to it, a small action could have drastic consequences later on. For example, if you are sitting in class one day and realized that you had lost your eraser but instead of asking the person sitting beside you for one, you decide to just cross out the word or whatever and continue with your work. Seemingly harmless, yeah? Now consider this, if you had asked the person for the eraser and struck up a conversation with them, you may have become friends and that person could have introduced you to his father who was one of the interviewers at the university you wished to go to. And had you met the father, you would have been more comfortable at the interview which would have led you to passing the interview and getting accepted, graduating with honors, becoming say a doctor and saving thousands of lives. All because you asked for an eraser.With me so far?Okay, Parallel, truthfully, it confused the heck out of me for the first third. I am not scientifically-inclined to begin with and I just couldn’t place myself in the narrative so I took a break. A long break. So long that I almost didn’t come back to it but I did and I am so glad I did because this book is kind of awesome. Still confusing and not perfect, but original and interesting.There is some kind of collision between two universes and Abby gets displaced or something like that – this is the hazy part. The parallel world is one year behind the “real world” and somehow all the actions of her parallel self affect Abby in the real world. I think. Let’s go with that. So the chapters are alternate usually from high school parallel Abby to Yale Freshman Abby. But the “real” Abby is actually a movie star. Yikes. Anyways.The pacing is steady and the writing is unproblematic. The mechanics are unclear but that could just be me. I liked seeing how the high school Abby’s decisions affected Freshman Abby in the future. That was the fascinating part.There is a love triangle and it was handled rather clumsily but still, there are two separate Abbys and so two different soulmates and just…I’m getting confused again. I did like the friendship between the best friends, warts and all.I think you need to read this book for yourself. It’s certainly different and other people may articulate their reviews with greater eloquence than I seem to have the capacity for. I enjoyed the novel mostly though I wasn’t a fan of the waffling. I thought the ending was a bit too neat and too smug, if that makes sense, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the novel as a whole. Recommended.