Parallel by Lauren Miller | Review

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Parallel by Lauren Miller | ReviewParallel by Lauren Miller
Published by HarperTeen on May 14, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 423
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

Your plan changes. Your destiny doesn't.

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.

(Last Updated On: May 31, 2022)
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If you love reading books about parallel worlds in the YA genre, you’re going to want to give Parallel by Lauren Miller a read. Find out why in this Parallel book review!

Parallel Lauren Miller Summary

Abby spent forever trying to come up with the perfect schedule for her senior year: a little bit of everything. She worked so hard to get where she is, and she’s not going to let her senior year ruin that.

On the first day of school, she’s told that her music class has been canceled. She has to choose between astronomy and drama. Abby ends up going with drama, though she’s still a bit mad that her schedule isn’t perfectly the way she wanted it to be.

Abby tries out for the lead in the play that the drama club is doing, not expecting to actually get the lead. She’s actually picked over the girl who always gets the leads and who actually wants to be an actress when she gets older: Ingrid. Of course, she ends up getting the lead role.

This leads her to become discovered as an actress. She flies over to California to audition for a character that is completely silent because she’s told that she has the look that they’re looking for. Abby automatically gets the part.

She’s just looking at this as an opportunity for some money as well as a great thing to write on applications. Plus, the filming will be over before school even starts.

Filming ends up dragging on until fall when it finally starts. She has to stick around for the filming because she signed a contract; there’s no way out of what she’s done.

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The day before her birthday, Abby goes out and has fun, though she’s regretting her decision of taking drama class instead of astronomy at the beginning of her senior year. Her friends are going to school while she’s stuck filming a movie. 

The next day, she wakes up at Yale with memories of herself taking astronomy instead of taking drama class. She doesn’t know what’s happening, though Abby does know that apparently she never lived in California for a movie, nor did she land the lead in the school play.

She also finds out that her best friend, Caitlin, happens to be at Yale as well. Abby is mostly confused because she didn’t even want to go to Yale; she wanted to go to Northwestern.

Abby is stuck in this universe where her parallel is a coxswain, fell in love with a guy she’s never met, and is ultimately completely different than the real Abby. 

Why I Liked Parallel

Parallel was such a unique book. It was the first parallel worlds book that I’ve ever read, so I was super excited to dive completely in. The characters were marvelous, especially Abby. I loved discovering what really happened to Abby and how this all happened.

I think it was really great how each day she was gaining her parallel’s memories of what happened exactly a year ago, and there were actually chapters dedicated to these flashbacks. It was definitely marvelous and I could totally see this book made into a movie. I think it would definitely be a hit.

I really loved how Abby was truly figuring out who she really was and what she really wanted in life. I’d explain Parallel as being a contemporary with a bit of science fiction, such as Revived by Cat Patrick. I personally love books like this, so this was right up my alley.

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Since Abby’s friend Caitlin is a genius, she and Abby’s astronomy teacher helped explain all about parallel universes and how universes can collide.

Abby happened to remember her memories, though usually, each time parallel universes collide, new memories are given when old ones are forgotten. This idea is just so fascinating to me. 

Another subject that was tied into this book was the idea of destiny and the paths to destiny. I recently had to write an essay on this, so I loved the whole aspect!

Basically, your path may change, but you’ll always have the same destiny. Soulmates were also woven throughout this book, which I think was pure genius.

No matter what parallel universe you’re in, your soulmate will always be the same. If you’re looking for a fantastically intriguing book with parallel universes, then you must pick up this book!

I’m definitely going to reread this one in the future, which I usually don’t say about parallel universe books! Definitely one of my favorite 2013 reads too.

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  1. I really liked this book too, and the way one choice (getting into a different class!) totally changed her path, but not her destiny. Really interesting to think about. It was really well done. Not a parallel universes book, but similar in that making one decision takes you down one path versus another is Pivot Point by Kasie West. So if you liked this one, you will enjoy that one too. ~Pam

  2. Wow, this sounds like a really amazing book! I love parallel universe stories, it's always so interesting to see how each author interprets the concept. It sounds kind of similar to Jessica Shirvington's novel Between The Lives, which I'm just about to read, so I might have to check this one out too now 🙂

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