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Is it fate or choice that guides the decisions we make in our life? Is it a mix of both? For Abbey Barnes, this question is essential because every day she has to struggle with finding the balance between what she has chosen and where fate has brought her.

"PARALLEL is truly a thrilling read...It is the kind of book that you want to start reading and then not put down until hours later when you have read the last word. It's just that good."

Not everything always works out the way it is planned. For Abbey Barnes, this is especially true.  When she finds herself on a Hollywood movie set, making friends with big time actor Bret Woodward, she can’t help but think: what has happened to my plan? Abbey had it all planned out. She was to take easy courses with smart looking names like History of Music, get into Northwestern and become a journalist all before she turns 21. However, all of her big plans went down the drain when the teacher of History of Music dropped his class, and she was forced to take either Drama Methods or Principles of Astronomy. She chose Drama Methods, feeling that it would be the easier of the two classes, and she even tried out for a part in the school play. In a twist of fate, Abbey ends up as a lead role in the school play, and to her shock, a scout asked her to audition for a big-budget Hollywood movie. After seeing her natural talent, they cast her as one of the lead roles, playing the part of the lead actor’s silent accomplice. All of Abbey’s big plans were diminished, and she was not happy with the life she traded them for.

Then, one day Abbey wakes up to an unfamiliar room, an unknown roommate and a life that definitely isn't hers. However, she soon realizes this is it: her second chance at the life she had always wanted.

PARALLEL is truly a thrilling read. Every page leaves you with a cliffhanger, knowing that Abbey’s whole life could change at any moment.  It is the kind of book that you want to start reading and then not put down until hours later when you have read the last word. It's just that good. One thing that I enjoyed a lot was the science within this book. The ideas may seem a little unrealistic to some people, but I think PARALLEL does a great job of backing up seemingly-crazy ideas with scientific proof. Don’t worry though! All the science is introduced in a simple way that is easy to understand for all readers.

I would recommend going out and buying this book as soon as possible! It has an incredible storyline about fate vs. choosing your own destiny, and there wasn't one part where I was bored.

Reviewed by Samantha E. on May 20, 2013

by Lauren Miller

  • Publication Date: May 14, 2013
  • Genres: Young Adult 13+
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0062199773
  • ISBN-13: 9780062199775