Review Rewind: Parallel – Lauren Miller

In a little under 4 weeks one of my favorite authors, Lauren Miller, has a new book coming out. It’s been over 3 years since she released a new book and I have been excited for it ever since (spoiler alert: It was AMAZING). Since it has been a long time since we had a fantastic Miller book to gush about I’m taking the opportunity to share some fun Lauren Miller posts about her first two books, which I LOVED, Parallel and Free to Fall.

These next three days I am devouting to Parallel and July 26, 27 and 28 will be devouted to Free to Fall. There will also be giveaways at the end of each week for each of the books. Make sure you stop by and see why I love these books so much and hear from some other readers as well.

Sometimes you just love a book so much you feel the need to repost the review and that is what is happening here. I first read Parallel in March of 2013 and it was originally reviewed on my blog on May 2013. Since then I have read the book 2 more times and I’m still in love with it. These are my original thoughts on the book and truth…the all hold strong.

In my recent read I did discover a quote that I think describes the book perfectly:

Your path will change. Your destiny doesn’t.

Now, here’s my review.

Review Rewind: Parallel – Lauren MillerParallel by Lauren Miller
Published by HarperTeen
Published: May 14th 2013
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five-stars

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.


I kept hearing how amazing this book was so when a friend got an advanced copy and sent it to me I was siked! Jumping in I didn’t really know what to expect. Was it paranormal? Was it a contemporary? Would it be too much science and universe talk? The more I read the more I realized that it didn’t matter what category it fell into. It didn’t matter if there was science talk and if the concept seemed out there on the surface. All that mattered was how fantastic this book was and how it got me thinking. You see I have always been a fan of what I call ‘The Sliding Doors Effect'(after the movie which this book reminded me of) where one small choice/decision/incident can completely alter the life you live. That by taking a taxi two feet instead of walking in the rain can change how things play out. One small thing that you don’t even realize has happened can make a huge effect on everything, and Miller played that effect to perfection, hitting on everything I have ever thought about it. My thoughts are going to be hard to get down on paper as I don’t want to give anything away in regards to the story, but I will try.

Parallel is the story of Abby, a girl with a plan. She has known exactly what she was supposed to do her whole life. She was going to be a journalist after graduating from Northwestern and get a job at a huge newspaper. It was her plan, her calling, her goal. And then drama class happened and suddenly Abby was living in LA filming a movie and missing out on everything she dreamed. Resigned to her new life, but not necessarily happy about it, Abby celebrates the eve of her 18th birthday with her cast mates, but the next morning she wakes up in a Yale dorm with a completely different life like her past had been rewritten and she doesn’t remember anything. Stuck in this new life with memories of her old life, Abby has to navigate the constant changes and surprises and learn that sometimes life gets in the way of plans.

Did I mention that this book was fantastic? I mean really really really fantastic. Miller wrote this book in a pretty genius way that kept the story fresh and interesting. Knowing the background of Abby’s life and seeing the small changes that lead to her parallel life and everything different about it was done amazingly well. As you got further into the book and Abby started to remember more of her “life” it was easier as a reader to see the moment that changed things and created the situations Abby found herself it. With every turn of the page I felt like I was reading a new kind of book and I liked that.

I found Abby to be such a likable character as was her friend Caitlin. Watching them both navigate through the confusion that was Abby’s life was truly a joy given the fact that Abby had no idea what was going to happen to her on any given day. And watching as Josh, who I totally swooned over, was folded into the story was awesome. For a character that played such a minor role in the book, he was huge to the story, but in a way that you don’t really understand until you are a good chunk into the book. His presence and lack of, is one of the most important parts of the story and I loved how Miller dealt with that. It wasn’t in your face but on the surface and it worked for this story.

Honestly I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this debut novel by Lauren Miller. It touched on everything I love about a good story and kept you thinking the whole time. So much can change the outcome of your life but lead you right where you belong even if it is the last place you expect. Just because that butterfly flaps its wings in New York doesn’t mean the rain will never stop in China. You just might have to take the long way to get there. I can say without a doubt Lauren Miller has just become one of those authors that “if she writes it, I’m buying it”. Thanks Ms. Miller for awesomeness

Side note:
I’m not a usual book trailer kind of girl. But I watched the official trailer for Parallel and it is awesome! Just thought I would share it with all of you too.

 

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On My Radar – Lauren Miller (8)

It is no secret that I’m a fan of Lauren Miller. I fell in love with her writing the second I started her debut novel Parallel back in March of 2013. She took a subject that I knew little about and made it readable and enjoyable. It quickly became a favorite of mine and it has been my goal to get anyone I can to read it. Parallel (currently $5.99 for Kindle) is smart and thought provoking. It makes you wonder what your life could have been like if you made one choice differently. If you went to a different college; applied for a job somewhere else; turned left instead of right. The characters where awesome and you really felt what the felt. Not to mention that one little twist that still gets me every time. I think it is a book everyone should read and I may not rest until that happens.

And then there was her second book, Free to Fall. Free to Fall (currently $3.99 for the Kindle) is so current. In a world where technology rules our lives it fit the scope of where the world is perfectly. It got you thinking about how we do let technology help us make decisions. We look on line now before we buy something to see what others think. We rely on it to talk to friends and make plans. Technology is everything in the world and Free to Fall takes it a tiny step further with technology being the only way to make decisions. Another fantastic character driven story with just a hint of dystopian/sci-fi to it.

What brought this post on? Miller’s third book, All Things New. I just finished it yesterday and it was so unbelievably amazing. It is probably Miller’s most real book to date. It has a hint of something to it that doesn’t make it a straight contemporary, but even with that the book is just so truthful and honest. It’s a story about a girl that is scarred from an accident and can suddenly seeing wounds on people that aren’t there. It’s a struggle about seeing what is below the surface and what people hide and how it is okay to not be okay. It was straight up fantastic and I think it is something that people need to read and I want it on your radar. You won’t be disappointed. I know I wasn’t.

On My Radar – Lauren Miller (8)All Things New by Lauren Miller
Published by Three Saints Press
Published: August 1st 2017
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From the author of PARALLEL and FREE TO FALL comes a novel about how it feels to be broken and what means to be real.

Seventeen-year-old Jessa Gray has always felt broken inside, but she’s gotten very good at hiding it. No one at school knows about the panic attacks, the therapy that didn't help, the meds that haven’t worked. But when a severe accident leaves her with a brain injury and noticeable scars, Jessa’s efforts to convince the world that she’s okay finally crumble—now she looks as shattered as she feels. Fleeing from her old life in Los Angeles, Jessa moves to Colorado to live with her dad, but things go from bad to worse when she realizes she’s seeing bruises and scars on the people around her that no one else can see. She blames it on the accident, but as her body heals and the hallucinations continue, Jessa wonders if what she’s seeing could somehow have a deeper meaning. In her quest for answers, she falls for Marshall, a boy whose kindness and generous heart slowly draw Jessa out of her walled-off shell and into the broken, beautiful, real world—a place where souls get hurt just as badly as bodies, and we all need each other to heal.

ALL THINGS NEW is a love story about perception and truth, physical and emotional pain, and the messy, complicated people we are behind the masks we put on for the world.

So now I ask, have you read a Lauren Miller book?

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Challenge Updates: November Check-In

Along with my Goodreads Challenge (you can find my progress on the side bar) I also challenged myself to 2 other challenges for 2015. Every month I will check in with my challenge updates.

Back in December I signed up for The Re-Read Challenge hosted by Belle of the Literati and So Obsessed With. Honestly I didn’t expect this to be a problem and so far it hasn’t. I’m on track to reach my goal of 12-14 books without a hitch. My November rereads:

parallel


Title:
Parallel
Author: Lauren Miller
Date Read: November 16, 2015 – November 24, 2015
Type: Purchased

I am obsessed with this book and it had been so long since I had read it. It’s the book that made me fall in love with parallel life books and time travel books (since they are sometimes the same idea). And it is the book that got me to become the biggest cheerleader for Lauren Miller. Honestly if you haven’t read her stuff you are doing yourself a disservice. Her two books out are FANTASTIC!

Only one reread for November but it was the one that I wanted to reread so I win. Not sure what is on the agenda for December. Although I am listening to Divergent off and on so hopefully I finish that.

flightsoffantasy

I also committed the the Flights of Fantasy challenge run by Alexa Love Books and Hello, Chelly. As you may have heard, I am new to the fantasy genre (thank you Sarah J. Maas and Throne of Glass for this!) and I thought it would be good for me to challenge myself with this one. I have decided to do 12 so I only have to read 1 a month. My November fantasy reads:

scarlet

Title: Scarlet
Author:  Marissa Meyer
Date Read: November 12, 2015 – November 18, 2015
Type: Audio

I had read Cinder many many moons ago. So with all the hype regarding the release of Winter I decided it was time for book 2. Honestly I enjoyed this so much more than Cinder and I really liked Cinder. I don’t know if it was the audio or what but I was hooked and I can’t wait to listen to Cress.

 

So I don’t know if you would consider Scarlet fantasy but I an because there is some magic involved and it is in a different world. Whatever, it totally counts.

November Wrap-Up: Post Edition

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Top Ten Tuesday – Authors I Want to Meet

I freely admit that I have been pretty lucky when it comes to meeting some of my favorite authors. Rainbow Rowell, Lauren Oliver, Morgan Matson, Miranda Kenneally; I was lucky enough to meet these lovely ladies and get my books signed by them. But there is still that elusive list that I would love to meet some day. I mean I have interacted with almost all of the 10 and have signed books from a few, but the meeting had yet to happen. I wonder what I can bribe them with to come to Boston. 😉 So which authors are you DYING to meet? stephkarenemeryjodiheathermelinasarahlaurensuzannetrish

Stephanie Perkins || Karen Akins || Emery Lord || Jodi Meadow ||Heather Demetrios || Melina Marchetta || Sarah Ockler || Lauren Miller || Suzanne Young || Trish Doller

*Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
**Top Ten Tuesday photo made by me. If you would like to use it please give credit.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Authors

Picking a favorite author is hard work. And narrowing it down to 10 is even harder. I mean no matter what I did some of my fave were going to be left off or my list would be ginormous. But I did it. I picked 10 and there are in on particular order even though they are numbered. So who are your favorite authors?

 

sperkins     sockler

 tdoller     loliver

mkenneally      mmatson

elord      lmiller

smaas     kakins

Stephanie Perkins Sarah OcklerTrish DollerLauren OliverMiranda KenneallyMorgan MatsonEmery LordLauren MillerSarah J. MaasKaren Akins

*Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
**Top Ten Tuesday photo made by me with covers from Goodreads. If you would like to use it please give credit.

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