Archive for the ‘Parallel’ Category

JustLikeFateWhen I decided to read Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick, it was for two reasons. The first was that I really liked her book Forgotten (which made my 2011 Top Ten list) about a girl who loses her memory every night. The second was I read the blurb, but not the whole blurb. Shame on me. I read “One decision changes everything…” I missed the “…in this Sliding Doors meets Anna and the French Kiss novel that explores split realities of romance and family loyalties.” Knowing that the main character, Caroline, is faced with her gram’s impending death and she can make one of two decisions, I expected a heavy dose of realistic fiction, the two outcomes diametrically opposed. Instead, I got chick lit.

Having said the above, I enjoyed the book (I like some chick lit), it kept my interest, but it was far from what I expected. Caroline has two choices: stay in the hospital with Gram or go to a party. Still I thought these two choices would have equal and opposite consequences. With 50 pages left to go, though, it doesn’t appear that way. Similar to Parallel by Lauren Miller, which is time travel/time warp, both authors seem to bring their stories full circle…which, of course, shouldn’t happen, in my opinion.

Just Like Fate does explore, to some extent, family relationships (which siblings like each other and which don’t), divorce (Caroline’s parents went through a bitter divorce), boy/girl relationships (should she or shouldn’t she). The characters are interesting, the plot keeps you reading, but it isn’t something that you won’t find in other books.

I’d categorize Just Like Fate as a beach read. Nothing too heavy.

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OK. Here’s where I’ll say it. This cosmos we live in is grand and full of wonderful surprises.Parallel These surprises will continue to reveal themselves and, more likely than not, they’ll be things we never even dreamed of. So, to think that we humans are the only intelligent life in our universe, in my opinion, is ludicrous. I believe that intelligent life exists elsewhere, although it may not look or sound or think like us. I also think that these beings may have visited our planet and may continue to do so. If we’re exploring space, why wouldn’t they?

If you believe the above, it’s not a giant leap to think that there could be a parallel universe; that the Ed Goldberg of here and now may exist in a parallel universe, at a different time. (I’m not as sure of this as I am of other intelligent beings, but I’m not dismissing it either.)

Such is the case with Abigail (Abby) Barnes in Lauren Miller’s debut novel, Parallel. The problem is that, while normally these parallel universes exist independently, her present and parallel lives collide. Unfortunately, her parallel Abby’s (Abby 2, for these purposes) life is about a year behind. Because of this collision, an action by Abby 2 impacts the life of Abby, who has no memory of the intervening year since Abby 2 hasn’t lived it yet.

Sound complicated? Well, it’s not…it’s merely the way I describe it that sounds convoluted. Simply put, similar to a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon and causing a ripple in Africa, such is Abby 2’s impact on current Abby. Enough of that.

Lauren Miller has written a very interesting, fun read and it’s not complicated following the events (as some reviews suggested). In Librarything, the 10 reviews gave it  4 1/2 stars. Not bad! You immediately like Abby and her geeky friend Caitlin. You sympathize when she wakes up in a strange place because of an action in the parallel world. Of course, there’s romance involved as well. You have to expect that.

Overall, Parallel is a fun read. (I will admit, I didn’t love the last few pages of the ending, but I understand why Ms. Miller ended the book that way.)

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