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, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn’t choose, 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.
A story that explores free will and destiny, Parallel offers interesting insight to the meaning of “staying present”. I like that even when the story has to give us some explanation on the cosmic collision of parallel universes, the plot is not dense. With the spotlight focusing on the life of Abby and her relationship with those who are close and dear to her, I enjoy reading about the subtle changes that are going on in Abby’s as well as her parallel self’s lives and how these changes affect her view on life values, beliefs and priorities. The implication of numerology is lightly touched upon and I especially like the scene where Abby talks with her grandpa and her grandpa reveals to her what he saw at the time when Abby was born. I like this story a lot and I look forward to reading more novels by Miller as they’re published.