This is the first romance book I've ever considered a favorite. See, I'm putting it on my favorites shelf along with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Mistb...moreThis is the first romance book I've ever considered a favorite. See, I'm putting it on my favorites shelf along with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Mistborn, Game of Thrones, and others. It looks a bit out of place on that shelf, but that's where it belongs.
I loved this book. I loved it so much. It's a story of two broken people who come together to save each other. It showcases healthy relationships and unhealthy relationships, and the healthy ones win out. It's a story of healing and empowerment.
Did I mention how hot Lucas is?
Lucas is really freaking hot. I mean, I'd totally swap my husband out for him for a night or two read more books about him if they existed. With the hair, and the tattoos, and the eyes. And the way he not only protects his woman personally, but also empowers her to protect herself. Give me a moment while I swoon . . .
Hold on. I'm not done yet . . .
That's enough for now. Anyway, I can see myself rereading this book in the future. And I've already added a collection of other contemporary romances to my to-read list because I need to experience more of this.(less)
Outside of the opening scene (which was a bit of a cheat since it was an action scene meant to draw the reader in but wasn't directly related to the p...moreOutside of the opening scene (which was a bit of a cheat since it was an action scene meant to draw the reader in but wasn't directly related to the plot), I found the first quarter of this book to be pretty boring.
Ellie travels home to see her uncle. We're introduced to her town. She goes to a coffee shop for a job, meets a boy, and goes on a date with the boy. Now we're about 27% of the way into the book and I'm IM-ing my co-blogger to tell her how boring it is.
At that point, I wasn't even attracted to the boy--Camden. He's initially described as wearing cargo shorts (not my style), and Iggy Pop T-shirt (I had to look that up), lips that are "thin and curved at the top," a full day's worth of stubble (I don't mind stubble, but in combo with the cargo shorts, I'm finding his style way too relaxed for my taste), and Dumbo ears. By themselves, the Dumbo ears could be cute and add character, but since the rest of the description didn't do it for me, the ears didn't add the character that I believe they were meant to.
Why am I going on and on about Camden not blowing me away with his sexiness? Well, a quarter of the way through the book, when I'm bored, I want to be blown away by the love interest--and I wasn't. Bummer. Granted, Camden's appearance grew on me throughout the book. Not every protagonist is going to like the kind of style that I like, but that made it harder for me to agree with Ellie's observations about how sexy Camden was.
Things got interesting when con-artist Ellie picked a mark and started working on her plan to acquire some more money. Plus, later on, her dangerous ex-boyfriend sent her on he run again. And through it all, Ellie and Camden dealt with some serious (and warranted) trust issues, stemming from how they'd treated each other in the past. In the end, I really came to root for them. And the sex scenes were great, so after the first one of those, I was much more invested int heir relationship.
An interesting aspect of this book was the regular flashbacks. On many occasions in the book, we'd return to Ellie's past to explore her high school relationship with Camden or her relationship with her dangerous ex-boyfriend. The flashbacks helped to fill in some holes about why all the trust issues and anger existed.
I didn't dislike the flashbacks. However, I was annoyed at what appeared to be a blatant withholding of information. Ellie, the POV character, had complete knowledge about her past but withheld things from the readers. It was like the mystery that was created was completely superficial. What happened to scar Ellie's leg? Why does Ellie feel guilty about her past with Camden? What happened with the ex-boyfriend? Where are Ellie's parents? Ellie knows all these things when the book opens, but the reader gets the information in bits and pieces. To me, it kind of seemed like a cheap trick to keep my interest. If Ellie's the POV character, I want to know what she knows. There's no real mystery here; there's just annoying information withholding.
In the end, despite the book's flaws, I rooted for Ellie and Camden. They were two scarred people in a dysfunctional relationship, and I wanted them to heal each other and find happiness.(less)
I went into this book thinking it would be young adult science fiction, which is a genre I love. It was. But it was also a roman...moreParallel blew my mind.
I went into this book thinking it would be young adult science fiction, which is a genre I love. It was. But it was also a romance novel that was both heart-breaking and heart-mending. I stayed up all night to finish this book because I had to know that Abby would find her soulmate in the end.
The primary complication to Abby's love life is the fact that her world collided with a parallel one a year ago. As a result, her present state is determined by choices her parallel self made in the past. Unfortunately, Abby suspects that her parallel self isn't exactly like her, so her parallel's choices don't always land Abby where she wants to be. She fears that one day she'll wake up and her love life will have been rewritten, and she'll be the only one who remembers how things are supposed to be. In the end, will she find her soulmate regardless of the path she's on?
It was 1:00 in the morning, and I was just about to put this book down after promising myself I would do so an hour earlier. Then this happened:
Yep, Parallel ripped my heart out and crushed it. So I had to keep reading until I finished the book, fighting with myself not to flip to the end to make sure everything was going to be okay.
Luckily, at the the conclusion, I was here:
Otherwise . . . well, let's just say I had a plan to hunt down and harass author Lauren Miller until she rewrote the ending. Lucky for her, I was more than satisfied.
I don't think all readers will enjoy the science babble explaining the entanglement of two parallel worlds. Personally, I thought this was a pretty cool aspect of the book. But even those who get a giant headache from the science babble can still enjoy the intensity of feelings that Abby has for her boyfriend—and that Abby's parallel has for her boyfriend.
The one thing I didn't absolutely love love love about Parallel is that I think I found a small glitch in the rubber science. If Abby and everyone in her world are getting the memories of their parallels, as theorized, then their parallels shouldn't be able to affect their physical properties. Abby shouldn't have scars from her parallel's injuries, and she shouldn't be in Connecticut just because her parallel went there instead of moving to California. This little glitch bothered me a bit. But you know what, Parallel? I still love you.
Most of my favorite books are action-heavy fantasy and science fiction novels. Parallel is now added to my favorites as one of the few romance novels I absolutely adored. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to young adult science fiction readers who like romance, as well as to contemporary romance readers. Just be prepared to put your heart on the line.
Thanks to HarperCollins for the free ARC of this title, provided through Edelweiss.
It's free on Amazon Kindle. Otherwise, based on the cover and description, I probably wouldn't put it on my to-read list. But maybe I'll give it a sho...moreIt's free on Amazon Kindle. Otherwise, based on the cover and description, I probably wouldn't put it on my to-read list. But maybe I'll give it a shot.(less)