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If, Then

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  3,435 ratings  ·  749 reviews
The residents of a sleepy mountain town are rocked by troubling visions of an alternate reality in this dazzling debut that combines the family-driven suspense of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere with the inventive storytelling of The Immortalists.

In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parall
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Random House
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Lily I found it similar to The Dreamers, though I liked The Dreamers more. Definitely same genre, though this one is even lighter on the science.

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Average rating 3.33  · 
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 ·  3,435 ratings  ·  749 reviews

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Katie B
The book held my interest but I can't say I was left feeling all that satisfied by the time the story wrapped up. While the explanation of why everything occurred wasn't the thing that bothered me, I had this empty feeling when I was done reading because it felt like I got nothing out of the whole purpose of the story.

I rarely read science fiction but I thought the premise for this one sounded like it had potential. Basically four neighbors are just living their lives in Oregon when some weird
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: grgiveaways

this is a fun, slipstreamy ‘what-if’ novel that gently floats the possibility of parallel realities as four characters living in a small oregon town begin to experience visions — seeing alternate versions of themselves living completely different lives, having made different choices at their crossroads of love or career; lives with different partners, 'realities' where their dearly departed are still alive and well, or… most alarmingly, seeing a doppelgänger whose appearance sugg
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
I suppose we've all asked ourselves the question....If .... I had made this choice .... Then would my life be different? That is the question that Kate Hope Day explores in this novel.

Clearing, Oregon - in a neighborhood just like any other - four neighbors experience alternate realities via hallucinations or visions.

Ginny - devoted surgeon and married mother of an 11 year old son suddenly has a vision that she and a female co-worker and friend are romantically involved.

Mark - Ginny's
Elyse  Walters
An interesting - slim-jim innovative novel. Rights have been signed for a TV series.
Author Kate Hope Day, was an associate producer at HBO.
This is Kate’s debut novel.
I agree with other readers that this book might work better on screen ( or at least come more alive and fun to watch are my thoughts)....
but where some readers felt that the author wasn’t effective in drawing parallel worlds in a coherent storyline, which may be true, the characters hit a sweet spot in me.... and I the writing cr
Jessica Sullivan
Do you ever read one of those books where you realize you’re 80% done with it and nothing has really even happened? That was this book. There’s an interesting kernel of an idea here—about multiverses and what happens when they overlap—but it just never goes anywhere, and when it finally does (kind of?) it’s rushed and winds up feeling very incomplete. This would have been more acceptable if it were a different kind of book, the kind where internal character development takes precedence of plot, ...more
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
We all play the If, Then game. You know the one: If I had...then.... Somtimes we envision results from minor situations such as If I had not eaten so much at dinner, Then my dress wouldn’t be so tight. Sometimes we fantasize about major events in our lives such as: If I had gone to law school, Then I would be a rich successful lawyer today. But ultimately we put If Then aside and return to reality.
But what if reality becomes difficult to determine? What if the visions we ponder in the If, Then g
Jessica Woodbury
Can speculative domestic dramas be a new trend? Because I would like to read at least five more books like this one. It takes the kind of complex character building I really enjoy and adds unexpected elements and surreal twists that keep it from feeling like anything close to the same old thing.

At the heart of this book is what usually exists just in your mind as you wonder what other paths your life could have taken if you'd made a different decision. But in this book, those other selves are ev
If, Then is a quiet, speculative novel about four neighbors living in suburban Oregon. Ginny and Mark are an unhappily married couple, Samara is a young woman coping with the recent death of her mother, and Cass is a young mom who's had to sacrifice her academic ambitions for motherhood. Gradually the novel introduces the possibility of parallel realities which have begun to overlap, as each character starts to see visions of an alternate version of themselves. Throughout the course of the short ...more
Julie Langsdorf
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this time warping, mind twisting novel! Day's prose is convincing and beautiful, whether she is writing from the point of view of a doctor doing surgery, to a scientist doing field work, to a realtor selling houses. She handles the unusual bumps and folds of time that the story reveals in an equally expert way. I often thought of Tom Perrotta's wonderful The Leftovers as I read it, in the sense that she made me believe that unbelievable things could actually happen. This is literary fict ...more
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
If, Then is a short, quiet novel--but it's also a fascinating one. I wish If, Then had gotten more attention because it's absolutely wonderful.

Set in a fictional town near a (also fictional) presumably "dormant" volcano in the Pacific Northwest, If, Then posits that we live multiple lives in multiple ways at the same time (aka multiverse) and has her characters get a glimpse into these other lives--some better, some worse--as the volcano starts to rumble. What's interesting is that for two of th
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much that when I finished the first time, I went back and re-read it immediately. It's beautifully written and quietly powerful. Would highly recommend this book ...more
I was never able to really connect with this one. It's one of those typical lit-fic books where we follow a group of interconnected characters through an exploration of some Big Metaphysical Themes, and you know, normally I would be on board for that sort of thing. As long as the characters are well-drawn and the Big Metaphysical Themes are handled in a thought-provoking and creative way. If, Then just didn't quite clear either of those bars for me.

What piqued my interest in this one at first w
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I devoured this book in a day and loved it for a bunch of little reasons. The author's attention to detail made her characters unique and her decisions near the end were perfection. The setting is the Cascade mountains of Oregon (I grew up in sight of Mt Hood so I know the landscape well) with volcanic/seismic activity causing some parallel reality situations for these intertwining characters. Believe the hype! I will wax poetic about the book on an upcoming podcast episode. ...more
Ova - Excuse My Reading
Didn't finish - abandoned at page 120 ...more
Olive Fellows (abookolive)
I have no idea what the point of this book was.

This is a domestic drama with dashes of philosophy and multiverse theory. A handful of neighbors are living their lives per usual until they begin seeing alternate versions of themselves. One of these individuals is a scientist studying animal behaviors in response to seismological activity and so we start to get the feeling that the "dormant" volcano located near their shared Oregon town may not be as sleepy as commonly believed.

Given how early tha
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked it, a bit different from my usual reads, won’t say too much as I’m reserving further comments until after my Bookclub discussion 🤭
Danya Bush
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! The prose is deft and beautiful. The story is propulsive from the first page, and won't let go of you until its breathless ending. An absolute page-turner with depth and grit. Highly recommended! ...more
lucky little cat
Upstanding citizens of southern Oregon start glimpsing alternate (and sometimes happier-looking) versions of themselves living tantalizingly different lives.

Sometimes your alt-universe self is clearly a stinker. And sometimes it's you.

Day deftly manages a slow-burn nonlinear plot (or two) plus smart, believable characters, each of whom reads a different meaning into the glimpses of those alternate selves. While one character sees a warning, another sees a promise, and still another sees (view sp
Megan Collins
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
IF, THEN is a brilliant novel from a major new talent in literary fiction. I blew through this book in two days, and when I was done, I could not stop thinking about it. The premise hooked me from the beginning, but Kate Hope Day takes it to the next level with memorable characters, an intriguing setting, and elegant prose. Without giving anything away, I loved how the parallel lives that the characters glimpsed pushed them into making decisions they wouldn't have otherwise, and it was both fun ...more
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short, scifi
“If, Then” by Kate Hope toys with the idea of parallel universes. Philosophers and scientists have considered the idea of other universes for years. It’s a fun premise to consider. Most of our actions can have multiple consequences. It’s those forks in the road; those decisions we make that form our realities.

Four neighbors begin to see visions of themselves with different lives. At first they feel they are a bit crazy. These visions lead to two of the characters making life-changing choices.

Sheila Beaumont
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an intriguing, beautifully written work of speculative fiction. I've shelved it as science fiction, but it's not conventional SF. In this story, set in Oregon, several neighbors in the small town of Clearing see visions of themselves and those close to them in parallel realities as the long-dormant Broken Mountain volcano shows signs of erupting. I found it to be quite a page-turner, increasing in pace and intensity as the eruption approaches. It's a thoroughly enjoyable and thought-prov ...more
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I just finished this book, and would be hard pressed to tell you what I just read. It could have been a good story, but it didn't go anywhere. There isn't really a story line. Disappointed that I spent time on this book. ...more
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If, Then is yet another example of 'great concept, poor execution'. Maybe I wouldn't have minded as much if the story had been told in a less uninvolved narrative.
The story features on a group of neighbours who begin seeing "what ifs". One sees herself romantically involved with a woman who is currently just her colleague/friend, while a woman who has just recently lost her mother starts seeing her dead mother, and a man sees a version of himself that suggests some
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Four neighbors begin to feel their worlds upend when they start seeing visions of either themselves or a deceased family member. Mark is a devoted father whose visions of himself start him on a paranoid past to protect his family. He’s also convinced that the local volcano Broken Mountain isn’t as dormant as others think. His wife, Ginny, is a surgeon who hasn’t spent much time with her family. She begins to think she has a brain tumor when she begins to see visions of herself apparently having ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to @randomhouse
@katehopeday @netgalley
for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
If, Then is strangely intriguing. If I had made this choice, then this would have happened. Everyone thinks that sometimes. One little thing can change the course of an entire life. People in a small Oregon town actually witness themselves from time to time around town, only as different versions of themselves in imagined scenarios. The characters are privy to t
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I received this from in exchange for a review.

In the quiet mountain haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in a parallel reality.

Although a quick read, this book just didn't resonate with me. The premise of the story was interesting enough but I never got attached to it or the characters.

2.5 ☆
Sarah Ames-Foley
This review can also be found on my blog.
4.5 ⭐️

cw: infidelity, grief
disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for review consideration. All of the opinions presented below are my own. All quotes have been taken from the advanced copy and are subject to change upon publication.

I’m sure all of us have wondered what if. All those little -- and big -- choices that we’ve made throughout our lives. What they would have led to, where we’d be today
Mel (Epic Reading)
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A quick, well-paced read. While this is technically science fiction it doesn’t read like typical sci-fi at all. Easily read by anyone due to its contemporary setting and strong characters.

When most people think of science fiction they imagine space, aliens and/or monstrous species (think Predator). But the reality is there is a whole area of sci-fi that is often left in the fiction section. Often set in modern day life, where everything can be explained by Earth science and is rooted in
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for the opportunity to read this book and in exchange provide honest feedback.

Four neighbors in Oregon begin to see alternate versions of themselves and don't know why. As the book progresses, we learn about how each character is dealing with a particular adversity and how these visions fit into that. This started out strong for me, but I was left feeling disappointed. When I read the summary, I thought this was a really cool concept. A bunch of p
Angie Kim
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow! My mind is completely blown. This may be the best premise for a novel ever. I absolutely LOVE multiverse stories, and I’m also obsessed with philosophy, so I was fascinated from the first page. Kate Hope Day blew away my (very, very high) expectations. IF, THEN does for parallel worlds what The Time Traveler’s Wife does for time travel and what Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life does for time loops. Like those books (which are among my favorite books ever), this book takes a sci-fi type of ...more
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Mt. Lebanon Publi...: If, Then by Kate Hope Day 1 9 Jun 11, 2019 04:03PM  

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