Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Reading on a Theme: Young Adult Parallel Reality Books

I love how books allow writers and readers the opportunity to explore "what ifs." Perhaps one of my favorite "what ifs" is the question of what would have happened if a character had made a different choice or could access a parallel world. In this Reading on a Theme we return to one of our favorite topics parallel realities and multiple dimensions.

First Earth or Second Earth?
Stel lives on First Earth and has always known about the Corridor, a portal that connects First and Second Earth. She also has a secret: she has the ability to open portals to Second Earth and other parallel universes. When the Corridor begins to destabilize, she knows she needs to do everything she can to save her world. The Corridor is a science fiction adventure. A. N. Willis jumps right into the story and lets the reader catch up. The world she created is fascinating. It took me a little while to get into the book, but I think it's because it was jarring for me to go from the contemporary parallel realities to this deep, rich science fiction, so don't let that deter you. The Corridor was out June 2015. Review copy from NetGalley.
With or Without Kylie?
When Jonathan Aubrey was eight he narrowly escaped dying in a terrible plane crash that killed the rest of his family. As a very sad and lonely child, Jonathan learned he could create other worlds. Now, ten years later, Jonathan splits his time between the real world and a parallel world where his long time crush, Kylie Simms, is his girlfriend. Jonathan's worlds start to unravel when he mixes the two worlds up, and the Kylies begin to take on the traits of their twin. In A World Just Right is an incredibly interesting genre-bending debut from Jen Brooks. I felt very compelled to find out how it would all turn out. The book does move a little slowly, but I thought the payoff was well worth the wait. In A World Just Right was out April 2015. Review copy from Edelweiss.

 Return or Run?
When Hadley takes her boyfriend's car without his permission he retaliates by posting a nude photo of her. Hadley must decide whether to confront him or take his car as far away as she can. Hadley's choice splits the narrative and the reader follows her on both journeys. It turns out the stakes are much higher than she thought. A Million Times Goodnight is a beautifully executed parallel realities story. Kristina McBride weaves the narratives together seamlessly. I loved watching each story and was anxious to see how everything would resolve. This book was poignant, powerful, and so much fun to read. A Million Times Goodnight was out July 2016. Review copy from Edelweiss.

France or New York?
Summer Everett is excited for her trip to France to visit her dad, but as she's boarding the plane, her phone rings. Does she answer? Her action drastically changes her summer plans. The story splits between her summer in France and her summer in New York. In both places, however, she learns of a family secret that may break her. How will she uncover the truth? Two Summers combines two of our favorite themes: parallel realities and American girls in Europe. Both elements made this book a lot of fun to read. I was impressed with Aimee Friedman's attention to detail as events mirrored each other in the different time frames. The book left me with some questions and was a unique parallel realities story. Two Summers was out April 2016. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Fiona or Fi?
Fiona is a shy, songwriter trying to find the courage to perform her music. She also bears the scars of a tragic accident on her face, which makes it all the more difficult for her to come out of her shell. But what if there hadn't been an accident and her face was whole? Perhaps she would be Fi, an all-state lacrosse star. Everything That Makes You follows the journeys of both girls and shows that one event can change not just one person, but everyone around her. Moriah McStay takes the parallel realities tale a one step farther as she tells the story of this girl years after a choice split her fate. This is a fantastic debut novel. Everything That Makes You was out March 2015. Review copy from Edelweiss.

The Corridor, A Million Times Goodnight, Two Summers, and Everything that Makes You reviewed by Paige.
In a World Just Right reviewed by JoLee.

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