Subjects: parallel universes, parallel worlds, doppelgängers, creatures, quantum physics, friendship, high schools, love, Maryland
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 359 pgs. (How awesome is that?)
List Price: $17.99
Publisher: HarperTeen: Balzer + Bray
Summary/ product description: “Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.
Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.
Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.
Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.
But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.
By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?
From master of suspense Gretchen McNeil comes a riveting and deliciously eerie story about the lives we wish we had – and how they just might kill you.”
My Review: This book was so faced paced that I’m sure I could’ve read it in one day, or sitting if I had the time. I really didn’t want to stop reading. Both Ten and Possess were edge-of-your-seat horror/thrillers, though one was paranormal and one wasn’t. This book is a sci-fi thrill ride of awesome proportions. Gretchen puts the awesome sauce into a standalone once again. Her writing style and 3rd person limited POV narration seems flawless. It’s well paced and never boring.
3:59 took parallel universe stories to a whole new level. It started out kind of Parent-Trap-ish, with Josie and Jo switching places, but then became this crazy sci-fi, Fringe-ish story. I’ve read so many parallel universe books lately. Many of which are HarperTeen titles. It’s becoming popular, but still less popular that dystopian. I loved that the parallel world had creatures made of shadow. It made the story more creepy and dark. I also loved that Josie was such a science geek, with scientist parents. I loved all the talk of quantum mechanics and all these theories I’ve never heard of. Gretchen did her research, and I even learned something!
The dialogue is very smart and humorous at times. I especially loved Josie’s friend, Penelope. She was also a science geek, and she was very helpful to Josie in both universes. The love interest, Nick was much nicer in Jo’s universe that Josie’s, since he cheated on Josie on their one-year anniversary of dating. Josie and the other Nick’s relationship ship grew and started to remind me of Peter and Olivia from Fringe. Universe-crossed lovers. Jo was different from Josie. Where as Josie’s a science geek, Jo is the queen of the school and feared by all. Most of the high school drama takes place at the beginning of the book, so we don’t see as much later on.
There were so many plot twists later on in the story. Some I could have guessed, and some not. This book was just really amazing, and I hope you all enjoy it to. If you liked the following books, check this out: Parallel by Lauren Miller, Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell, Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris, Through To You by Emily Hainesworth, False Memory and False Sight by Dan Krokos, and of course, if you liked Fringe, the TV show, I recommend this.
Cover Art Review: Cool and minimal. The flip-clock face title is clever. I like the girl’s face peering from the spine ever so slightly. I love the teal and green used on the description and author parts of the cover jacket. It’s a well-designed cover.