Jan 13, 2015

Review | 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

Title: 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult - Science Fiction/Fantasy
Publication: September 17, 2013 by Balzer + Bray
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: 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?

Thoughts: This was one of those books that I was a little hesitant to read. I am not much of a science fiction fan when it comes to books, because they get a little confusing, but I really like McNeil's stuff, it's fun and she's just an awesome person, so I feel like my like for her books also comes from me liking her as a person (I've met her 3 times already.) I previously read Ten and enjoyed it, because of the classic I think.

Jumping into 3:59 made me realize two things: 1) I am still terrible at science and trying to wrap my brain around the way things work in this book, scientifically, was impossible; and 2) I knew it was predictable kind of story, but still didn't know what to expect. Basically, from reading the synopsis, you get the main idea of what happens in the entire book. And not much else happens, other than that. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, just that if the summary sounds like something you'll enjoy, then you most likely will.

The book opens up pretty much with Josie hating how her life is going because of several things (boyfriend cheating, betraying best friend, parents divorcing, etc.) so the chance to switch lives with Jo seems perfect. Except, obviously things aren't always what they seem...predictable right? Not only that, but Josie gets trapped by Jo in her alternate world so now she spends a good portion of her time trying to convince the right people that she is in fact another person and needs to get back to her other world. A few mysteries are solved, a few tragedies are overcome, and in the end, it all wraps up pretty nicely if not a bit sad. You get the last glimmer of hope in the last few pages that might leave readers wondering if there will be a second part (will there be??) and the end.

While I still love McNeil's writing, I wasn't able to attach myself to any of these characters. Yes, I felt a little bad for everyone I was supposed to feel bad for and so on, but I felt very meh about everyone. I was more interested in how the author would make the story unique in such a predictable plot and she did by adding a bit of suspense and some horror elements as well. So, for the most part, I did enjoy 3:59 but not as much as I was originally hoping.

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