Monday, October 7, 2013


Title/Author: 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

Genre:  YA, Sci-Fi.

Publisher: Balzer and Bray.

Source:  BEA.

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?

My Thoughts:  I only read the first 2 paragraphs of the synopsis of 3:59 and then went in blind.  I didn't want to know too much and wanted to be surprised.  I can honestly say, I was.  I didn't know about the parallel universe, I honestly thought it was going to be ghostly or something.  I still loved it though and felt like I was discovering everything along with Josie.   I read this book in just a few days.  I didn't want to put it down.

Josie is a very likeable character. Her problems at home are getting worse and then her relationship is going south too.  I felt really bad for her, but I also didn't really care for her boyfriend and felt the relationship was superficial.  However, when she gets to the parallel world, Nick, is a very different person and Josie comes to realize what love really is.  I really liked this aspect of the story.  Josie changes and grows up because in the parallel world, things are even more dire than her own problems.  Although their feelings for each other are kind of fast, I felt that it wasn't a case of "insta-love."  The conditions that they are under lent themselves to Josie and Nick getting closer.  Plus, the fact that although it is not the same world, but a parallel one, maybe the attraction makes more sense. 

The writing was not flowery, yet descriptive.  I could picture the two worlds, the characters, the monsters.  The language was concise without being too simple.

I didn't really understand all the scientific jargon, but I got the basic concepts.  I'm not saying I comprehended all the theories, but I'm glad to report that didn't hinder the enjoyment of the story for me.  I liked the plot and all the twists and turns.  Some I predicted and some I did not.  For the most part, it was a very nail biting, page turning story. 

Oh and the end!  I don't want to give too much away, but I loved it.  I thought it was going to go one way, but it didn't and I loved that.  It wasn't a perfect, happily ever after, everything is tied up neatly kind of ending.  It was an ending though, that just felt right.  Sounds cliche, but although Jose didn't get everything she wanted, she got everything she needed.  It was bittersweet.

To Wrap it Up:  This story was like a YA Fringe.  Fun, fast paced with an excellent romance.


Jen | Book Den said...

I was not a fan of Ten, but the doppelgänger idea and the science makes me want to give this one a try. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it. I wish I could go into it blind, too, but I keep reading reviews trying to decide if I want to read it. Haha.

Aurian said...

Creepy, but glad you enjoyed it.

Karen said...

I'm excited to read this one!

I've been trying to read more books without analyzing them to death before eI even crack the cover. It's nice to be surprised sometimes.

fakesteph said...

Hmmm. I hadn't decided whether or not I wanted to read this, but, but, but... it sounds so good. Maybe I'll borrow it from Kate.

Midnyte Reader said...

@Jennifer-I liked this one better than 10.

@Aurian-Yes, definitely some creepy parts.

@Karen-I felt it was a really nice surprise. That helped a lot. It was also just fun and enjoyable.

@FakeSteph-I think you may enjoy it. It's a fast read.

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