Genres: Parallel Life, Young Adult
Published by Simon and Schuster on August 27th 2013
Also by this author: The Program, The Treatment, The Remedy, Hotel Ruby, The Epidemic, The Adjustment, The Complication , Girls with Sharp Sticks
Format: Paperback (304 pages) • Source: Purchased
Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline's been at Gram's bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape--both her family and the reality of Gram's failing health. So when Caroline's best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram's side, or go to the party and live her life.
The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline's fate into two separate paths--and she's about to live them both.
Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she's ever wanted.
Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending...
Wow, this book left me sitting there with a dumbfounded look on my face. The story is about Caroline, who is faced with a tough decision in the wake of grandmother’s impending death. Should she escape her family for the night to attend a party with her friend Simone? Or should she stay with them by her grandmother’s side? This decision splits her world in two: she lives out both of the timelines for the reader to enjoy. The book alternated chapters between STAY and GO, which was surprisingly not too confusing. Sometimes I had to peek down at the bottom corner of the page and remind myself of which one I was reading, but otherwise it was not hard to follow. What a freaking cool concept. I’ve been obsessed with the parallel life theme for as long as I can remember. Going into this book, I assumed the GO timeline would piss me off because I couldn’t imagine leaving my family in a time like that, especially for a party. Somehow I actually much preferred the GO timeline to the STAY one. I don’t know why; I think the STAY decision led to more boring consequences for me. One of my favorite things about the book was the “glimpes” into the other timeline from the one we were reading. For example, she would say “I could never imagine a world where ___ happened” …. while that exact thing was happening in the other timeline! It was really, really cool.
- Caroline struck me as pretty selfish regardless of which path she chose. Obviously staying with her sick grandmother and broken family was a little more important, but she still ended up making pretty self-centered decisions after that night anyways. Both the STAY and GO timelines were filled with her somewhat careless behavior, which was annoying. I didn’t like her as a character that much but it honestly didn’t deter me from the book at all.
- Joel was her longtime crush that she was given the opportunity to spend time with if she stays with her family and lives that timeline. I didn’t like him at all. He was kind of a jerk. I won’t get into too much more about him.
- Chris was a boy she met at the party in the timeline where she left her family. He was so effing cute and funny. I’m really not the type to fall in love with fictional boys like others do, but lately I don’t know what it is about the books I’m reading – I love all the boys. He was totally my type and was the main reason I preferred the GO timeline.
- Simone was the type of tried and true friend that everyone wants. She was an enjoyable character to read about but I barely remember the differences in what happened to her between the two timelines. She was an important character but just not as memorable as others.
I’m not sure how Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young wrote this one together, but it would be really cool if they had split it between STAY and GO. The whole book flowed seamlessly together and I couldn’t tell that there were two authors involved. Like I said, I thought it may be a little confusing with the alternating chapters between STAY and GO, but it really was easy to follow. It was cool how they kind of intersected at times or you could see similar or different events happening to her. It was definitely executed perfectly. The little STAY or GO written at the bottom of each page was really helpful too. Overall, definitely a good flow between the timelines.
If you have any interest in parallel life or time travel types of books, definitely pick this one up. I thoroughly enjoyed the two timelines and seeing how similar or different they were, based on the two initial decisions. If you’re the type of person who really NEEDS to love the main character to read the book, I maybe wouldn’t recommend it to you. I just think Caroline was a little to self-centered and sometimes annoying. If you can look past that like I did, you’ll definitely enjoy this book!
Jeez the ending of this book was so perfect. It’s hard not to give anything away, but it just ended exactly as it needed to. Unlike most people, I didn’t really spend the whole book wondering what timeline she actually chose. I viewed the alternate universes as almost two separate books, if that makes sense. Regardless, I absolutely loved the message of this book at the end. I really wish I could share what that moral was, but that would be the most spoilery thing I could say. I couldn’t really give this book five stars because I didn’t see it as a new favorite for me, but it was definitely a solid read. As I said, the main character was pretty annoyingly self-centered and made a lot of decisions I didn’t agree with (regardless of the timeline), so I think that was part of my reasoning. Nonetheless I highly recommend this book to everyone! I’m glad the Parallel Time Loop feature at Andi’s ABCs forced me to read this book sooner than I was initially planning!
Remember, stay tuned at Andi’s ABCs for my guest post about Just Like Fate! I’ll be featuring more fun stuff than just a review!