This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the bookish things that steal my heart.
#7. Parallel UniversesIf you’ve been around the blog and have read my Top Ten Tuesday posts, you’ve probably noticed a trend among some of my favorite books. I am in love with the concept of parallel universes. It instantly puts books on my radar and more often than not, I absolutely love them.
What I define as a parallel universe story: basically, the main character goes through two different timelines or exists in two (or more) worlds that are very similar, but differ in some way. For example: they show what would happen to a character if they chose to live with their mother or their father after a divorce – both paths, which end up shaping them in different ways. They explore the what if questions: what if I took him to Prom instead of this other guy? What if I study at this college instead of working? Then they go through the different paths. Most people immediately reference the movie Sliding Doors, which I actually have never watched, whoops, but so yeah, it’s like that.
But in a broader or more fantasy/sci-fi genre, this can just mean variations of one universe. (Which makes this definition so confusinggggggg.) There could be a parallel universe of Earth but with the existence of magic. Or where aliens have visited us. And then characters can traverse those universes and have different adventures in different worlds. So as opposed to the previous definition, this is less about a character’s personal choices and character development. In researching books for this topic, I found the definitions differ muchly across the internet, because sub-genre classification is haaaaaaard. Buuuut I’ll give some examples, primarily of the former type, because that is what I’ve encountered most that I’ve absolutely loved.
I think we all know by now how obsessed I am with Pivot Point, and yeah. It’s just amazing with its exciting, twisty plot and distinct character growth across the two different timelines. And I loved how those timelines intertwined, and the reveals in one timeline affected the events of the other one. My mind was blown. Add in a heartbreaking romantic arc, and you’ve got one of my all-time favorite books.
Parallel I’ll continually refer to as being underrated, because it’s a book that stayed with me for MONTHS after reading it. I may not have totally liked the science aspect when I first read it, but the messages about soulmates and friendships were so heartbreakingly beautiful. I’m not a big believer in fate, but I really liked how that brought the parallel universes back together in this story.
Ask Again Later is pretty much just a fun, fluffy contemporary, and I would not name the parallel timelines the key selling point of the book. But it was really fun to see how the romance developed in both timelines and then came together in the end. So many shippy moments in both paths!
To Be Read or Coming Soon
Why I love them so much:
Also, because of their mysterious nature, these stories can be very addictive because you feel the need for the characters to find their way to the right path. I mean, we know how obsessive I am about Pivot Point. That story really kept me on my toes and had quite a few surprises. So there’s just a lot of potential for exciting plot twists and intrigue and I loooove that.
To top it all off, it’s fun to think about your own life and the choices you’ve made. How would your life be different if X happened? It usually has a lot of smaller consequences that you might not consider at first. Especially with my almost reaching a quarter life crisis, I can spend hours thinking about it. What if I didn’t study marketing? What if I stayed in the US for college? What if I never picked up The Hunger Games and started to like reading? In case of the latter, I wouldn’t be here right now. And that would be sad.