Review: 3:59

3:59
3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

3:59 is an amazing science fiction novel about parallel universes. Josie Bryne is an overachieving whiz kid, who is recently saddened by a betrayal from her best friends. In her anger and sadness, she agrees to swap places with herself in another universe, which seemed better. Being the daughter of a scientist who specializes in parallel universes, she is quite intrigued by the idea, as well as the chance to go a world where that sadness hasn’t touched her. Turns out, that world is worse than hers and she is trapped thanks to the other Josie (Jo) who tricked her. As she acclimates in this slightly different world and slightly different life, she looks for a way back to her world. Her determination is strengthened when she discovers she wasn’t the first to do so.

3:59, on a world-building level, derives from the Schrodinger’s paradox, and as little as I understand of physics (bio geek here), this book’s canon made quite a lot of sense to me. I admit, there were times when I was stumped, but 12th grade physics kicked in and I went with the flow. The writing was surreal and the author certainly didn’t pull any punches with the plot. The characters were fleshed out well, particularly those of the other world, and I was very much interested in what the consequences of Nick’s brother’s existence would be. Sadly, this book doesn’t seem to have a sequel, so as much as I loved it, it hurts to say goodbye to the characters. Really, one of my favorite standalones!

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