Parallelogram (Book 1: Into the Parallel)

Rated 4.00/5 based on 5 reviews
High school science genius Audie Masters uses her knowledge of quantum physics to find a way into a parallel universe, where she discovers a parallel version of herself who is leading a much more exciting life. Soon Audie has a taste of that life, too, full of adventure, romance, and intriguing new mysteries of science. It's all more than she could have hoped for--until something goes wrong. More

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Reviews

Review by: Shiela Blankemeier on Dec. 15, 2011 :
As usual, Robin Brande's spot-on teen voice rings true and pulls you back to those wonderful, confusing and arduous times. Her characters leap off the page and into your heart. Audie's whip-smart comments and heart-felt honesty left me in tears more than once. And smart only begins to describe not only the main character, but also the writing. The science used here is grounded in real quantum physics and related in a way even I could understand. I felt my IQ rise from page one: after reading, I understood more of the jokes on the Big Bang theory. The romance is clever, never condescending, and had me falling in love right along with Audie. The only negative - having to wait for the next book to satisfy this cliffhanger of an ending. And I mean that in the best way possible. I simply cannot sing enough praises for this wonderfully imaginative, smart, and exciting YA novel. This will make a perfect gift for that beautiful, smart girl in your life. Even better - for you!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Shiela Blankemeier on Dec. 15, 2011 : (no rating)
As usual, Robin Brande's spot-on teen voice rings true and pulls you back to those wonderful, confusing and arduous times. Her characters leap off the page and into your heart. Audie's whip-smart comments and heart-felt honesty left me in tears more than once. And smart only begins to describe not only the main character, but also the writing. The science used here is grounded in real quantum physics and related in a way that's easy to understand. The romance is clever, never condescending, and had me falling in love right along with Audie. The only negative - having to wait for the next book to satisfy this cliffhanger of an ending. And I mean that in the best way possible. I simply cannot sing enough praises for this wonderfully imaginative, smart, and exciting YA novel. This will make a perfect gift for that beautiful, smart girl in your life. Even better - for you!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Stephanie Su on Sep. 16, 2011 :
Robin Brande takes readers into a new dimension—literally—with her YA sci-fi, INTO THE PARALLEL. While various elements of the story, such as plot and characters, don’t feel as tight as her YA contemporary novels, INTO THE PARALLEL is nevertheless an enjoyable story that draws only lightly on advanced scientific concepts.

The majority of INTO THE PARALLEL unfolds through dialogue: Audie talking to Hallie and trying to figure out what’s going on, Audie talking to the professor, Audie lying to her mom…really, the amount of information that’s revealed through stationary dialogue is rather disconcerting, as you realize that there’s not much going on in terms of plot. Due to the talky nature of the story, little seems to be at stake: about halfway through the story, I found myself wondering, okay, so are we ever going to get to the gritty conflict? Alas, I felt like no such thing ever appeared—INTO THE PARALLEL was really just an exploration of a new situation, with little else driving the story.

The characters all seem to suffer from various symptoms of character flatness. Audie is a pretty straightforward protagonist, but sometimes she bugged me because her thoughts and behavior were at odds with her supposed intelligence. Honestly? This is one girl who will not be getting into Columbia, her dream school—and if she does, I will be tempted to chalk it up to fictional wish fulfillment (sigh). Hallie’s unwillingness to draw attention to herself and her accomplishments is at least consistent and admirable, if a little boring. As for Audie’s love interests, well, not much distinguishes them either. I feel like the character development relied too much on dialogue, at the expense of actually allowing readers’ connections to the characters, and the characters’ connections to one another, to unfold more naturally.

INTO THE PARALLEL tackles the fascinating possibilities that quantum mechanics and string theory offer, but it does so in a way that is rather elementary: in fact, the story could’ve done without the astrophysics element and still worked. Therefore, I’d say that it is a less sci-fi and more just a series of events that unfolds in parallel universes. Nevertheless, I give Robin Brande credit for all her research into this fascinating topic, and for writing a killer of a cliffhanger ending that, fortunately, can be immediately remedied, as the sequel is now out online. Will I be reading it? Hmm. Perhaps. INTO THE PARALLEL was lacking in a number of elements that are important to me in an enjoyable and well-written story, but everyone has those few authors they make exceptions for, and Robin’s one of them for me.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Ashley @ Book Labyrinth on Aug. 01, 2011 :
This was such a perfect read at a perfect time for me. Robin Brande writes in such an awesome straightforward manner. I love how it felt like Audie, the main character, was speaking right to the reader. The best thing about this book is that there's actually science behind the science fiction. Most books to do with parallel worlds or time travel tend to gloss over the specifics, but Brande brings scientific theories right to the foreground. No worries, though, if you're not a science geek. You'll still be able to understand and appreciate all the science-y information being brought forth. Mostly it was just refreshing to see a science fiction title actually rooted in science.

'Into the Parallel' introduces a sort of Fringe-like parallel world to the one Audie is living in. There are people who look alike, but who have different names and different personalities. I loved all the differences between the 2 universes, as well as the differences between the look-alike characters themselves. I don't want to say much more because reading the book is an incredible journey on its own. I have yet to be disappointed by Robin Brande. I can always count on her books to contain great characters and interesting, issue-driven plots. 'Into the Parallel' was refreshing and absolutely satisfying, leaving me desperately wanting Book 2.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Carly Reads on July 23, 2011 :
I don't even know where to begin reviewing Robin Brande's latest book, so let me start with this: it was, like everything she has written, excellent. "Into the Parallel" had the same spot-on characterization, emotion, and dialogue that I have come to expect from Brande, but it also added aspects of reality that read like fantasy to mix. "Into the Parallel" will undoubtedly satisfy both fantasy fans and the contemporary realistic fiction crowd with it's mix of quantum physics that seems too crazy to be true and a smart, adventurous narrator who couldn't be more true-to-life. Brande effectively brings some of the most complex theories of quantum physics down to a level that the average reader can understand and, as she's done in "Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature" and "Fat Cat," shown that science is way more cool than the average high school chemistry teacher may lead you to believe. With a cliff-hanger ending that has me counting down the days until the end of August when book two is released, "Into the Parallel" has me shouting off the rooftops that everyone should read this novel.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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