13 September 2013

{Book Review} 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

By: Me My Shelf And I | 13 September 2013 at 12:05 AM | | |

Author: Gretchen McNeil
Pages: 368
Release Date: September 17th 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rating: 4.5 Birds

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?
From master of suspense Gretchen McNeil comes a riveting and deliciously eerie story about the lives we wish we had – and how they just might kill you.

Staying with her usual suspense/thriller theme, Gretchen McNeil seriously brings it in 3:59 by adding in a science fiction twist! Flexing her story telling muscle and showing off a bit with her knowledge of really big words *wink*, 3:59 is definitely not like anything you have read lately!

From the very first sentences you will see right away this book is going to be different than Gretchen’s two previous novels, POSSESS and TEN. (see this first lines to the book…)

“Josie crouched behind the photon laser module and aligned it with the beam splitter at the other end of the lab table. ‘Once we build the vacuum dome,” she said, making a minor adjustment to the laser’s trajectory, “This should work.”

Don’t let the science talk fool you, 3:59 is still a mystery thriller, and there will still be some deaths and some blood and other creepy things that lurk in the dark, we just now have a huge twist to things with the addition of a sci-fi aspect! This is not the kind of sci-fi that the kind of people who generally don’t like sci-fi should steer away from, in fact it’s a perfect balance between the two genre’s! I’m not just saying that, I’m really not a giant sci-fi fan myself and enjoyed this book immensely!

3:59 is a perfect example of be careful what you wish for and a reminder that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Josie learns right away that the grass is in fact much darker when she travels over to Jo, her doppelganger’s side of the mirror. McNeil has created, not a monster in the dark you should be afraid of, but a monster made of the dark almost, that you should tremble with fear at the sheer thought of. And both Josie and Jo do.

True to form, McNeil beings us yet again a tough, spit-fire female protagonist in not just Josie, but Jo her doppelganger as well! Two for One! These strong female leads is one of the big reasons I enjoy Gretchen’s books so much. I can’t connect with the whiney annoying leads, even if many might say I would fit more into their category than that of the butt-kicking-uuber-smart leads *lol*

Don’t worry romance fans, there is a whole love story thrown in here that will drive you a bit crazy and might even break your heart a little depending on how strong you are…

I love this new step Gretchen took, and while from time to time I felt the science talk was a little heavy, it was never complicated or hard to understand. Somehow she managed to huge big words, but explain everything never making me feel like, as the reader she was talking down to me at all. That takes some serious writing talent if you ask me!



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