I think that the number one takeaway I received from 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil is that if I ever see my doppelgänger, I need to kill it dead before it kills me or double-crosses me. I think that is kind of a morbid, but pretty important life lesson. McNeil’s third book has cemented her place in my mind as boss lady of the thriller/horror section of young adult. Granted, I may not always love her books but they sure as hell know how to put me into a cold sweat and have me white knuckled with anxiety and engagement.
Poor Josie, life is just not going her way lately. Her parents are divorcing. She’s super busy. AND! Her boyfriend Nick has cheated on her with her best friend, whose name begins with an M but I am blanking right now. OH HEY HER NAME IS MADISON. Thank you Google. So anyways, her life sucks. One day, she starts having these weird dream-vision things at 3:59 AM and PM where she sees the life of this other girl who looks exactly like her. Only, the girl is rich and happy and popular with a doting boyfriend. Josie ends up talking to this girl, Jo, and switching places with her. Although Jo has a killer wardrobe and a BMW, not many people like her because she’s mean. Also? There are these monsters that fly around at night called the Nox that eat people. And everyone is on the grid. Josie is stuck in Jo’s world and desperate to get out. Thus, the premise of Gretchen McNeil’s 3:59.
As far as characters go, I wasn’t entirely sure if I would gel with 3:59‘s Josie Byrne. I mean, she’s really into science and I do not understand science. She also is a terrible listener and not the most involved friend. Eventually, though, I came to care about her and empathize with her. It sucks when your parents divorce. It sucks when your relationship does not work out. It sucks when your parents are growing distant from you. SO OF COURSE SHE WOULD BE A LITTLE BIT PREOCCUPIED. Seriously. Once Josie gets into the parallel world, it’s like she starts running the show and I am down for that.
If you came here looking to find out if McNeil’s science is correct or solid or if it makes sense, you came to the wrong blog. Seriously, I took Chemistry In Everyday Life in college, meaning chemistry for idiots. I love reading about science and physics, but I am no accuracy expert. I will state though, that the parallel worlds made me want to read other books that take place in different parallel universes, like Lauren Miller’s Parallel and Kasie West’s Pivot Point (I could be wrong about PP, I haven’t read it yet). Anyways, I liked the different physics theorems in this book. OH OH and while the Nox were a bit much, they did seem creepy as hell.
Although I may not be Einstein, I totally am an expert in the fine art of making out and prose. Y’all, there is romance in 3:59. I won’t tell you if it is doomed or not. However, the Nick of one parallel universe is much better than the Nick of the other. There’s certainly some chemistry there. Also, some awkward moments. AND SOME KISSING. But also cheating. You decide if that’s something you want to read. I would say that people who are already fans of McNeil will enjoy 3:59. Those who enjoy books about physics and other universes will also like 3:59.
Disclosure: Review Copy Provided By Publisher