ARC Review: 3:59 – Gretchen McNeil

3:59 Gretchen McNeil

Title: 3:59
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: September 17, 2013
Source/Format: giveaway / ARC, 359 pages
Opening Sentence: “…”
Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon

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.

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil has a concept so foreign (okay, foreign-ish) to me that I went in with basically one piece of information: “So basically she sees herself in the mirror at 3:59… but it’s not her?” Yup. That was me. Okay, so maybe I knew a little bit more than that. BUT NOT A LOT! Which actually turned out to be a good thing because the events in the story were more of a shock to me when they happened. I mean lots of “What the…?” and “Oh my god!”.

So the first order of business is: what exactly is going on with this mirror and doppelgänger? I’m not going to tell you, dear reader, but I will say it’s pretty awesome and a bit Coraline in essence. I love paranormal stories because there’s usually some type of legitimate scientific explanation for the reason things are… odd. 3:59 is no different. There’s a ton of science in this book. The main character, Josie’s, parents are both scientists and she has a certain talent for it as well. Therefore there’s a lot of science talk and a lot of theoretical physics wrapped up in the mix. At some points I was like “ooookay”, but for the most part the theories used in the book are interesting and meshed into the plot very well.

I really enjoyed reading 3:59, but at the end I was left wondering if there is going to be a second book. I think it’s a standalone, but the end felt so unfinished. I couldn’t tell if it was left so open for the readers to interpret whatever they like or if it was left open because it’s going to be continued. It just felt like there were a lot of untied strings (though that may be because I read an ARC. Maybe? Not so sure…). Don’t get me wrong! I wouldn’t mind a sequel at all, but I don’t think there is one, so….

At the end of the day I loved reading 3:59 and finished it off in just a day or two. It’s fast-paced, smart, and unique in concept. I would have liked a little bit more closure, but meh. I had fun reading (and being creeped out) and definitely recommend fans of paranormal check this one out.

One thing is for sure: Am I afraid of the dark? YEP! You’re going to have to read it to understand what that means. (MWAHAHAHAHA)

Rating: 4 of 5 stars


4 thoughts on “ARC Review: 3:59 – Gretchen McNeil

  1. This sounds really interesting! I love the Parallel Universe themes, so I’m pretty sure I would LOVE this! Great review!

    -Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

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