Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... In a World Just Right by Jen Brooks

Monday, April 20, 2015

Just Finished Reading ... In a World Just Right by Jen Brooks

In a World Just Right
by Jen Brooks
To be published on April 28, 2015
by Simon & Schuster

Source: eARC for review

Synopsis from Goodreads: Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend. But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan…and begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out where he actually belongs—before he loses both Kylies forever. 

My take: I will admit to being a little wary of parallel universe books. For me, they fall into a "nonlinear narrative" category that also includes time travel books and books with timelines that jump forward and back. When stories like this force me to repeatedly figure out where and when I am, I often feel pulled out of the narrative.

I'm happy to say I didn't have that problem with In a World Just Right. I was never confused about which world I was in, and that let me settle into the story.  Jonathan is such a sympathetic character. After a terrible tragedy, he has the power to create alternate worlds -- and he does. He spends much of his time in a  parallel world in which he's completely different: a good student, a talented athlete, and the boyfriend of the girl of his dreams, Kylie Simms.

But one day, Jonathan slips. He forgets which world he's in and tries to kiss Kylie, who in the real world barely seems to know he exists. After that, things start to crumble a little. The Kylie he created, the one who loves him, starts to seem less real, and he begins to wonder if he might be able to connect with the real Kylie. That is, if his messing with space and time doesn't just mess up everything for good.

Books like this are often heavy on science-based explanations, but I liked the fact that this book doesn't spend much time trying to explain how the two worlds came to be. To me, In a World Just Right was more of a grief book and a romance, with an interesting dose of philosophy.  The writing was good. The romance reminded me a little of the Pygmalion and Galatea story. The ending, while a little too neat for me -- I'm weird! -- will please most readers just fine.

If you're looking for something a little different to try, definitely check this book out. I'll be giving away an ARC on Freebie Friday this week, so if you're interested, be sure to stop by!

23 comments:

  1. This sounds really good. I don't think I've ever read a book with a parallel universe before, but this sounds like a pretty good place to start.

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    1. I often have issues with them -- for obvious reasons, love triangles often abound -- but this one was really interesting!

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  2. Sounds good! :) I'll give it a try some time!

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  3. Great review! This book sounds really good, and i'm glad you enjoyed it. Although,(like you said) parallel universe books can be pretty confusing if they aren't done well. I'm definitely going to find this at my library once it comes out.

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  4. I've been hesitant to pick this up because I also tend to struggle with parallel universe books but from what you said it seems that it isn't as confusing or the main focus. I also enjoy books that come off as philosophical so I think I'll give this one a try now. Thanks!

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    1. I think because part of the plot revolves around the fact that Jonathan confuses the worlds, the author takes extra care to make sure the reader knows what world he's in. So I wasn't confused at all!

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  5. I definitely agree that this was a lot lighter and easier to understand than the other parallel universe books that I read in the past. It read more like a realistic fiction novel, actually, which worked with the storyline.

    I'm one of those people who liked the ending--heh. ;) I felt like it was the perfect blend of happy and depressing. Lovely review, Jen!

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    1. It definitely felt like realistic fiction/romance, with a parallel universe twist. IDK, I was expecting a different ending, but overall I enjoyed this!

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  6. Until I read your review I had no idea what this book was about! I love the sound of it - and I am OKAY without the explanations of everything, too!

    Lovely review :)

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  7. I haven't read anything with a parallel universe This sounds really interesting. Will totally be adding to my TBR list - Thanks

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  8. Every Friday I'm cursing myself for living in the wrong place, lol :P Well, I did read conflicting reviews about this one, but I'd already made up my mind to read it, so I'm glad you liked it. My feeling is I'll like it too, even with the too-neat ending :) Funny, I normally dislike them too, but then just recently I finished I'll Give You The Sun and although it ended just like that, I didn't mind it at all... Wonderful review!

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  9. I too enjoyed this one and liked that I wasn't confused about where I was in the parallel universes

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  10. This sounds really interesting! Can't wait to read it. :)

    Hana @ToBooksAndBeyond

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  11. I'm so excited for this one! It sounds so interesting! I used to be hesitant with parallel universe books until Pivot Point, I'm hoping I'll love this one just as much :)

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  12. It kind of sounds like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty....although his wasn't real....but it sounds a lot like it. Great review though :)

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  13. I am wary of books set in parallel universe as well. I find the Science of it all a bit daunting. I'm glad this was not the case for this book, however. Adding this one to my pile. :)

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  14. Thank you for the recommendation - I love the sound of this book, it does sound unique. This year is defo. the year of YA books, I like that it's more of a realistic fiction. It will easier for slow pokes like me to understand. Wonderful post.<3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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  15. This book was a struggle for me. I can't seem to handle parallel world books. The back and forth between the different realities and Kylie Simms was very hard for me. But from the bit I read - including the end - the concept of this book is intriguing and I do like that it focuses on grief and romance instead of becoming a science book. I'm actually kind of sad this didn't work for me, but I'm learning it's best for me to just move on sometimes. But I'm also glad to see this getting some attention.

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  16. Totally looking forward to this one. Glad you hear you enjoyed it! :D

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  17. I was a little leery of this one too so I'm so good you liked it enough. :)

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  18. Lovely review, dear! I've heard nothing but good things about this book. It's an interesting concept, and I'm glad it doesn't hit too hard on the science-y aspects. I'm glad the focus is on grief and romance instead. I'm also happy to hear it wasn't hard to distinguish between the different worlds. I can't wait to read this!

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