November 20, 2013

Review: 3:59 by: Gretchen McNeil

3:59 by: Gretchen McNeil (Sept. 2013)
368 pages
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Source: The Library
Goodreads Summary: 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.

My Review
I picked up this book because I enjoyed Gretchen McNeil’s book Ten and because I like parallel universes. Although I didn’t enjoy 3:59 as much as her other book it was still an interesting, creepy, and cute read. To make this review easier to follow I’m going to break down what I did and didn’t like about it.

What I Liked

  • The very scary shadowy creatures that should only be in your nightmares that McNeil did an amazing job at describing to make your skin crawl.
  • The main character Josie does grow and change throughout the story. Not to mention that all the minor characters are pretty interesting as well.
  • The ending may not be the most surprising or the best, but I liked that it was unique.
  • A few small tidbits dealing with the parallel universes were very interesting.
  • I enjoyed the comic relief since it was a kind of dark story.

What I Didn't Like

  • This book seemed a little too high school for me. There was a lot of drama.
  • It was a little too easy to predict. There were not any real surprises making me somewhat bored at times.
  • It seemed a little repetitive to me, when dealing with the drama, and the science and what not.
Should You Read It?

Sure, why not? The book was still engrossing for the most part despite its small flaws. If you like Gretchen McNeil then you will probably enjoy this book from her as well. 

RATING 3.5/5 


  1. I'm kind of meh on this one. I never read Ten because I wasn't feeling the Agatha Christie re-imagining. Can't read them all, right?

    1. I hear ya. I wish we could read all the books, but sadly we can not. :(

  2. I was planning to read this for Halloween but lacked the time. I have heard that it doesn't quite have the level of creepy that Ten has, so this one shall go lower on the TBR list.

    - Kazhy @ My Library in the Making

    1. I liked Ten better, I agree that it was creepier and nto so easy to predict.

  3. Hmm, the likes intrigue me but the dislikes scare me away haha. You know me and "a little too high school". Ashley has this one from BEA so maybe one day I will try it but for now, i'll pass.

    1. I think it is too high school and you should focus on other books you really want to read, because sadly we will never be able to read all the books. :(

  4. Great review! I've been curious about this one too since I liked Ten and saw she had other novels out.

    1. It was good, but I still liked Ten better.

  5. I do want to read this book, but I'm scared of the high school part... Would you say it is very prominent in the book and like overrides the other things?


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