3:59 by Gretchen McNeil


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? (Goodreads)

I was expecting great things from this book. After reading Ten and absolutely loving it, I was disappointed with this book. I enjoyed it well enough, but at the same time, I feel like it fell flat a little.

Our MC Josie is physics book smart – to the point where I literally had no idea what the hell she was talking about. She wasn’t, however, very street smart. I mean, c’mon – which woman would try and earn a guy back after he cheated on her with her BEST FRIEND?!? I mean seriously, how stupid do you get. Plus, she decides to walk through a portal and switch lives with someone she barely knows based on a letter and a couple of glimpses into her life? I mean, really? Like I said, book smart, but not street smart.

I liked the fact that, whilst the characters were mostly the same in both worlds, there were distinct differences which told them apart. Circumstance made the characters who they are and changed them depending on the events at the time.

This book felt slow. I didn’t feel the need to carry on reading and I was ok with the fact that I couldn’t read it for hours at a time. It think, in this sense, the book was boring – which lets it down a bit. I didn’t feel invested in the characters and their well being – which is probably why I didn’t want to constantly read it. In short, I was bored. I liked the premise, I liked the idea with the Nox etc. I think the rest let it down.

That ending. I mean really?? It did not go the way that I had planned and I feel like the book has not been ended properly. It feels like it needs another instalment so that we can see what really happened with the characters afterward and whether certain characters made it to places where they wanted to go. It has left the readers with questions that will never get answered.

In short, I was disappointed with this book – which I find upsetting. I loved Ten by McNeil, but I feel like this book falls short of the bar she set with that one. I gave this book 3/5 stars.

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