I was thrilled to get an invitation to be a part of the tour for Gretchen McNeil’s 3:59. So much so that I even offered to write a review, which is something I almost never do on tours. But I had received a copy of the book from a trade and I knew I was going to read it prior to its release because I’d heard such great things about it.
As my reviews typically tend to be long-winded and rambling I thought I’d try to change it up a bit. This is a tour after all and as I am one of the two blogs kicking things off I thought it might be better to be a little less lengthy with my analysis.
The tour runs for just a week, ending next Monday with a live chat with the author on YouNow, which I have linked in the schedule at the bottom of this post.
There is also an amazing giveaway for a bunch of Gretchen McNeil’s books (signed) and several eBook copies of TEN.
Normally in my intro I like to talk a little about what I thought about the book, but as my stop is a review I’ll refrain. But just in case you don’t like to read reviews of books you think you might want to read, I’ll just say that this book was a super quick read and a lot of fun.
And if you do want to add this book to your collection, or to your shelf on Goodreads, here are some ways you can do just that….
Publication date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Formats: hardcover, eBook
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.
First there was a flash. Then there were the dreams. And then there was an image in the mirror of a room that should have been a reflection of her own but wasn’t and a girl that looked very much like her but wasn’t.
When Josie Byrne realized that every twelve hours at exactly 3:59 she could see beyond her world into another universe, she began to wish that for just one day she could trade places with the girl from that world.
From where she stood on her side of the portal that girl’s life looked perfect. In that world her family wasn’t falling apart, her love life wasn’t falling apart. So when she realized that stepping through the portal and swapping lives was possible she didn’t hesitate to make the switch.
But the life she stepped into wasn’t anything like she imagined it to be. The troubles Josie faced in her world were nothing compared to the horrors that existed in this one. And when the twenty-four hours were up she was ready to get back to her life.
Except Jo wasn’t ready to let her return.
3:59 blends together science fiction, mystery and horror with a touch of romance to create a fast-paced and captivating story that will keep readers engaged from start to finish. It introduces a heroine who is both intelligent and brave, scientific theories that are absolutely fascinating, a world where the darkness promises a gruesome death and a number of puzzles that must be solved.
When Josie, gets thrust into a world she knows little about she is forced to rely on her scientific expertise and her instincts to not only survive in this hostile landscape but to try and find a way home. With no friends and no clue about the things in the darkness that have everyone living in terror, Josie must figure out a way to create a portal or resign herself to living Jo’s lonely existence where she is feared, not liked, and get used to sleeping with the lights on.
Author Gretchen McNeil packs a lot into this standalone novel that proves, contrary to the old saying, that the grass is not always greener. Her story is suspenseful, at times chilling, at other times horrifying, and still at others heartwarming. And it touches upon many intriguing ideas that would be interesting to see expanded upon if this was turned into a series.
While the science, mystery and horror take center stage in this novel, the love story and Josie’s love for her family allow for an emotional connection to be made. And while the scientific aspects to this story are more complex than in some of the other young adult fiction novels with this label, the author strikes a nice balance between having too few details and having too many.
3:59 is an exciting and immensely entertaining read with a quick pace that accelerates as it nears its explosive conclusion. With a number of plot twists and surprises, some easier to identify than others, 3:59 will keep readers guessing until the very end about who can be trusted, who will survive, whether Josie will find a way back home or if she’ll want to return there if she does.
Reviewer gives this book…
Note: I received an ARC of 3:59 from a trade with another blogger.
About GRETCHEN McNEIL
Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown.
Her YA horror POSSESS about a teen exorcist debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Her follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer which released September 18, 2012 – was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012″ by Romantic Times.
Gretchen’s third novel 3:59 – sci fi doppelganger horror about two girls who are the same girl in parallel dimensions who decide to switch places – is scheduled for September 17, 2013. Her new YA contemporary series Don’t Get Mad (pitched as “John Hughes with a body count) about four very different girls who form a secret society where they get revenge on bullies and mean girls begins Fall 2014 with GET EVEN, followed by the sequel GET DIRTY in 2015, again with Balzer + Bray. Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.
Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4’s Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. In her spare time, she blogs with The Enchanted Inkpot and she was a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels.
Gretchen is repped by the incomparable Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd.
This tour includes a number of awesome giveaways!
A SIGNED copy of 3:59 – 7 winners
A SIGNED copy of TEN – 7 winners
An eBook of TEN – 7 winners will receive a coupon for download
– Must be 13 or older to enter
– Giveaway is US only for physical books, International for eBooks
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
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Live Chat with Gretchen McNeil at YouNow