Book Review – 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

Seriously, who could resist this cover??? That’s one of the main reasons I purchased a copy of “3:59” by Gretchen McNeil. So how shallow am I? And how important is the role of those jacket designers?
This is definitely a book after my own heart: a YA sci-fi, action-packed adventure with a touch of romance, not to mention parallel worlds and a hefty dose of incomprehensible technical jargon. More than just a few of my favorite things.

This is, I believe, the third book by this author and it’s the first I’ve read. I enjoyed her writing style and I enjoyed the plot very much. There’s lots of twists and turns when Josie Byrne finds herself stuck in an alternate version of her life where her doppelganger (Jo Byrne) isn’t the nicest of people and doesn’t have that many friends. It appears that Jo has tricked her and trapped her in the alternate world for reasons of her own.

No one is who they appear to be, but Josie stumbles through to discover the secrets of the worlds that have somehow become “glued” together and that mysteriously overlap at 3.59 each day i.e. every twelve hours. Hence, the title.

The ending of this book is a bit of a surprise – and of course I won’t give it away. But it does leave itself open to the possibility of sequel, although I have no idea if a sequel is planned. This was one of those books that I barreled through in a single evening. The ending was satisfying, although I’d be happy to return to these worlds for another installment if the author provides one. While there’s a lot of action and some romance, there’s nothing overly explicit on the page, so this is suitable for younger readers as well as the young-at-heart.