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?
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.
3:59 is told in third person from Josie’s perspective. Josie is a teenage girl who feels as though her life is falling apart. Her parents are getting a divorce and her boyfriend just cheated on her with her best friend. She would definitely switch places with someone else if given the chance. So, when she discovers a portal leading to a parallel life seemingly the same as hers only better, she jumps at the chance to switch places with her “other self”, Jo. But, once she experiences life in Jo’s shoes, she quickly discovers that it’s not as great as she thought. In fact, she can’t wait to get back to her own life.
I really enjoyed 3:59, even more than I expected to. I thought the characters were great. With so many characters that were so similar in so many ways, it could have been easy to get lost with the development of each character. But, McNeil did a very good job. The characters were all developed very well and they all had their own unique personalities along with their own quirks to separate them from the others.
The story was really good and captivating. I really enjoyed it. The only complaint I would have is actually a pretty big mistake (hopefully they catch it and change it before the final copy comes out). Later in the book, Josie discovers that she is invincible to the attacks of the Nox (these strange and creepy creatures that attack, kill, and feed on humans). However, she was attacked by them near the beginning when she first entered Jo’s universe. It just doesn’t add up and it’s a serious mistake in the storyline. At the end, they can’t sense her and can’t attack her, yet they already did earlier? It didn’t ruin the story or anything, but it is a mistake that needs to be resolved!
McNeil did a good job telling this story with its parallel universes. I wasn’t confused about anything having to do with the concept of the different universes. The story was unique and creatively told. There were also a bunch of twists and turns that I honestly didn’t see coming, which is always awesome. I really loved the (not-so-perfect) ending! I would highly recommend this book.