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 fabulous life, Josie jumps at the chance to cross 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.
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 Sentence: Josie crouched behind the photon laser module and aligned it with the beam splitter at the other end of the lab table.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
I’ll be honest – when I first got my hands on Gretchen McNeil’s Ten, I was automatically expecting to hate it. I’m really picky with all the horror and thriller books I read and like I said in my review of Ten, the book cover of Ten just looks like it was trying a little too hard. Who would have known that I would have loved Ten when I read it? When I heard that Gretchen McNeil was writing another book, this time called 3:59 (what an interesting title, don’t you think?), I automatically knew that I had to get my hands on the book asap, hoping that I’ll love it as much (or maybe even more) than I loved Ten. The cover this time was also completely gorgeous, although most of the cover is black. To my minor disappointment, I did enjoy reading 3:59, but not as much as I have enjoyed reading Ten.
Science may not be able to prove it, but there are moments when time actually slows down. (ARC 323)
The main character, Josie, is smart. At least science smart. Josie kept blabbing some pro-sounding scientific stuff that even I, a college student studying chemistry, can’t understand. I mean, what on Earth is an “ultradense deuterium?” (After thinking about it for five minutes, I might have a little clue on what it is.) Josie, a person who attends high school, even knows what a doppelgänger is. (The only reason I know what doppelgänger means is because I’m bookish and read a lot about them in books.) However, for all of Josie’s science smarts, she isn’t smart…life-wise. I was always one step ahead of her – I predicted and knew who the bad guy was before she did. I also figured everything out steps before Josie did.
Despite Josie’s lack of logical smarts, I did admire her because she was very brave…if not also foolish. If I was in her situation, I’ll be very scared and be wary of everything happening. Josie literally jumped into everything headfirst, not doing tons of research or anything like that to prepare herself.
So far, Gretchen McNeil’s Ten and 3:59 have two common themes going on: Both the book titles are named after number(s) and both the main characters in her books have really, really awful so-called best “friends.” Minnie, the main character’s best friend from Ten, and Madison, Josie’s best friend, would be perfect for one another. Madison was just so awful in 3:59. I can’t tell you what she did or else you’ll be somewhat spoiled, but know this: you definitely won’t want her as a best friend.
She was desperate to know, even though she kept trying to remind herself that it didn’t matter. That her attraction this Nick could never amount to anything. (ARC 219)
3:59 made me feel the widest range of emotions from feeling heartbroken to feeling very, very angry. I swear, I’ve threatened most of the characters I didn’t like at least three times in my head while I was reading the book. In fact, you’ll be scared to see the long rant I wrote in my notebook. Gretchen McNeil has the special talent to play with my emotions and I like it.
The biggest problem I had with 3:59 is that it had the worse case of insta-love ever. It’s a bit confusing in a way – Josie and her boyfriend Nick are “distant” (that’s the word the summary provided, so I’m sticking with it), so she switches places with Jo, thinking that Jo and Nick are together in Jo’s universe. It turns out that Nick actually hates Jo in Jo’s universe, who is now Josie, so Josie tries to win him over. To make a long story short, Josie and that Nick fall in love…in like, a week? A week and a half? (It’s definitely a week and a half, tops.) Like, deep, I can’t live without you love. I mean, one of them were willing to give up their world just to be with the other person. After knowing the other person for, like, a week. Like, what? It doesn’t make it any better that Josie realizes that her relationship with Nick is ridiculous and unhealthy, but loves him anyway.
Not only did she barely know him, but the majority of their time together had been spent actively trying to return Josie to her own world. Not exactly the foundations of a long, healthy relationship. (ARC 297)
Don’t let the summary of 3:59 fool you. 3:59 doesn’t only focus on doppelgängers; it also focuses on a bit of high school drama, a romance, scientific stuff (as you can probably tell from the first sentence alone), and a race to save the world, or, at least, a race to save Josie’s universe. Will I recommend 3:59 to anyone? Sure, if you’re in the mood to feel happy one moment and angry the next.