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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.
Holy cow! This book was awesome! I have been on such a contemporary kick that I have been neglecting all of the other genres that I used to love. Including fantasy and science fiction. Oh, how foolish I have been. 3:59 reminded me just how much I love these genres. I need to go find other fantasy books to read right away. I haven’t experienced a Gretchen McNeil book yet, but I have no idea what I was waiting for. This book is easily the best written, most exciting book I have read all year. 3:59 is very science heavy, but I never felt lost or confused by the scientific jargon. You could tell that Gretchen clearly did her research and she explained everything we needed to know really well through Josie and Penelope. (the two science-y ones in the story.)
I loved that even though there are two doppelgangers, Josie and Jo in this story it was only told through Josie’s point of view. It would have been easy to switch back and forth between her and Jo in the beginning of the book when they were first seeing each other through the mirror, but I was so excited that the point of view never switched. I thought it really added to the story to have Josie put everything together for herself. Josie is such a smart girl- brilliant really, but she is also just a teenage girl that recently got dumped by her boyfriend. So when she looked in the mirror and saw her boyfriend happy with her other self, she saw what she wanted to see. That is what made her go from a good character to a great character in my mind. That sounds silly, doesn’t it? but she was so realistic. She isn’t perfect, she made some mistakes, but she more than made up for them in the rest of the book.
There are so many twists and turns in 3:59, I couldn’t even predict half of them. Which made for such an exciting read! I couldn’t put this book down. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole thing. When I had to stop reading to run errands or to do some work, I was actually annoyed that real life was interrupting my reading time. Gretchen McNeil knows how to write creepy. Man, the Nox was something I would have nightmares about. I would hate to live in a world with them. But they were fascinating. Everything in her world was actually. If you are a “world building” fan, you will LOVE 3:59 because the detail and description in this book is grade A. I think 3:59 is a must read book of 2013. Whether you are a fan of fantasy and science fiction or not, you need to read this book.
Gretchen is repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown. Her YA horror/paranormal POSSESS debuts with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins, August 23, 2011. Her second novel, TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – also with Balzer + Bray is tentatively scheduled for a Fall 2012 release.
Singer. Writer. Clown.Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4′s Code Monkeys and she currently sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. She is a founding member of vlog group theYARebels where she can be seen as “Monday,” and she is an active member of both The Enchanted Inkpot, a group blog of YA and middle grade fantasy writers, and The Apocalypsies, a group blog of 2012 children’s debut authors.
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