Monday, January 28, 2019

ARC Review: Parallel Larry by Jacqueline Rohrbach

Parallel Larry
Larry’s search for love didn’t include Greg, his regular waiter at his favorite restaurant. Always too busy daydreaming about a handsome doctor, Larry fails to notice Greg’s shy advances. But when Greg finally finds the courage to ask Larry out, he’s suddenly killed in a freak car accident. Only then does Larry realize how perfect they could have been together. 

No one gets a second shot at true love. Or do they? 

Inexplicably, Larry is drawn into a parallel reality, and in this new timeline, Greg is still very much alive. Here, the shy young waiter Larry knew from before has managed to live out many of his dreams. All except one: he hasn’t found love. Larry gets one more shot after all! 

There are a few problems. One, Larry’s time is limited. Two, Greg has already dated the parallel reality’s Larry, and he was a real jerk. Now Larry has to prove he’s nothing at all like his evil doppelganger and that he is willing to risk everything to protect the man he loves. 

He’s found Greg again. To keep him, Larry will have to stop daydreaming and fight himself—literally—not just metaphorically.

Todd's rating:

Well, that was certainly... something.

When I read the blurb, I was excited about a second chance romance, after the second MC got hit by a car and died, when the first MC "somehow" traveled to a parallel universe.

However, the premise that the dude's decade-old, super-common household appliance was somehow powerful enough to displace space and time to send him to an entirely different UNIVERSE? Oh, boy. Not a good start for the possibility of me fully engaging with this story. : (

"I was just making breakfast and *BAM*, dafuq is this shit?"

I did like both Larry and the somewhat-meek Greg. And I wanted to believe that Parallel Greg's crush on Larry and Larry's sudden revelation that he 'should' have noticed non-parallel Greg (pre-death) would be enough to sell their feelings, but that wasn't the case.

Instead, this read as more insta-love and I felt that, instead of *only* fade-to-black steam, the story might have *greatly* benefitted from allowing the reader to experience some genuine, on-page, hearts-and-flowers steam.

In my eyes, that might have helped sell the depth of their feelings, and that's coming from a very steam-optional kind of reader.

As for the villain, Evil Larry, OMG, talk about being right up there with the "It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again" nut-job from Silence of the Lambs.

Tres creepy. And also a bit too over-the-top for my mild-mannered tastes.

They eventually defeated Evil Larry and I liked the logistics of how they tricked the authorities into allowing Parallel Larry to get his second (first?) change to be with Greg long-term, even though the precise details weren't ever 100% explicitly spelled out on-page.

But overall, I wasn't entirely sold on either the far-fetched sci-fi details or the feels, so this book only rated around 2.5 stars for overall enjoyment.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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