Wednesday, September 11, 2013

ARC Review ~ 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

I'm very excited to share my review with you because I've never read a book—much less reviewed—one before it's publication date. This is a first for me!

*Also, I've changed a few details in my review format*

Edition: Physical ARC
Pages (in my copy): 357
Publication date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Link to Goodreads page

Goodreads description:

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.

My review:

Rating: 4 stars
Date read: September 8, 2013
Source: Gifted ARC (Thank you, Epic Reads!)

First of all, I’m so glad that the very first pre-published ARC I've read turned out to be a great one! It just makes this book all the more special. 

3:59 kept me glued to the pages. I didn’t want to stop reading it, and whenever I did manage to take a break, I would pick up the book with the intention of only reading a little bit of it. I kept doing that until . . . well, until I reached the very last page on the very same day I got it. There were no dull moments—it was so exciting! Ever finish a really good book and notice your heart pounding a bit faster? That’s the feeling I got from reading this book. Whenever that happens, I know something was right about the book I just read.

One of the best things about the entire book was its science. Now, I’m no physics expert—I did take the class last year, but the subject is definitely not my strong suit—but the science seemed to be well researched and put-together. I loved how there were explanations of everything. Each new concept or idea was backed up some way. It wasn’t overwhelming, though, and it was easy to understand.

The romance was pretty good—not amazing, though. There were a few things towards the end that made the conclusion seem iffy compared to the rest of the book. Also, some parts were a bit predictable. However, there were many unpredictable (or at least less) parts to balance the predictable ones so the entire book didn't turn out to be too . . .well, predictable.

Overall, I loved 3:59’s entire story and the great concepts, freakish events, and cool science that took place inside it. I highly recommend reading this. It’s definitely worth the read!


  1. This one sounds great - I remember seeing it as part of a book blitz or cover reveal not too long ago and it caught my eye then. I'm glad to see it lived up to it's potential! Great review :)

    1. Thanks! It did live up to its potential and I'm so glad it did. :)

  2. The book sounds really interesting :)
    Whats better then getting a bit of science in while reading, right?
    ~Cambrie @

  3. Loved the concept as well and was like you glued to the pages

  4. This sounds really good! I loved Ten by Gretchen so I'll definitely be checking this out. Great review! :)

    1. I haven't read Ten, but I've read Possess, which is a great book as well! I recommend reading that too.

  5. Yay, congrats on your first ARC :D I love books that can hook you and keep up the pacing and this one sounds so great, I love the concept behind it.

    1. Thanks. The concept is a really cool one.

  6. *SQUEAL* AHHHH!! Congrats on getting an ARC and reviewing it before the release date!!! THAT IS SOOOO EXCITING!!! I actually just the other day won an ARC of this book and it is currently staring at me as I write this!!! Your review makes me NEED TO PICK IT UP!!! The fact tht it was so intense that it was hard to put down is always important!
    When that happens to me I always carry the book around with me everywhere with my face crammed in it!!! Lol!!!
    It's great that the science was accurate!! Sometimes that can bug me so much if the author doesn't know what they're talking about!!
    Great review!!!

    1. I hope you love the book when you read it!

  7. This is my first time seeing this. It sounds like something that I would enjoy. Love the premise. Great review.
    -Dilettantish Reader

    1. Thank you. :) I hope you pick it up sometime and read it!

  8. I'm reading this right now and loving it! Great review!

  9. Despite the romance not being amazing, this one sounds great! And it's probably one of the books that I'm most excited to read this year. I loved McNeil's Ten, and your comment about feeling your heart pump after you close the book is exactly what happened when I finished Ten. So, yes, I must have this *grabby hands* Seriously cannot wait till it's released. Love the review, Kaitlin :D

    1. I have yet to read Ten, but I really want to. I've read McNeil's Possess, and I really liked that one too, so I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy reading Ten (whenever I get to it).

      I hope you enjoy the book when you read it!

  10. Congrats on reviewing a book pre-release! Very exciting!


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