Review: An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes

Oct •  15 •  2015
Review: An Infinite Number of Parallel UniversesAn Infinite Number Of Parallel Universes by Randy Ribay
Published by Adams Media Buy on Amazon

Four friends from wildly different backgrounds have bonded over Dungeons & Dragons since the sixth grade. Now they're facing senior year and a major shift in their own universes. Math whiz Archie is struggling with his parents' divorce after his dad comes out as gay. Mari is terrified of her adoptive mother's life-altering news. Dante is carrying around a huge secret that is proving impossible to keep hidden. And when Sam gets dumped by the love of his life, everyone is ready to join him on a cross-country quest to win her back. The four quickly discover that the road is not forgiving, and that real life is no game. They must face a test of friendship where the stakes are more than just a roll of the dice--they are life and death.

It feels weird when you read a book and after you finish reading it, you find it hard to talk/write about it. And I do not mean to say this in a way that says the book was bad but in complete opposite. I had heard such great things about Randy Ribay’s debut novel An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes that I was letting the hype guide me through the book but after reading a couple of chapters, I found that to be quite troublesome. This book is written so simple that it makes the book feel like after reading you are waking up from a wonderful dream.

The story follows four friends as they go on an adventure as a group but as individuals themselves. Each of them has a story to tell, and each one will have to decide what they want to do. With the book in four separate perspectives.  I have seen authors take a story and split it in two ways but never have I read a story spilt in four. This brought a refreshing perspective to the overall read.

There is usually a chance where I love one character out of everyone in the book but this was not the case. I feel I can confidently say that my love for the four main characters was split equally. I think what got me to this conclusion was the idea that all four characters started off at a point and grew from there, they did not stay stagnant.

I think something that the author did that I found creative was each character dealt with a different topic that readers are able to possibly connect with in a personal way. With topics ranging from divorce, to sexual preferences, to adoption, and overall relationships, these characters tackled these issues that made this book seem more of a reality than fiction.

Overall Randy Ribay’s debut novel is one to put on your shelf and check out for yourself. I promise that you will not be disappointed. A contemporary perfection put together in a little over 200 pages.

Happy Reading!


About the Author


Randy Ribay is the debut author of the contemporary YA novel AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES (Merit Press, October 2015). He’s also a book reviewer & blogger for THE HORN BOOK and a high school English teacher. He can be found in Camden, NJ walking his dog-children, gaming, or making lightsaber sound effects with his mouth.

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  1. What encouraged you to write An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes?

As someone who has always felt kind of lonely, I find I’m always writing about how people deal with loneliness. With INFINITE, I started with some characters—geeky outsiders—who have the kind of friendship where they spend a lot of time with each other but never really get to know one another. Then, I wanted to explore what it would take/how it would affect them to change that dynamic.

  1. Where do you typically see yourself sitting down to write (at home, coffee shop, outside, etc.)?

Ideally, I see myself writing atop a glacier in Iceland as the Northern Lights dance above me and a friendly polar bear stands by to give me hugs.

In reality, I sit at my kitchen table which is crowded with the detritus of everyday life.

  1. Could you see yourself as a certain character in the book?

Much like Voldemort parsing fragments of his soul into each of the Horcruxes, I think there’s a piece of myself in each of the characters in my novel. Unlike Voldemort, I didn’t have to murder anyone to accomplish this.

Or did I?

  1. What is something that you are currently reading?

I’m about half way through ILLUMINAE by Ami Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, which comes out Oct 20. It’s a YA sci-fi story told through documents collected in a classified dossier. It kind of feels like BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (the newer one) meets HELIX (that Syfy show nobody watched but me). Thus, it’s awesome.

  1. As a debut author what advice do you have for other writers who hope to have their hidden work published?

Hmm…depends on what stage the writer is at. If you have a finished draft, find a good critique group/partner (i.e. not your mom) and get some objective feedback so you can revise that action and start sending it out. If you don’t have a completed manuscript, then sit down and finish that story! Either way, accept that fact that there will be a lot of rejection, but know that you’re not alone. Every single published writer started there!

  1. Fun Question! What is the weirdest combination of food or drink have you ever tried?

I’m told that as a child in the Philippines I was a big fan of a dish known in English as “chocolate pork,” which is basically pork in a blood stew. Does blood count as a drink?


1 Comment

  1. I usually tend to gravitate toward one character as well. I’d love to see if I feel the same as you. Thanks for putting this one on my radar.