Home / Book Review / YA Parallel Universe | Book Review: In a World Just Right by Jen Brooks

YA Parallel Universe | Book Review: In a World Just Right by Jen Brooks

In A World Just Right is a YA science fiction story that involves parallel worlds, mopey boys and love poems.

Book Review: In a World Just Right by Jen Brooks

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in a world just right jen brooks book reivew

Title & Author: In a World Just Right by Jen Brooks

Genre: Young Adult – Science Fiction, Book Club Pick

Release Date: April 28, 2015

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend.

But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan … and begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out where he actually belongs—before he loses both Kylies forever.”

I Think I’ve Been “Incepted”

My book club chose In A World Just Right for our pick last month. There was definitely a lot to parse out and discuss, making it an ideal selection (especially for a science fiction book).

What made this book particularly compelling for me wasn’t the parallel universe aspect – although that was certainly a great addition – was the tenderness between Jonathan and Kylie. In the real world and in his made-up world “Kyle Simms is My Girlfriend,” there’s no doubt Jonathan would do anything for Kylie.

I love their poems and track meets and simplicity…well it’s simple for a little while. In these moments, you can feel the true magic of the story – it runs deep emotionally, hitting on sore spots most people can relate to.

Then there’s the whole deal where Jonathan can create a new world based on what he wants it to be WITH HIS MIND. I loved the concept and hadn’t seen it done before in YA.

Being a teenage boy, Jonathan doesn’t use this gift to its pull potential (creating a sexy funtimes area is about as creative as he gets), and I wish the reader had gotten to experience that aspect of the book more.

If I had to assign a mood to In A World Just Right, it would definitely be “mopey.” Due to forced beyond his control, Jonathan has been dealt a tough hand in life. And then because of his own decisions, he makes matters worse.

For that reason, the book has sort of a dark/sad cast to it. I enjoyed the uniqueness of the story, but I felt bummed out a lot of the time while reading. Note: I am one of those people easily affected by books and movies, so keep that in mind (this is why I don’t do scary – I’ll have nightmares for weeks).


At times slow and thoughtful and others quick and frantic, this book was beautifully told. I loved the whole concept of In A World Just Right and think its ideal for science fiction fans and those in need of something a little different.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Classy_Girl

    The premise reminds me a little of that indie film with Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano, “Ruby Sparks.” I’ll add it to my ever growing wish list!