Rescued from the backlist: Steven Gould’s 1996 novel Wildside, now available in eBook format with spiffy new cover, shown above. (Disclosure: I got the manuscript for free, as part of his crowdsource proofreading project; and I probably took longer to work through it than he would have wanted. Oh well.)
Logline: A group of high school graduates spend their summer vacation in the wilderness of a parallel universe–one where humans never existed. It’s a fun read, kind of the anti-Stargate, with similar technical ingenuity (“Want power in another universe? Use an extension cord. Want water? Run a hose”) but less adoration of the military.
The Big Idea, as finally explained, does strain credulity, but Steve keeps a tight focus on the protagonists and their families throughout. In that way, the tone is very similar to Jumper; but I wouldn’t call either that or Wildside strictly a YA novel.