Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This isn’t my usual type of read, but OH MY GODS I’m so glad I decided to read it. So many feels and emotions. Learn more in my non-spoilery review below.
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Publication date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Format: eARC, 352 pages
How I got it: From the publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.
At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.
Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?
In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?
Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.
I don’t read a lot of books like this. I’m much more of a romance fan than anything else. While my tastes have moved from young adult to new adult to adult over the last year or so, the romance aspect hasn’t changed. I wasn’t sure this book would be for me when I was originally given the opportunity to read it, but I was compelled to try. I loved the cover, Taylor’s previous works had excellent reviews from bloggers I trust and the blurb fascinated me. I’m so glad I went with my gut and decided to read it. It was a fantastic book that I’ve barely stopped thinking about since I read it.
“Life is long and full of an infinite number of decisions. I have to think that the small ones don’t matter, that I’ll end up where I need to end up no matter what I do.”
Who doesn’t stop every now and then to think what might’ve been if only they’d made a different decision at one point or another? I know I do. I’m not talking about the big life decisions either. It’s fascinating to me how life is made up of all these seemingly small decisions that ultimately determine where you end up and what happens for you. Maybe in Another Life illustrated that beautifully.
Parallel storyline books (or movies) aren’t easy. They can be tough to follow and unnecessary complicated. That’s not the case here at all. I was hopelessly sucked into this story from the first couple pages and read it in one sitting. I mean, I carried it to the kitchen with me to cook dinner. (P.S. it’s difficult to cook one handed.) I just had to know how it all ended. I wanted Hannah to find happiness and love.
Maybe in Another Life was a fantastic all around book. It was so, so very close to being a five star read for me. (It’s really a 4.5 star read.) This is my first of Reid’s books and her writing is gorgeous. I saw every scene vividly and felt every single emotion. Hannah was an easily relatable character and I adored her, flaws and all. The side characters were wonderful. I had my own thoughts about which storyline I preferred and wanted Hannah to find her happily ever after in – and I won’t tell you more than that. Both lives had their positives and negatives. It’s life, after all. It can’t be perfect all the time.
Not only was the story fantastic, but holy cow did this book make me think. This non-spoilery quote comes from a larger passage I won’t share because I think it could take away part of the enjoyment you would get from experiencing the story for the first time. But it’s beautiful and speaks to me, so I had to share it.
“I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices and they led me somewhere else, led me to someone else. And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn’t end up with you.”
Whether you’re a fan of “women’s lit” (Ugh, I don’t love that term.) or a romance reader looking for something a little different, you should check this book out. I do think it should come with a bottle of wine, box of tissues and an invitation to a support group though. This is the type of book you want to talk about once you’ve finished. So, you know, I’m here for you if you read it. 🙂
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.