Book Title: Maybe in Another LifeAuthor: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Release Date: July 7th, 2015
Genres: Chick Lit, Women's Fiction
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.
"You don’t need to find the perfect thing all the time. Just find one that works, and go with it. "
Ever since I read After I Do and fell in love with the way this author writes, I couldn't pass off the chance to read this one. This book played out a very interesting concept and paired up with Taylor's heartfelt writing, this was a unique story that had me reeling about it even after a night of putting it down.
This tells the story of 29-year old, Hannah who moves back to her hometown LA after travelling from place to place and is no longer sure of what she wants out of her life. The only constant is her best friend, Gabby who welcomes her home with open arms and allowing her to stay at her place till she figures out what to do next. They go out for a night of drinks where Hannah reunites with her high school sweetheart, Ethan and he invites her to spend the night with him.
Hannah is then faced with a crossroads decision. Will she follow Ethan back? Or will she follow Gabby back? The book lives out on both decisions and concurrently, readers will get to read in alternating chapters of what Hannah's life will entail had she chose one scenario over the other.
What made this book standout to me was how well the author presented the concept of Hannah living parallel lives. I was equally hooked to both stories and while both decisions resulted in very different consequences, it really left me to ponder on a lot of things. Witnessing the different outcomes of whichever decision Hannah made, you can't help but to reflect on her choices.
The thing that TJR does so well with her reads is the realism of her stories and her characters' actions. You take a moment to step back and ask yourself: What would have happened if you went down another road? Do you believe in fate? Do you believe that in alternate universe, there's another version of you living a life that took the other road? In fearing the choices we have to make in life, how would they have played out differently? It's amazing when a read touches you in that way and makes you think in such a profound way.
It's definitely an unconventional read and while it still bears the romance element, I would say that it's not the main focus of it overall. It's just one of those thought-provoking reads that provides you with interesting food for thought. TJR writes in a way that speaks from the heart and enables her readers to connect to her stories on a personal level.
Overall this is a read that I'd highly recommend if you're looking for something different in between your romance reads. The ending was one that took me by a slight surprise but I figured it fits perfectly with the overall message that the book brings. Even after putting it down a few days after, I can't help but wonder about all the other alternate universes I could be living in :)
Maybe in Another Life is a standalone romance read.
ARC kindly provided by Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.