Title: Maybe in Another Life
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Date finished: 10/4/15
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Pages in book: 333
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library
Blurb from the cover:
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.
My rating: 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: I felt like I saw this book on every list of “hot books to read this summer.” It probably wasn’t every list but it felt like it! The premise of this book was especially interesting to me (parallel universes and how the story would play out in each) so when I saw it available at my library I definitely had to borrow it. This book is about Hannah Martin, who is returning home to LA to try and get her mess of a life into some kind of order and try to find more direction with what she wants to do with her life. Until she gets her own place, she is living with her best friend Gabby and her husband Mark. Hannah’s family situation is complicated but Gabby and her parents have always been like family to Hannah, and Gabby knows her inside and out like no one else ever has. Gabby and Mark take Hannah out on the town her first night back to celebrate her return, and Hannah ends up seeing her high school boyfriend at the bar. When Gabby and Mark are getting ready to leave Hannah has to make a decision, should she stay at the bar with Ethan or go home with Gabby.
The book then breaks off into alternating chapters switching between the two story lines, between what would have happened if Hannah stayed at the bar with Ethan or if she went home with Gabby. Her life turns out extremely different in the two stories but there are some parallels between the two worlds. I loved seeing the story from two different possible paths it could have taken and also how each path affected not only Hannah’s life but her friends and family around her. Its amazing to me how differently your life can turn out based on one decision. And if you really think of the thousand of decisions you make each and every day, if there really are two parallel universes for each decision that is made, imagine how many different lives you could be living all at once right now.
Anyways, that was getting a little off track. As you can tell, this book is especially thought provoking and just a really interesting topic that I’ve never really though that much about before. I really enjoyed it and also that there were a good amount of twists and turns included in the story. I didn’t lose interest at all and I honestly just couldn’t put the book down once I got into the concurrent story lines. This was a great book and I will definitely be reading this author’s other novels as well as anything that comes out in the future!
The bottom line: I thought the concept behind this book was especially interesting. I’ve never read anything like this before, I really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend!