Title: Maybe in Another Life
By: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published: July 7th, 2015
By: Washington Square Press
Genre: Adult | Contemporary | Romance
Buy it: Book Depository
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.
|| Goodreads ||
“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.”
I was looking forward to reading some more by the author, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by her, and this isn’t the exception. A super entertaining book that combines a contemporary plot with a fantastic touch in the most perfect and addictive way. The characters are highly relatable and it was a pleasure for me to read about them, plus a plot that you can’t stop reading until the ending, super engaging and addictive. I enjoyed it a lot!
Maybe In Another Life follows Hannah, she’s a young woman, that near her 30, hasn’t yet found her place in the world and after moving and living in many places, she decides to return to her hometown, Los Angeles to live with her best friend, Gaby, for a while until discovering what to do with her life. Once installed in the city, they decide to go out for a few drinks and there she reunites with Ethan, his first love and high school boyfriend. Late at night, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go, while Ethan asks her to stay with him a little more … and this is when two parallel realities are created from Hannah’s decisions. Things begin to get really different in each timeline and Hannah will have to face the consequences of her choices, while asking herself questions like: How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?
I appreciate that this is such a unique plot, so far I hadn’t read anything like this, where we follow two timelines that as they move forward are totally different from each other and takes you through all the feeling. The idea of adding a touch of fantasy to a contemporary romantic plot makes the book stand out from the other romance books, besides the author is brilliant when creating characters, I always manage to feel connected to them, which I love.
Each chapter follows one different timeline due to Hannah’s previous choice and I love that, at first it can be a bit difficult to get used to it because you can forget what’s going on and end up somewhat confused, but once you get used to it, it’s super easy to read, besides the end of each chapter leaves you wishing to know what will happen next. I love that the stories end up being so different, that makes it seem like we’re reading two stories in the same book and makes everything feel much more dynamic and fun. I also love how the romance and love is handled, since it looks like the author wants to emphasize that one can fall in love several times throughout life and although we make mistakes there are really many possibilities that can make us happy and make you question yourself whether things are really meant to be or we’re really the creators of our life because of our choices. It’s amazing how a small choice changed Hannah’s life dramatically and this makes her experiences completely different as well as her personal growth.
“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.”
I really liked the characters, Hannah‘s super relatable, and I like how we follow a 29-year-old girl who still doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, I think it’s great and it’s super real, it takes us a little bit away from that illusion of that we should have everything resolved before our 20s, which is a big lie that we tell ourselves. I love that point. Gabby, is Hannah’s best friend and she’s so great. This friendship is one of my favorites I’ve read about, it was beautiful to see mutual support in difficult situations and as they love each other over everything, they’re wonderful. Then we have the love Interests, Ethan, in one timeline & Henry in the other one, which is my unquestionable favorite. Both boys show different personalities, but at the same time they’re both good choices for couples, it shows that they’re good people and try to do their best, the fact that TJR has decided to focus on two good guys makes me really happy, and you end up loving them both. Although personally, as I said before, Henry’s wonderful and his love with Hannah is most honest, natural and adorable to me.
Then we have two really different family dynamics, on the one hand, we have Hannah’s family that although it shows that they love her, there’s a lot of distance and unsaid things between them that make the relationship cold and somewhat conflicting. On the other hand, we have Gabby’s parents, who are all that’s good in this world and love and care for Hannah as their own daughter, providing her with unconditional love and support. Honestly, Gabby’s father is one of the best parents I’ve read about in literature, and it’s super fun too, I love him! The development and growth of both families during both timelines are interesting to follow, but also very different. I guess you’ll choose your favorite.
The ending was super unexpected for me, on the one hand super happy that Gabby had the happiness she always deserved after having gone through so many horrible things. The ending as for Hannah, is completely different in each timeline and makes me feel kind of weird about it, I like it because it’s very original but my heart will always be with the timeline where she chooses to go with Gabby that night at the bar, because although it’s much more tragic and difficult, in many aspects, I notice a much more marked growth in Hannah and one that also resonates a lot with me, besides, the romance in that line is the best thing ever, as well as the relationships development of and the ending. SO GOOD!!
“When you sit there and wish things had happened differently, you can’t just wish away the bad stuff. You have to think about all the good stuff you might lose, too. Better just to stay in the now and focus on what you can do better in the future.”
I highly recommend it if you want to read something fast but intense, where you’ll follow two super different timelines, it’s a super unique experience. Also, if you like the author’s writing style then you already know that you’ll have a very easy and fast reading high-quality plot, such as excellently created characters, which you can identify yourself with. I highly recommend it, especially at this time of year.