Monday, July 27, 2015

"Maybe in Another Life" by Taylor Jenkins Reid

At 29, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life, and she wanders aimlessly from city to city on a whim. With her parents and sister living in London, England since before she graduated high school, Hannah only has one constant in her life, and that's her best friend Gabby. When Hannah decides to move back to her hometown of Los Angeles, Gabby's guest room is ready and waiting for her. Since Hannah's return to where she grew up warrants a homecoming according to Gabby, they meet at a bar with a bunch of old friends, including ex-boyfriend Ethan. Just after midnight Gabby asks Hannah is she's ready to go. Ethan offers to take her home later if she would prefer that and so she wonders. Should she stay with Ethan or should she leave with Gabby?

What follows are the results of both of those decisions. Told concurrently, we find out what lies in store for Hannah if she goes home with Gabby and her husband or if she stays at the bar with Ethan. These parallel universes are radically different and they raise questions about true love and fate. Are our futures predestined? Or are they a result of the small decisions that we make each day?

I  have loved each of Taylor Jenkins Reid's books, and her third release was no exception to that. Although initially I found myself hesitant about the concurrent story lines and how that aspect of the story would work, it wasn't long before I found myself immersed in both story lines and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next in either of them. Since the stories ended up being dramatically different it was almost like getting two for the price of one! I enjoyed them both but I did find myself favoring one scenario over the other, which was fun. It was interesting to see how my personal preferences played out.

What I enjoyed most about Maybe in Another Life was how it left me questioning my beliefs about things such as soul mates and fate. In both books Hannah believes that she has found her soul mate, and they are not the same person, so that raises the question of if there is more than one person that we are meant to be with in this world and if it all comes down to dumb luck. I enjoyed discovering the parallels between the two stories, which raised the question if certain events are meant to happen regardless of the choices that we make. Perhaps some events are just inevitable.

I can't think of one thing that I didn't like about the book. The characters came to life on the page, both story lines were compelling and unique, and Taylor Jenkins Reid's writing was as great as I have come to expect. I truly enjoyed every moment that I spent with Maybe in Another Life and I can't encourage people to pick this one up enough! It's the perfect book to slip into a beach bag or to devour with a group of girlfriends. My thanks to BookSparks PR for providing me with a review copy!