Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Maybe in Another Life: A Novel
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.
Maybe In Another Life was not quite what I expected. It started off not so good for me, but by the end I was loving it (and I loved where the story ended up). At first I was curious to read it as it reminded me of that movie where the girl gets on the train or she doesn't...sliding doors maybe it was called? I only vaguely remember it and I thought this would be a similar thing. It was surprising and I really liked a lot of the story and the thoughts behind it.
At the beginning I really did not like Hannah. I also didn't like the style of writing and it was just something that I put aside to maybe pick up again and finish. The writing was too descriptive at times in a way that I don't like. For example:
"When we get to the bar, it's fairly quiet. Gabby and Mark sit down, and I go up to get our drinks. I order beer for Mark and me and a glass of chardonnay for Gabby. The bill comes to twenty-four dollars, and I hand over my credit card."
I don't need to know all of that. It just takes me out of the story as it is unnecessary and kind of bulky and just not for me. Pair that with not liking Hannah, not liking her 'well if I just pretend like I don't know that I am doing something I shouldn't then that is okay and I am a good person' thing. I really just did not like her attitude towards everything. I found her annoying. Then we have the time split. The decision to stay with Ethan her ex or to go home with Gabby her friend. After that I didn't put the book down until I got to the end. After that it was really interesting to read what happened in both timelines. You would get one chapter from one then one chapter from the other timeline. It was fun.
I don't want to say too much as I don't want to ruin anything for those who have not read this yet, but if you find it just kind of blah at first keep going. It does get better. I loved all the talk of the one and soul mates and just knowing this person is right for you and so on. I truly believe there is more than one person for everyone. It doesn't make sense to me otherwise. To think in this entire world there is only one person for me and I was lucky enough to find them and live in the same area as them? To me that is crazy. If I hadn't met my husband, if I hadn't gone to college in Washington state, if I hadn't made the decisions I did I am sure I would have found someone else and be equally as happy as I am now. Or be happy by myself. Either way it would have worked out. So it was interesting reading a story where the characters talked about that and you see if there really is one person for them. I liked seeing what that one decision would and wouldn't change. If no matter the decisions you would end up in the same place or not.
"'Doesn't it scare you?' I ask her. 'To think that you might have gone in the wrong direction? And missed the life you were destined for?'"
Where everything ends up I really enjoyed. Things happen, you make decision and then you deal with what happens afterwards. Really a great read once I got into the story.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★