Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This summer, members of the Vise Library are participating in a Summer Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

This week's book is Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

About the book:

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.
This book has such an interesting premise and reminds me of the movie Sliding Doors. This book starts off with Hannah moving back to Los Angeles after a bad breakup.  She moves in with her friend Gabby and Gabby's husband.  While out that night she runs into her old flame, Ethan.  Ethan is the boy she could never forget about or get over.  At the end of the night Hannah must make the decision to either go home with Ethan or to go back to Gabby's.  This is where the story gives you two different story lines.  Each decision takes a different path and affects Hannah and the people in her life in different ways.  The ending of this book is not what you expect, but the overall story shows you how Hannah has consequences to each choice that she makes.  You will have to read the book to see if Hannah ends up with the same person and job within the two story lines.  Even though the initial decision is about love and relationships, that is not the sole focus of the book.  This book is about timing, soul mates, different types of relationships, and cinnamon rolls (you'll have to read the book to find out why!).  Taylor Jenkins Reid always has witty dialogue and I laughed a lot at the conversations between characters.  (I think one of my favorite scenes is when a dog does something to Gabby's husband, Mark, near the end of the book.)  This book is very unique and I couldn't put it down.  I love that this book shows a glimpse of the "What ifs" that sometimes we have about decisions or people that we have in our lives.  This book was entertaining, but it also makes you think about your life and the choices you make.  This book couldn't have been better!

PS Taylor is hosting a giveaway on her Facebook page to celebrate her new book,
Buy the book:
       Barnes and Noble
      Parnassus Books

About the author:

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. Her first novel, Forever, Interrupted, was named one of the "11 Debuts We Love" by Kirkus Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and their dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @tjenkinsreid.

Connect with the author:

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