Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid


Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Series: Standalone
Published: July 7th, 2015
Publisher: Washington Square Press
352 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction
Acquired this book: Via Edelweiss in exchange for honest consideration
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}


{My review of Forever, Interrupted || My review of After I Do}

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.



Taylor Jenkins Reid never fails to amaze me. After reading and loving her other two novels, Forever, Interrupted and After I Do, I put TJR on my auto-read list, and she’s definitely earned that spot again with Maybe in Another Life.
           
29-year-old Hannah Martin is a drifter. Her parents and sister moved to London while Hannah was still in high school, and ever since then, Hannah has felt a bit of a disconnect. Despite living with her best friend and being treated like a second daughter by her family, Hannah’s had trouble finding that sense of home and family. She moved around, worked in jobs that would get her through, and made some poor decisions in relationships. When her last disastrous relationship ended, she moved back to Los Angeles to live with her best friend Gabby, and Gabby’s husband, Mark. The three of them go out to celebrate Hannah’s homecoming, and Hannah sees her first love, Ethan, who she's stayed friends with all this time, but hasn’t seen in ages. They reconnect and Ethan asks if he can take Hannah home. From there, the story splits into chapters alternating between what happens when Hannah goes with Ethan and what happens when she goes back home with Gabby and Mark.

I loved Hannah. She was quirky and had tons of personality. She was flawed, relatable, and had a great voice. Her best friend Gabby was a stellar secondary character. She, along with many of the other secondary characters, were really well fleshed out and added so much depth to the story. Hannah and Gabby’s friendship is one of the best examples of a strong, healthy female friendship I’ve ever read. I love when characters learn that home isn’t always a place and family isn’t always just the people you share blood or grew up with. Sometimes home is a person or a feeling, and sometimes family is the people you collect along the way, the ones who are always there for you, no matter what. TJR explored that in a beautiful, poignant, believable way. Hannah was aimless, a wanderer with no true home, but she found a home in the people she loved and who loved her.

I’m one of those people who believes everything happens for a reason, so this story really appealed to me. I liked that while some things were drastically different between Hannah’s life scenarios, some things remained the same. It really made me think about how some things are meant to happen and some people are meant to be in your life, even if it’s not in the capacity you’d think or want. A lot of the lessons Hannah learned were triggered by different circumstances, but she often came to the same conclusion or learned the same lesson. Despite the feeling of destiny woven through the story, I appreciated that Hannah learned the importance of taking responsibility for her actions and learning from her mistakes.

Maybe in Another Life is a beautiful and thought-provoking story about second chances, family, friendship, love, and fate. As with all of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books, I ran the gamut of emotions while reading. I laughed, I cried, and I rooted for Hannah every step of the way. If you're looking for contemporary fiction with humour, emotion, and romance, you can't go wrong with any of TJR's books.



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. My fate will find me. ~ Taken from 10% of the eARC of Maybe in Another Life

Have you read Maybe in Another Life? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Do you ever wonder how different your life would be if you’d made a different decision? Do you wish you could do anything differently? Do you believe things happen for a reason? Let's talk here or on Twitter!
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2 comments:

  1. This one sounds amazing. I haven't read any of Reid's books. Sounds like I'm missing out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds Awesome! I may need to look into this author!

    ReplyDelete

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~Marie

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