#SRC2015 Book Review: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
DESTINATION: ESCAPE TO SUNNY LOS ANGELES
Week of July 6: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
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. 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?
This book... This book is amazing. Have you ever had a book stay with you long after the last page has been turned? That is this book. Maybe in Another Life is thought-provoking, riveting, and addictive. As soon as I began reading, I was pulled into this story and could not get enough. I was addicted to Taylor Jenkins Reid's words as they flowed on the page.
Hannah is a twenty-nine year old woman with not much direction in her life. After her latest boyfriend breaks her heart, Hannah heads home to stay with her best friend Gabby. Although she is coming off of being in a relationship, her heart still does a swoon for her ex-boyfriend, Ethan. While at a bar one night with Gabby, Ethan, and friends, Hannah must make the decision to either go home with Gabby or stay at the bar with Ethan. Hannah's story goes in parallel directions from this point and shows what her life is like by staying and by going. The blurb for Maybe in Another Life sets this book up in a perfect way, but my favorite lines from the blurb are:
Is there such a thing as a soul mate?Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.
You have to read the book to see how things play out exactly, but the way Jenkins sets this book up is amazing. Each chapter is an alternate view from the Hannah who stays with Ethan and the Hannah who goes with Gabby. While the story line may differ between Hannah staying and going, some key elements from both realities are in motion.
Maybe in Another Life is honest, thought-provoking, and real. There is heartbreak, tears, and laughter. There are best friends - the realest kinds - and family: the ones you are born into and the ones you choose. Maybe in Another Life is love and loss wrapped up in a beautifully worded book that will leave you wondering 'what if?'.
The FEELS that this book leaves you with is incredible. Ending with two epilogues, Jenkins wraps this book up quite nicely although I wanted to jump through the pages and ask WHICH REALITY IS REAL? WHO DOES HANNAH END UP WITH? I, of course, had my suitor chosen and despite what would have happened, he would always be the man I pictured Hannah with. And no, he's not Ethan.
Uplifting and captivating, Maybe in Another Life is incredibly captivating and wonderful.
Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Media Studies. 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 her dog, Rabbit. Her forthcoming novel, After I Do, will be published July 1, 2014.