Monday, February 29, 2016

Book Review: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Pages: 342
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Source: Library
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Docomes 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 moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles after a pretty bad breakup.  She has always been a bit of a wanderer, jumping from city to city and job to job.  After an affair with a married man in New York City, she returns home to her roots and her best friend, Gabby.  Hannah is in the same position she was in many years ago. She isn't sure of what she wants to do with her life, she doesn't own a car, and she doesn't have a job.  She moves into Gabby's townhouse and hopes to start again.  Gabby sets up a night out on the town with all of their old friends and Hannah's ex-boyfriend, Ethan, shows up.  Of course there are sparks and he is single, so she should go for it, right?  What will happen if she leaves the bar with him though?  What if she plays it safe and leaves with Gabby and Gabby's husband?  These two paths are explored in Taylor Jenkins Reid's Maybe in Another Life and it will leave readers thinking about their own paths in life.

Hannah is sort of a lost soul in Maybe in Another Life.  Her main support system is her best friend and her best friend's family.  Her own family moved to London for her sister many years ago and she doesn't have the best relationship with them. Hannah is still reeling from her breakup with her boyfriend in New York City and the fact that he was married.  This is a tough pill to swallow for sure.   Thankfully she has Gabby to support her; in fact, their relationship is awesome. I loved these two best friends...the best part of the book!


What is so unique about Maybe in Another Life is how Reid tells two concurrent stories within the novel.  One where Hannah goes home with Ethan and the repercussions of that and the other where she takes the "safe" option and goes home from the bar with Gabby.  Each path takes her down a different road filled with complications as well as happiness. It was interesting to see how things played out.  Some things are unavoidable and show up in both paths, but other things sort of mesh out differently. It really makes you think!  


Maybe in Another Life would be a perfect vacation read or for a lazy day at the beach. It's the first novel I read a novel by Reid and I can't wait to check out more of her work in the future.  



8 comments:

  1. I have the audiobook of this one and am waiting to be in the mood for it. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Oh! An audio version would be great. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for visiting!

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  2. This does sound like fun. The premise reminds me of that movie Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow. I will have to get this from the library sometime. Great review!

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    1. Yes! I loved that movie...very similar. I hope you get to read it soon. Thanks for visiting, Christina!

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  3. Oh Hannah. I feel like we're in the same boat. Sigh.

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    1. Haha. I hear you! Thanks for checking out my review, Joy!

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  4. Oh, my gosh; I loved, loved, loved this book, Christina! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I think that her second novel, After I Do, is my favorite of the three she's written; you might want to check it out.

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    1. I will have to check that one out! I definitely enjoyed her writing style. Thanks for the recommendation and for visiting, Tara!

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