Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway: The Next Together by Lauren James

Pages: 368
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Pub. Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Sky Pony
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time they are total strangers thrust together under unusual circumstances. Each time their presence changes history for the better. And each time they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. Why does fate keep bringing them together to save the world, and what must they achieve before they can finally be left to love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different. . . . Told in parallel time streams through a mixture of prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports, and Internet articles, and spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039, The Next Together is a glittering, sweeping story of time travel, fate, and the power of first love for fans of OutlanderPassenger, and The Girl from Everywhere."

Katherine and Matthew are what you would call star-crossed lovers. The year is 2039 and they are chemistry students working for the government.  Their attraction is instantaneous. During their research they discover people that lived during 2019 that looks exactly like them. This is all well and good, but they died mysteriously, which has Katherine and Matthew curious about what exactly happened. Through further research, they discover identical Katherine and Matthews at other crucial points in British history.  Katherine and Matthew decide to take it upon themselves to finish what was started when they realize their "relationship" spans many, many years. The Next Together by Lauren James is a nice blend of science-fiction, romance, and tidbits of historical fiction.  Fans of Bracken's Passenger will enjoy this book the most.

All of the various Katherines and Matthews are featured in parallel story lines in The Next Together. I was most intrigued by the future storyline (2039) and James's portrayal of reincarnation.  There's the 1745 version of Katherine and Matthew which focuses on the Siege of Carlisle and there's the 1854 version which features The Crimean War.  I liked learning more about this time period in British history; however, the future versions of Katherine and Matthew were the most compelling.  I wish James would have explained things a bit more about her theory of reincarnation as well as the random computer notes that are dispersed throughout the novel. I am still curious about what that all meant??

What is pretty neat about The Next Together is how the story is presented to readers. There's parallel story lines, but it's interspersed with "primary" sources from the time period, emails, text messages, diary entries, etc.  I thought this was a fun way to add to Katherine and Matthew's story even though I felt the transition between the time periods could have been a bit smoother.

If you love time travel and are a fan of Passenger, definitely give The Next Together a try.   I wish James would have provided readers with a bit more clarification; nonetheless, it was a fun and entertaining ride.

Thanks to Sky Pony, I have a hardback edition of The Next Together to give to one lucky US reader.  Please refer to my giveaway rules and the deadline is October 4th.  Good luck!

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  1. I love time travel books, and this one sounds so unique! Great review, definitely adding this one to my TBR.

    1. Thanks, Angela! I hope you get to read it soon, and thanks for dropping by!


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