Maybe in Another Life – Published 2015
“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 believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.” – Goodreads
WHAT I LIKED
A few days ago I got an email from my library saying that a hold I had placed had been delivered to my Kindle. I can’t remember placing this book on hold, but because it’s from the same author as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I assume that this summer I fangirled and tried to check out everything by TJR and the waiting list for this one must have been fierce. Needless to say, I dropped everything else I was reading and focused on this one, as there are two more people behind me in line for this book and I only had it for two weeks. I got through it in less than 24 hours. Granted, I’m on my fourth snow day in a row, still. It’s pretty good.
I will admit, however, that when I reread the premise of this book, I was a little disappointed. The idea of alternating chapters with two totally different scenarios going on seemed annoying, but it actually was done really well. I ended up liking each scenario equally well, for the most part. Each had their own unknowns and anxiety-causing moments. Both are pretty intense.
I liked that eventually the two completely different universes had some constants that didn’t change, regardless of the choices Hannah made. Some were completely the same, and some just overlapped every-so-slightly. There are some things that I just really wanted to happen, regardless of which scenario Hannah was in.
There are some really likable characters. For example, Hannah’s best friend, Gabby, has these two incredible parents who have been there for Hannah in her adult years, more so than her own parents, and it’s super cute and comforting. Gabby, too, is pretty awesome as far as best friends go. She’s very politically correct and independent, and even though she has some moments of weakness, she is still there for Hannah when things come crashing down around her.
I only highlighted one quote while reading this because I thought it was so funny, “In general, I find that when you are doing something you are not supposed to be doing, the best course of action is to act as if you are absolutely supposed to be doing it.” That one really spoke to me.
Because I read this so quickly, I went through the full range of emotions with this book. It’s been a long time since a book has made me laugh out loud, cry, gasp, become annoyed, wonder, predict, and cringe. This book did all of those things.
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE
I don’t really believe that everything happens for a reason or that some people are destined to meet. So, the endings of both scenarios were a little too much for me. Satisfactory, but a little much.
Hannah is obsessed with cinnamon rolls, which I can really appreciate, but they were brought up like every chapter, and it was a little over the top.