MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE
What if everything that is possible actually happens?
From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes 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.
Where was I when this novel was published?!
Seriously. I can’t believe how I didn’t discover this book earlier. Maybe In Another Life is my first Taylor Jenkins Reid novel so I was definitely curious to see how she delivers her story. By the end of the novel, Reid has officially converted me into a loyal fan of hers. 😍😍😍
29-year-old Hannah Martin goes back to her hometown of LA after ending an affair with a married man. She reunites with her best friend Gabby and they go out that night in order to celebrate her return. At the bar, Hannah meets her ex-boyfriend Ethan once again. But as the night progresses, Hannah is torn between going home with Gabby and staying with Ethan. From here on out, things get more interesting as Hannah’s choice will lead to two different outcomes, and the chapters will alternate to reveal what happens next for each parallel universe.
This isn’t my first time reading about multiple universes. There are so many sci-fi novels out there that’s already used this type of trope. However, Maybe In Another Life is unusual in a way that it’s more than science and mechanics – it’s more on LIFE. It confronts the possibility of fate or destiny, how much of our life is attributed to pure chance, and if there is any way that another world like us exists where we make different choices. It is truly fascinating and thought-provoking, and at times heart-wrenching. The author is evidently adept at playing our emotions, and displays a deep understanding of humanity and what drives people to do the things they did.
One of the things I love most about this book is how realistic the characters were. The author wrote them like they were REAL humans, each vulnerable to making their own mistakes. You can’t say exactly if their decisions made them a hero or a villain, because frankly, they just reacted accordingly to the demands of circumstances. But that’s not to say they are predictable – far from it, really, some of them might even surprise you.
I also love how the friendship runs deep between Hannah and Gabby. In both universes, they supported and held on to each other until the very end. What’s more, I loved the development between Hannah and her family and how they fixed their relationship without resorting to convenient excuses. It’s one of the many things I could relate with especially since I understand what it feels like to have a distant relationship with your family. I love how the author Reid doesn’t sugarcoat anything – just shows us the hard, brutal truth which is just the way I like it.
Anyone who’s read the story will also notice a lot of similarities between the two worlds. They don’t necessarily come in the same order, but nevertheless they are there. And it’s made me think that whatever we may choose, the things that we didn’t can still happen in the future, maybe just not the way we expect them to. 😊
There may not have been a definite ending but I’m completely okay with it. If this was any other novel, I would’ve already complained… but not in this case. After all, life doesn’t have any real ending, does it? The point of this novel anyway is to show us that there is not just one path for any of us. That whatever we choose something good can still definitely come out of it.
I definitely recommend this to everyone looking for a heartfelt read. Or anyone who enjoys reading about multiple universes, really. Personally, I kept associating Maybe in Another Life with Me Before You even though the two novels are completely different. I guess it’s the emotional aspect but whatever it is, MIAL is one extremely worthy and enjoyable read.
💐 My Favorite Quotes 💐
“I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices and they led me somewhere else, led me to someone else. And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn’t end up with you.”
“I’m not scared of flying. I’m scared of sharks, hurricanes and false imprisonment. I’m scared that I will never do anything of value with my life. But I’m not scared of flying.”
“Sometimes I worry I’ll never find a place to call home.”
I laugh. “Well, I was running out of cities.”
“I don’t know,” he says “I like to think you’ve just come to your senses.”
“Just because you’re here and we’re there, that doesn’t mean we ever stop thinking about you.” my mom says.
“That’s your problem. You’re trying too hard to find the perfect answer when an answer will do.”
“But I’m afraid if I call attention to it, it will stop happening. So I don’t say anything.”
“And part of loving someone, part of being the recipient of trust, is telling the truth even when it’s awful.”
“You can only muster up this type of courage a few times in your life. I’m just stupid to have it now.”
“The way it feels, his lips on my skin, makes me realize I have spent years looking for that feeling and never finding it. I have settled for casual flings, halfhearted love affairs, and a married man, searching for that moment when your heart jumps in your chest.”
“Maybe in another life,” he says.
Title: Maybe In Another Life
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Date Published: July 7, 2015
Date Read: July 26, 2016
No. of pages: 342
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5 stars