Maybe in Another Life : A Novel Paperback
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.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- Publication Date: 14/01/2016
- Category: Romance
- ISBN: 9781476776880
Showing 1 - 5 of 6 reviews.
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Review by whitreidtan
Do you believe in fate? Chance? Do the decisions you make change the path of your future or is that path set so that no matter which choices you make or free will you exhibit you'll get to the same place because you were always destined to be there? And what about multiple universes? If you believe that your decisions drive your future, can there be alternate realities where you chose differently and ended up living a different life? Taylor Jenkins Reid's newest novel, Maybe in Another Life, asks just these questions. Hannah is 29 years old and after a lifetime of moving around and feeling rootless, she is moving back to LA. She'll live near her best friend Gabby again and maybe even reconnect with Ethan, the high school ex-boyfriend she's always thought might one day turn out to be "the one." On her first night back, she goes out to see a bunch of friends, including Ethan. When Gabby and her husband are ready to go home, Hannah must decide whether she's going to go with them or if she wants to stay out a little longer and pursue what she suspects could in fact happen with Ethan. And in the pivotal moment of making a decision, the universe splits and her life spirals outward from both options, radically changing the trajectory of her life in unexpected ways. Oddly, both choices are the right one and lead to vastly different outcomes in her life. Both choices also include aspects that must have been fated as well because they happen regardless of her chance decision at the bar. But as the narrative flips back and forth between the two realities that she is living concurrently, her decisions have altered almost everything. The flipping back and forth between the different lives is a little bit confusing and difficult in the beginning but adjusting to the back and forth becomes easier as the novel progresses. And the chapters start to end just when the reader wants them to continue, just when a situation needs resolving or Hannah is on the verge of making another decision, giving the narrative pacing a breathless and anticipatory sort of feel all the way through. There are echoes from one life to another, especially in the dual endings, that ask us to question whether we could be happy in more than one reality. Is your soul mate the only person out there for you? Is your profession the only one that can be fulfilling? Reid seems to argue that we make our own lives and our own happiness and that we can construct it differently, but no less contentedly, based on chance and our choices. The novel is a fun and quick read with an interesting and quirky concept. Hannah's choices, in both of her lives, will resonate with readers who have probably wondered "what if?" more than once in their own lives. This novel makes is delicious to contemplate those endless possibilities for ourselves.
Review by Ellie.Pelto
"Maybe in Another Life" is a book with an intriguing twist akin to a choose your own adventure, but the main character chooses instead of the reader.<br/><br/>Hannah is a habitual mover, having lived in multiple different cities since graduating, but now she's going to try moving back to her hometown -- LA. The beginning of the book starts off with the same story (Hannah arriving back in LA, going to a party with her old friends), but when Hannah is faced with the choice of going home to settle in, or staying out with her ex-boyfriend Ethan (who she still has feelings for), the story splits in two. There are consequences and benefits to both timelines -- both include life-altering events that Hannah will not be able to run away from, like she has always done in the past.<br/><br/>Interestingly enough, though the two timelines are night-and-day different, some things must always be meant to happen in life. It's an interesting ride, to see what happens to Hannah and her friends around her as these alternate universes play out, chapter by chapter. "Maybe in Another Life" definitely belongs on your beach/summer reading list. Best read while eating a cinnamon roll.<br/><br/>Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Review by l_manning
Hannah is ready to start over. After a bit of a toxic relationship, Hannah is heading back home to LA. On a fun night out, she reconnects with her high school boyfriend Ethan. At the end of the night, Hannah is faced with a choice-go home with Ethan or stay at the bar. In this intriguing book, we get to see the results of both choices. Staying or going. Both mean vastly different outcomes for Hannah, but which is better? Is happiness dependent on our choices or our outlook? I was so interested n this book, and it did not let me down. I was afraid it might be hard to follow two completely different storylines, but this wasn't the case. Each story switched off from chapter to chapter, but the author did an amazing job of make the book still flow very well. Everything made sense and was not too difficult to keep up with. That's a pretty fantastic feat in a story that is set up this way. I was curious if I would prefer one storyline to the other, and I kind of did. However, I was drawn to the questions asked in this book. Are we happy as a result of the choices we make, or do we make an active decision to be happy? Could we be happy with any number of people and results in our life? I won't tell you how either story ends, but I will say that I found the conclusions to be very satisfying. This book will both entertain and make you think at the same time, which is a hard balance sometimes. It was definitely a lot of fun to read though.Book provided for review.
Review by melissarochelle
Read from July 17 to 20, 2015Fantastic book!In this novel we look at one night when Hannah makes a choice. Who will she go home with? In one she leaves with her high school boyfriend, in the other she leaves with her best friend, in both she grows and becomes a better version of herself. I was worried I would get a little confused between the two Hannahs, but each story is uniquely its own. Quantum mechanics is not for your average bear -- it's confusing with all of its complex theories. But this book manages to take one theory and turn it into an enjoyable, entertaining novel. What if every time we made a choice another version of ourselves lives out that choice? That means there could be millions of versions of us living out different variations of our lives. I’m probably not explaining it well, but it’s an interesting theory and you should check out the Wikipedia entry.
Review by voracious
Hannah is 29 years old when she returns to Los Angeles after a breakup with a married man. Over the years, Hannah had lived in many places but none had ever felt like home. After moving in with her best friend Gabby, Hannah runs into one of her first loves, Ethan, at a party. Hannah and Ethan had broken up when they went to college and the timing of living in the same city and being single had never worked out for them. On the night that she sees him at the party, Hannah makes a decision to either stay at the party and go home with Ethan or to leave and go home with Gabby. Her choice sets off two corresponding storylines based upon this one decision. How does Hannah's life move from that point on if she stays with Ethan or leaves? This story explores how even the most basic choices determine our future. Which plays a bigger part in our lives, Fate or Choice? I thought this novel was a clever approach to the magical "go back in time" storyline, allowing the reader to think about their own life and the choices we take. It would be great for a book club to discuss the role of fate or destiny versus how choices impact the future. While not particularly deep or well-written, I found this novel to be a fast and fun read. I liked thinking about how I might be living in an alternate reality right now, based on choices I could have made in the past.
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