Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
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.
I know I just did a book club discussion about this book, but I wanted to interject my own thoughts, because there’s a lot! I agree with everything the book club ladies’ thought, but I wanted to elaborate more. You can find the book club discussion here. This book was super light and fluffy, it got me out of a reading slump which is excellent!
I couldn’t stop comparing this book to In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. I reviewed this book last year, and it blew me away. If you need a good book that will probably make you cry, I suggest you check that one out. It was similar in tone to Maybe in Another Life with the premise, but this one was lacking. I wanted to love this book, I felt like it had a lot of potential to be an amazing, but it fell flat for me. I wanted to like Hannah, and Ethan, and Henry but I just didn’t.
As soon as we’re introduced to Hannah Martin, one of the first things we learn about her is that she had an affair with a married man; immediately I think that it’s setting us up to not like her, to question her decisions and choices in life – which ultimately is a recurring theme in this novel. The affair threw me off and left a bad taste in my mouth, but I see why it was added.
I feel like at the end of the novel, Hannah didn’t change much. The two plots were so similar and had similar outcomes that I questioned what was the point in it? I wanted more! More character development from Hannah and Ethan in one timeline and Hannah and Henry in the other and generally more Hannah and Gabby because they are the definition of best friends and I wanted to see more of their friendship!
I think my biggest problem is that I had high expectations for this novel, and I was so disappointed. I also was beginning to sense déjà vu towards the end. I like to take pictures of passages in books that really speak to me, or that have some sort of impact on me as I’m reading.
It’s the same passage… on two different pages. Are you sensing why I was getting déjà vu, and this was towards the end.
I wasn’t impressed. At all. So overall, I gave this book four cups of tea. It was an easy read; I think it took about 2-3 days for me to read. I didn’t enjoy the characters, I wanted more Hannah and Gabby moments, less Ethan moments because he was boring, Henry was lacking in the character area. I wanted to feel more passion.
Cups of Tea: ☕☕☕☕
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Published: July 7th 2015