2022 Reviews · contemporary fiction

Book Review: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Title: Maybe in Another Life

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published: July 7th 2015

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 368

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary

RRP: $19.99

Rating: 4 stars

One choice. Two different paths – with stunningly different results. From the bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
 
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 her friend 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 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.

Review:

Taylor Jenkins Reid has experienced a great deal of worldwide success thanks to her novels Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Maybe in Another Life is a 2015 publication from this global sensation. Maybe in Another Life is a poignant story of life choices, pathways and destiny. It is an essential read if you are a fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Maybe in Another Life follows lead character Hannah Martin just before she turns thirty years old. With no real direction in her life, career and relationships, Hannah is ultimately experiencing a life slump. One night Hannah decides to go out with her friend Gabby to a bar and it is there that fate brings her into the arms of her high school sweetheart, Ethan. As the clock strikes midnight, Hannah must make a choice between leaving with her friend Gabby or staying with Ethan. It is a decision that will weigh heavily on this young woman. Maybe in Another Life considers the possibility of different realties and life worlds. Which life is Hannah destined to lead?

Since I first encountered the writing of global sensation Taylor Jenkins Reid a couple of years ago via Daisy Jones & The Six, I have slowly been making my way through her backlist novels. I have purchased three of TJR’s contemporary fiction modern romance novels in the hope of reading them in between my review book obligations. During a recent reading slump I decided to turn to this consistent author. I’ve really enjoyed all three books I’ve read by this US author and I was keen to see if this one would break my reading slump.

If you are a fan of alternate realties or slip worlds in the same vein as the famous film Sliding Doors, this book will fill your bucket! I’m usually very apprehensive about these sorts of books as I am quite a rational reader, hence why I detest the fantasy genre. Maybe in Another Life is definitely distanced from the fantasy subject area. This 2015 release is more about using an alterative pathway to see how our lives can pan out very differently through one seemingly simple act. I appreciated this aspect of the tale and it did give me a chance to reflect heavily on the decisions we make, as well as the possibility of living a very different life through a rather subtle choice. 

Taylor Jenkins Reid presents her audience with a sound set of characters in Maybe in Another Life. Hannah is a perfectly agreeable lead and her journey can be followed very easily. The support cast of Hannah’s buddy Gabby and love interests compliment the narrative at hand. Themes of friendship, mistakes, the past, love, choices, ownership and agency all play out well, making Maybe in Another Life a story you can follow easily from beginning to end.

Maybe in Another Life is definitely a contemplative read and I can see why it has been embraced by so many readers, especially in recent times.

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid was published on 7th July 2015 by Simon & Schuster Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Maybe in Another Life, Taylor Jenkins Reid, visit here.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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