“I love you,” he says. “I don’t think I ever really stopped.”
WOW. WOW. WOW!!!
Refreshing, thought-provoking, and highly addictive, this was easily one of the best books I’ve read this year! The story was unlike any other I’ve read, the writing was amazing, and it kept me glued to the page. Everything about this book was totally unconventional and gave a unique perspective on finding your soul mate and one true love. I cried, I laughed, my heart felt like it was bursting with emotions. I LOVED IT!!!
The story is about Hannah who is twenty-nine years old with no idea what she wants to do with her life. She’s willing to work hard, but just feels directionless. After a string of bad luck, she decides to move back to her hometown of LA where she stays with at her best friend Gabby’s house while she gets on her feet and sorts out her life. But going back to LA means being back in the same town as Ethan, her high school boyfriend. Even though they loved each other, after high school, life just took them in separate directions and they’d drifted apart. It was just the wrong time, the wrong age, too much of one thing, too little of another, and they were pulled apart by life and decisions they’d each made… and even though they’d both numbed the pain and convinced themselves they were happy, they’d never truly gotten over each other.
I actually love the way the blurb sets up the rest of the story, so I’m just going to quote it:
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.
Ahhhhhhh!!!! I just love that line!!
“And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.” <—– *shivers* !!! And as you read the book, you’ll see exactly how that possibility unfolds and let me tell you, it kept my heart RACING!!!!!
To clarify: this is not paranormal. It’s completely real-world. The parallel storylines are showing you two possibilities of her life and there’s an explanation at the end that I’m sure will fully satisfy readers.
And seriously, the way this storyline unfolded was incredibly well done! Starting from that moment when they left the bar and Gabby asks Hannah to leave with her, but Ethan offers that she come with him, the rest of the book is told in alternating chapters — one beginning with her leaving with Gabby, the other beginning with her leaving with Ethan. Each chapter after that would just switch between these two parallel realities and, because you only got one chapter at a time, it really kept you eager to keep reading because you’d always be left hanging on the brink of wanting ‘more’ from each of these realities. Gah, and there were times when it got intense because even though these two realities were vastly different in many ways, there were key elements that were fundamentally the same and it was so interesting to see the ways this one small thing could impact two potential lives SO differently! OMG. It was unputdownable!
He still, all these years later, shines brighter to me than other people. Even after I got over him, I was never able to extinguish the fire completely, as if it’s a pilot light that will always remain small and controlled but very much alive.
It was such an honest portrayal of life — there were hardships and victories, love and loss, laughter and tears, hard choices and lucky breaks. It was incredibly real and honest and this author’s writing made the characters so relatable, believable, and understandable. It felt like I knew them and was experiencing what they experienced. It was just so well balanced and written in a way that begged me to keep reading.
“Something I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while,” he says.
“OK,” I say.
“Why did we break up?”
“When you left, I smelled your old T-shirts,” I say. “I used to sleep in them.”
He listens to me. He takes my words, my metaphors, and he spits them back out into facts. “You loved me,” he says.
“Yeah,” I say. “I did. I loved you so much it sometimes burned in my chest.”
While this is absolutely a romance, it’s also just as much about friendship and family and finding yourself. The story deals with a lot of themes and many different senarios. Some of them were so powerful that I would find myself suddenly reading with tears in my eyes (even if it wasn’t sad).
The two realities shown are quite complex — as life naturally is — so there’s a lot going on in this book. Honestly, it was fascinating and there was just never a dull moment. But even though a lot was happening, it was so well written that it was always gripping, never confusing, and loaded with feels.
Seriously… THE FEELS!!!!!!!!
Equal parts heart-breaking and heart-warming, this story really snuck up on me because out of nowhere, I’d suddenly just find myself overwhelmed with emotions. So much of my book is highlighted!
He calls my name. I turn around…
“I love you,” he says. “I don’t think I ever really stopped.” …
“And now?” I say…
“I still love you,” he says. “I’ve always loved you. I might never stop.”
This isn’t a perfect fairy tale. In many ways, it feels very REAL and it’s told in such a way that it feels real. In real life, things don’t always work out the way you expect them. Things don’t even always work out, not even after you meet the love of your life. Even though two people may be in love, it doesn’t mean that life naturally leads straight-away to their happily-ever-after. Sometimes that road takes unexpected twists and turns, but the beauty of it is that sometimes you end up in a better place than you could have dreamed.
While some people might say that this is a love triangle, I would actually disagree. It’s not a triangle per se, but there are two different guys because… in each reality, the guy she’s meant to be with is different. At first, I found myself almost expecting/wanting her to be with one specific guy but the more I read, the more I loved the two different options. It’s just quite a “different” situation than most books. In each life, she’s found her soul mate, but she doesn’t know about the ‘other’ life so she’s completely unaware of even the potential of there being anything different than the reality she knows and the man she loves. Ohhhhhh and OMG at 90%, there’s this scene where I literally highlighted EVERY word on the page!!
The way this portrayed that sometimes a seemingly wrong decision can lead you down a path that actually might lead you to a better future than you ever thought possible… and no matter what road you go down, it’s possible to still find happiness is comforting and inspiring. It begs you to look at the big picture of life.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOVED the ending. Totally loved it! Oh gosh, my heart was overflowing with emotions. I was feeling so much! There are two epilogues and I think I must have read them both three times each before I finally put the book down for good because I loved them that much!!
Maybe In Another Life was a refreshingly original, uplifting, and captivating story that made my heart race, kept me glued to the page, and left me overflowing with feels. I highly recommend it!!
Rating: 5++ STARS!! Contemporary romance standalone.
PS: Just because I know many of you will wonder… Yes, it is absolutely worth the price!