Published by Washington Square Press
Publication Date: July 7th, 2015
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary
Also by this author: After I Do
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
“You’re Hannah Martin. Your weakest moment is a strong moment.”
I should have known that TJR would bring me to tears again. She has become one of my auto-buy authors ever since experiencing After I Do which quickly became one of my beloved and recommended books ever! Her characters are achingly realistic with flaws and battle wounds. When I saw that she was writing a book that ponders the idea of chance, fate, and soul mates, I knew I had to check it out. Especially after reading Landline by Rainbow Rowell last year that deals with similar alternate realties.
“The difference between life and death could be as simple and as uncomfortably slight as a step you take in either direction.”
This story centers around what happens when Hannah decides to either stay at the bar with Ethan, her high school sweetheart and possible second-chance love interest, or if she decides to go home with her best friend Gabby. Each decision plays out in concurrent storylines with drastic consequences and different leading men. I was so anxious to see what happened in each reality that I didn’t put this one down until I finished. It was a really interesting take on the age old question of “what if?”. I’m sure we’ve all questioned how one moment in time could change the outcome of our lives. With Hannah and those around her, you see how many things alter between each reality and yet how many things remain the same. But as much as I ordered the writing and loved the concept of this story there were still a few issues I had with it.
“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.”
My main problem was that I felt so sad and depressed as I read. It’s one thing to feel empathy and heartbreak for characters but this feeling of blueness lingered after I finished. As much as I liked Hannah and enjoyed her as a heroine, I felt more connected to her best friend Gabby and how her live(s) played out in each reality. I also assumed this would be more of a romantic story but I feel like it was more of a secondary part of the story. I’m more than ok with books that aren’t heavy on the romance but I guess I just expected more as this questioned the concepts of soul-mates. Also the ending, View Spoiler »I don’t know how I feel about Hannah’s ending(s). I loved that in each reality Gabby ends up with Jesse, after her husband cheats on her, but I hated that Hannah’s realties were so drastic. It was just bizarre because it felt as if one reality was settling for a hero that she would pick in another. « Hide Spoiler. But despite a few issues I had, my favorite part of this novel was the friendship between Hannah and Gabby. I loved their relationship and how their bond was prominent in every reality. Overall, I enjoyed this story. Sure it was a little sad but that’s life, right?