Review: The Next Together by Lauren James

23266378Title: The Next Together
Author: Lauren James
Publication Date: 3rd September 2015 (Walker Books)
Pages: 356
Genre: Romance
Format: Paperback

Links to buy: |Amazon UK| |Waterstones| |Book Depository|]

How many times can you lose the person you love?

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.

Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?

Maybe the next together will be different…

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about time-travel, fate and the timelessness of first love. The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports and internet article [Goodreads]

I recently finished The Version of Us by Laura Barnett and it seemed fitting that I hopped over to The Next Together after. The Next Together follows four versions of Matthew and Katherine’s love story but in four different time periods. I adore James’ writing style and getting to know all the different versions of the characters was super easy. I admit, I did struggle a little when reading The Version of Us because I got muddled with the different versions, but The Next Together couldn’t have been any clearer. The whole format of the novel was really exciting because of the sticky note, the emails and the coding format that’s woven in and made me love some of the characters even more.

There seems to be a running comment that people say their favourite storyline and, honestly, I actually enjoyed them all more or less equally. The only one I disliked was the 2039 because of the characters awareness of the past. That idea of ‘knowing’ made the story less exciting. In short, what we get is a Mulan storyline, a Downton Abbey Sybil and Tom storyline and then a cute/typical storyline. Even though they were all the same characters, and were all mostly visually the same, I did find myself separating them as individuals. We don’t exactly meet the two in 2019, but their banter made me constantly want to read more of their notes and messages for one another as much as the others.

The overall book storyline-wise, I would say I did think of Holly Bourne’s Soulmates because of this sci-fi element to the novel. The Next Together did have a stronger sci-fi element to it than Soulmates, but it didn’t make it any less enjoyable. I did get a little muddled with a particular switching happened (this will make sense if you’ve read the book!) and I did have to go over the previous pages to figure it out. Everything happened quite quickly and the sudden jolt threw me off a bit.

The ending sprouts a trillion different theories (I have the most obvious theory in mind) but it sets us up nicely for the next novel, where it’ll all be hopefully revealed!

My rating
I really liked it

4 cup

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