Title: Maybe In Another Life
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Romance/ Contemporary Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 3.81
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 am a huge Taylor Jenkins Reid fan and I am slowly making my way through her backlog. I spotted this one on Scribd and thought I’d make it my first audiobook of the year. I also chose this as one of my Disney prompts – set on another planet. For those out there that aren’t huge fantasy fans this makes a nice alternative, exploring parallel universes.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audio and loved the whole sliding doors concept. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about how my life would have turned out had I chosen a different path. Don’t get me wrong, I am perfectly content with my life and wouldn’t want to change anything but I think it’s only natural to be curious about other paths we could have taken and where that would have led us.
When Hannah returns to her hometown and moves in with her best friend Gabby she finds herself unsure of what to do with her life. She has no job and left behind a rather unfortunate relationship so she essentially has a clean slate and is tired of not setting down roots. When she goes on a night out and bumps into her ex Ethan she has a choice to make, should she stay or should she go? From here we get two stories, the one when Hannah stays with Ethan and the one where she goes home with Gabby. Let’s just say things get interesting.
When Hannah chooses to stay with Ethan we get to see how their relationship could blossom into something more but nothing seems to run smoothly for this loved-up pair. They are perfect for each other and seem to fit so easily but I had my worries that they wouldn’t get their happily ever after. When Hannah decides to go home with Gabby things take an unexpected turn very quickly and we are introduced to a different love interest for Hannah.
Hannah was a well-developed protagonist that matured as the book went on. She faced tough choices but kept her witty sense of humour throughout. I felt that in both stories she made the right decisions for herself and strove to be a better person. Whilst I enjoyed the romance side of the story I was more interested in the secondary characters and how their relationships with Hannah changed. It was fascinating to see how certain aspects appeared in both stories but had different outcomes and knowing certain things beforehand made the listening even more interesting. Her friendships with Gabby and her parents were some of my favourite parts to dissect.
On the occasions when certain scenarios replayed in both lives it bought home, for me, the whole message of the book. We don’t know how our lives would play out, had we chosen different paths, but rather than dwell on the could have been or the should have been why not change the now and embrace the path you’ve chosen?
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