Review: The Next Together by Lauren James

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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…

This book surprised me for one specific reason. At least part of it is historical – and I don’t read historical. Nothing against the genre, it’s just something that has never really appealed to me.

I’m also not the biggest sci-fi reader, which means this book shocked me in another way. It shocked me completely.

“I love you.”

I was lucky enough to meet Lauren at a joint book signing earlier this year – and I have to say, she is possibly the loveliest author I have ever met. I don’t know if I mentioned I hadn’t read her book yet, but she didn’t mind. In fact, she treated me so nicely. When she noticed I had an Arrested Development phone case, she covered the title page of my copy of The Next Together with doodles and quotes from the series. And from that moment on, I knew I had to read this book.

“In every life, I love you.”

And I have to say, that decision is not one I regret. This book takes something so different, a really strange and unique concept, and somehow pulls it off. She takes a concept that seems like it will undoubtedly be cheesy, and manages to make us fall completely in love instead.

One of the amazing things about this book is how the plot flows while the characters are jumping between stories, between centuries. I could understand everything – I could love each couple and see both the differences and similarities between them all.

“I love you so much.” 

I loved this book so much, I honestly find it hard to pinpoint things about it. It’s not just great plot, great characters and immaculate storytelling. It’s all of these things – with romance and mystery and so many other things – wrapped up together in a beautiful, incredible way.

Also, can I just say…Lauren James was only 18 when this novel was published?! Like, that’s less than a year older than me? Just…WOW.

Not a hard one, this book is definitely one of my favourites. It offers a really fresh and refreshing look at YA.

★★★★★

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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