Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives.
But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history? Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove’s investigation?
For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future, and failure could cost the world everything.
Not only does this book complete my reading of Lauren’s entire collection of novels (until Green Rising is released very soon!), it is also my 100th read of the year! 100 books was my Goodreads goal for 2021 and is also way more than I have ever managed to read in a year (I think my highest is around 85 in 2020). The fact I have reached this goal in the middle of July astounds me and I wanted to mention it here – my boyfriend also mentioned the irony of this book being called The Last Beginning and being the one to make me hit my goal.
It’s been years since I read The Next Together and I was a little worried going into this one without having read the first one recently. However, this one follows the main characters from The Next Together’s daughter, 16 years on. And luckily for me, she has an entirely different story allowing me to pretty seamlessly carry on.
I can remember thinking I’d been turned inside out.
Every Lauren James book I read astounds me with the sheer creativity of it. I could never even begin to think up the kind of worlds she seems to – worlds that are so different from our own but also have such a lovely familiarity to them. In this book, we follow Clove as she tries to find out why her birth parents appear over and over again throughout history. Her adopted parents are working on a time machine, which she uses to meet all of these variants of her parents. I really love the time travel theme and felt like it allowed us to explore different time periods really well, with all of them feeling authentic and believable.
The writing was so quick to read and once I picked this up, I found it hard to put down. I love how easy the writing was and this is definitely something I find across all of Lauren James’s work. The characters were also really likable and I love the family element and the relationship was so sweet and had such a lovely moral. The only problem I was how immature Clove could be, especially at the start of the book, and it made the whole book feel a little too young for me.
Kind of like the first time I saw you.
Once again, big up Lauren James for writing about women in STEM, having powerful female leads and a sapphic relationship! I really enjoyed this one and it got better and better as it went on.
4 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽