Review : The Next Together, Lauren James

If I had to describe The Next Together with one word, it would be, one-of-a-kind. A romance travelling through time and space? Now, this is the kind of book I’m interested to read, actually, it sounds like it was made for me. A crazy-ambitious plot, a wonderful idea, with which I struggled, at times, but, in the end, it was worth it.

PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE COLLIDE

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“All throughout history they had been doing this, finding and loving each other and then being ripped apart before they even had a chance to live.”

Katherine and Matthew are, somehow, destined to meet each other again, in every of their lives. During the Crimea War, the Siege of Carlisle, in 2019 or 2036, it seems like they forever meet each other again. For what reason? What is this invisible force, this craziness that always seems to bring them together? As a reader, we are witness of the eternal reborn of their relationship, and how, in every world, they manage to do CRAZY things, weird things, DANGEROUS things, just because it feels like they have to. Is that their destiny?! This whole story is crazy, just so you know, before starting it. We’re thrown between timelines, universes that seem so different, yet we find out familiar faces in Katherine and Matthew, two characters I really liked. But more on that later. This whole idea, this plot of an unusual romance spanning through time, mixing historical facts, events, futuristic thoughts (they are kind of bad, okay), and contemporary, chasing, running away from bad guys, preventing deaths and all of this kind of thing… Well, this whole idea was pretty AWESOME. Hats off to Lauren James for that, I mean, where did you get that idea and why has no one done it before? It is brilliant. Moreover, the whole design of the book makes it feel like you’re trying to resolve a mystery yourself, too. I won’t say anything, but little lines at the end of every chapter makes you wonder, right from the start, what really is this story you’re reading.

SASSY CHARACTERS = YES! … but INSTA-LOVE = …WHY?!

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“Although, you know, thinking about it, I’m not sure I really remember how we got engaged… I remember the next morning and the ring we chose. Katherine, please say you didn’t torture me until I proposed or do something so equally terrible that I erased it from my memory?”

Both Katherine and Matthew were great characters, and it was easy to care about their destiny and what happens to them. They were both funny and their interactions were always so, so good to read. I absolutely loved Katherine’s sassiness, Matthew’s sometimes shyness and awkwardness. Since we’re reading the story in different timelines, we are bound to rediscover these characters in different universes, different clothing, and different places. Yet they stayed the same, in a sometimes confusing story. Their relationship is strong, obviously, given that’s the whole point. BUT I clearly missed something, here: it’s the whole falling in love part. I get that, in this kind of book, the whole point is for them to be instantly connected, but it just didn’t seem very realistic. I love the falling in love part, in every book, and there…well, it kind of felt like insta-love, and I DON’T like that, at all. However, that didn’t prevent me from caring about their relationship.

QUESTIONS, ANSWERS…AND MORE QUESTIONS

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I know, if you’re first hearing about this book, -or even if you have read it, because that’s my case-, you’re probably wondering: WHY is all of this happening? Why do they keep on meeting each other? This huge interrogation mark hangs over our head the whole time we’re reading, and a little bit afterwards, too. Like every curious reader, I tried to figure out what was really happening, who was doing that to them, or whatever, and the more I read, the more I felt confused about everything. The ending was a bit rushed, leaving me little time to really understand everything. I wanted to KNOW, and I feel like I was left with many questions, and not enough answers.

OVERALL

Between contemporary, sci-fi and historical book, you get a little bit of everything with The Next Together. It’s refreshing, it’s good, and it feels like you’re reading more than one book at a time. Sassy, funny main characters, and a mystery that’ll keep you guessing, even after the last page, this book is filled with all of that. Despite some drawbacks, it was definitely an ambitious debut, and I’ll be looking forward to everything Lauren James write next. Especially the sequel of this, because I still have questions and I’m not giving this up.

Final rating:  4 drops!

Did you read The Next Together? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?! Were you, like me, a little bit confused? Do you want to read it? so feel free to share your thoughts in comments! 💬


 

Lauren James, The Next Together,  Published by Walker Books, September 3rd 2015.

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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…

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 articles.

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

24 thoughts on “Review : The Next Together, Lauren James

  1. You know how I feel about this book. I think your review was really on point, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that they just ALWAYS have the connection and you never see the first falling in love part. It bothered me and I didn’t really like the characters, except for the version in the present tense. I want to continue with the series though, I am intrigued.

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    1. I understand, I think this is what bothered me the most in that book. I NEED that falling in love part, it makes me care more about the relationship, and it just feels more, real. That’s why I hate insta-love, ahah! The present-tense characters were my favorites, too ❤
      I'm intrigued too, and I want to know how the next book turns out. Hopefully, good! 🙂
      Thank you so much Kat! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, lately I’ve seen this book everywhere! It has such an intriguing romance. I think I’d like to give it a try one day. But, yes, why instalove?! D: I’m sorry that it lacked realism because of that bit of you though, Marie! Thank you for sharing this lovely review, as always! 🙂

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  3. I simply ADORE this book as well. It’s so riveting, it’s never been done before, I get a whole BAG full of genres in one sitting and it actually pulls itself off really really well. I personally found myself far more intrigued in the 2039 katherine/matt especially since, given the ending, i’m pretty sure the sequel is leading on from that timeline. although I don’t know, I still have SO MANY QUESTIONS too.

    your comments on the instalove parts of it are actually really interesting. I guess I never thought about it before but I think that might be one of the places I felt it fell down too. I adore their relationship but, well… where is the first meeting? the first falling in love? it’s all well and good them returning to each other all over time and space but I would really love to see their initial era if that’s something the author has ever thought about before. that way there would be a little more backstory…

    I REALLY HOPE THE SEQUEL GIVES ANSWERS.

    anyway, great review. I’m glad you enjoyed!! 🙂

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    1. YAY, I’m so happy you liked it, too! I understand, the 2039 katherine and matt were SO intriguing, I definitely wish we’d get a whole book about those two ahah.
      Your thoughts about this whole instalove thing, makes me think: WE SHOULD get a book where it all started, where they really meet for the first time, first falling in love, it would be PERFECT ❤ We should ask the author to write that :p
      Thank you so, so much! 😀

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  4. I’m glad you enjoyed this one! I recently bought it, and I’m really looking forward to reading it. I haven’t heard of the insta-love in this one before, so I’m not sure if it will annoy me. I think the concept sounds really cool, so hopefully it will live up to my expectations!

    Great review, as always, Marie! I hope you get to the sequel when it’s released 🙂
    Denise | The Bibliolater

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    1. Yaay, I’m so excited for you to read it! It was such a great book, and even if I missed the whole “falling in love” part in the story, I absolutely loved the whole idea and concept, so I hope you will, too! Can’t wait to know how you feel about it 🙂
      Thank you so much Denise! ❤

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  5. I have read the Next together. I totally agree about the ending being rushed. *SPOILER* It was just kind of like ‘oh, I’m pregnant. Look I had a baby! Yay, I’m going to abandon it and gallivant around with my boyfriend. When I finished it I didn’t realise there was a sequel coming out and I was sooooo confused like why? What? I also didn’t get why it was happening and it’s never fully explained but I wanted to know. Nice review, Marie!

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    1. This was what annoyed me the most in this book, but this insta-love is almost excusable, because of the context. The insta-connexion and everything was a little annoying, I just wished we’d get more background, or maybe one timeline where they meet for the actual first time. But other than that it’s such a great book! 😀 I hope you’ll read it. Thank you so much Geraldine! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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