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…
The Next Together is really WOAH. Like. My brain was coping withe everything well until close to the end where they started interweaving the different story threads and I was like
MY POOR BANANA BRAIN COULDN’T HANDLE ALL OF THIS TIME-TRAVEL, TIME-MOVING, TIME-JUMBLY-MUMBLY-SHMUMBLY STUFF. TOO CONFUSING *faints*
Excluding the ending though, the book was quite good! The book has three main storylines, and one minor one. The first one is set in the 18th century, the second in the 19th, and the third about 20 years from now. The minor one is also still in the 21st century, but a little before the one 20 years from now.
So it starts with the Katherine from 20 years from now discovering that her aunty (or someone related to her, I can’t quite remember) was killed, along with her husband about 20 years ago. It turns out that her aunty has the exact same name, and looks exactly the same. She meets this dude in her lab class, Matthew Galloway. Guess what? The-Dead-Aunty-Katherine’s husband is also called Matthew Galloway and looks exactly like the guy in present-Katherine’s lab class! SPOOOOOOKY.
Anyway, it turns out that Katherin-from-20-years-ago and her husband-who-looks-like-the-cute-guy-who-just-turned-up-in-present-Katherine’s-lab-class were terrorists!
So anyway, present-Katherine does some investigating about the whole terrorist-thingy and I’ll stop the plot right there before we go into dangerous uncharted spoiler territory.
At the same time in the book, in conveninently different old-fashioned, boring font like Times New Roman, we have the 18th and 19th century threads! In one, Katherine is a princess, Matthew is her slave. In the other, Katherine is a boy-but-not-really-a-boy-because-she’s-just-dressing-up-as-a-boy-to-try-and-spy-on-Matthew (it’s complicated), and Matthew is a journalist.
In terms of character, despite each thread only having a third of the 350 pages (which is… um, 100? Close enough), I was able to connect to all of the characters quite well. The love was done well, and it wasn’t insta-love, even though the characters were destined to fall in love (so it would have been really easy to have them fall in love at first sight, but Lauren James didn’t do that, so yay, kudos for non-insta-love). However. Since it’s establised already that people die (you know, with all the “tragically separated”, etc) I felt no sympathy at all when people die. I mean, I’ve been preparing myself for this for almost 280 pages. It’s kinda hard to spring an emotional surprise on your reader when it’s plastered all over the blurb and is the driving point of the novel. Oh well. Not crying is a good thing for me.
Although it was a romance book, there were actually quite a few bad-ass action scenes. Like guns PEW PEW BLAM BAM, cannons BOOOOOOOM BANG, rockets, WHISTLLEEEEEEEEEEE CRASH BAM BANG BOOF, etc. I mean, it was set during war times, etc. In times of action and suspense, the writing was quick yet still tense, and so thank you for giving me GOOD ACTION SCENES in what I expected was going to be soppy love-beats-death romance.
Anyway, that’s all I gotta say. Read it if you want an action/historical/luuuuurve mashup that’s surprisingly effective.
Thanks to Walker Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 8/10
The Next Together is out now. Buy at your local bookstore.
- Title: The Next Together
- Author: Lauren James
- Paperback: 356 pages
- Publisher: Walker Books (August 20th, 2015)
- Language: English
- URL: Goodreads