Book Review: The Next Together (Lauren James)
Release Date: September 3rd 2015
Summary (from Goodreads):
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 is a book that I have been meaning to get on for ages and I’m a bit embarrassed that it’s taken me this long. But, hey ho, I’ve read it now, and just in time as I have a beautiful copy of The Last Beginning sat on my shelf too.
The Next Together follows the story of Katherine and Matthew across four different timelines. They meet, they fall in lover, they’re torn apart, and then they come back to do it all over again. Why do they keep coming back, and is there a way to stop the cycle?
The book flits between the characters in their different eras with ease: I never felt confused as to where we were, and I didn’t really dislike one either. I often find with multiple view points/stories you end up groaning when you realise the one you don’t like is up next, but I enjoyed all of these. I liked 2039 the best, and felt it really showed the way the future had changed well in little subtle ways.
Katherine and Matthew were great characters across all their incarnations. I think I liked all the different Matthews but Katherine did occasionally get on my nerves: I didn’t think she was as funny as she thought she was and I’m not sure we’d get on in real life!
The great mystery of the book was why they kept coming back together, and when I was none the wiser near the end I realised I might have to wait until book 2 for a full explanation. There’s enough to keep me satisfied for now though. The bits I found most interesting were the comments in between sections, where notes were made on whether the relationship was on track or if the ‘objective’ would be achieved. I found this really intriguing, and the repeatedly denied request for interference was really frustrating and I was really happy when it finally happened.
This book was a fun mix of genres and I felt it had a bit for everyone: romance, historical, sci-fi and contemporary. Each era was well researched and felt natural, and after the action packed ending I’m really excited to read the sequel.