Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Review: The Next Together

The Next TogetherAuthor: Lauren James
Series: The Next Together, #1
Released: September 3rd 2015
Publisher: Walker
Length: 356 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

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...

September already promises to be a month of successful debuts. There have been several excellent first works already, but none as shiny, well written or as deeply romantic as The Next Together by Lauren James.

James tells the tale of one love affair in four different places and four different time scapes. Matthew and Katherine are, at once, a wealthy young lady and her servant, an ambitious journalist and his assistant, married young scientists uncovering a conspiracy and two college students intent on clearing the names of their relatives. In every time scape, Katherine and Matthew are different, but the love they feel for each other is immutable. We watch them time and time again as they discover each other and inevitably collide, desperate to be together despite so many obstacles.

The narrative itself is beautifully assembled as one story bleeds into another seamlessly. The pacing is pure perfection – James somehow achieved simultaneous crescendo in all four stories, thus ensuring our equal interest in them all. A single small mistake had the potential to ruin everything, to make us care more about one couple than all the rest, but all the threads were handled masterfully and the result is a thing of beauty.

If not for Katherine’s extraordinary sense of humor, the story would have been suffocating and grim at times. Instead, I found myself laughing out loud when the sense of foreboding threatened to overwhelm me, swooning when I should have been biting my nails in terror, and generally reacting unexpectedly to anything Lauren James had to offer. Even more spectacular than the book itself were my reactions to it, my emotions manipulated so skillfully by an author with so much to give. The Next Together demands your full attention and dedication and it simply refuses to settle for anything else.
As someone who reads a lot of romance, I shouldn’t have been blindsided by my reactions to this book, a novel that’s not primarily a romance. However, I found myself in utter disbelief and more than a little awestruck. This is one of the most deeply romantic books I’ve read in ages.

Overall, The Next Together broke my heart time and time again, but it was a sweet pain. I wouldn’t change a second of it.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. This sounds amazing Maja and just like the reads that I crave every now and then. I am definitely adding this to my TBR pile.
    Wonderful review!!

  2. sounds kinda sad though, but definitely will read because I like historical fiction with a hint of romance

  3. I've never heard of this book before! I'm so glad you reviewed it because it seems like my type of read. It reminds me a little bit of David Levithan's EVERY DAY & CLOUD ATLAS but this one seems much more epic. That's good that Katherine's humor lightens up the novel because it would be so serious! I'm actually really excited for this one - thanks for the beautiful review, Maja!

  4. I didn't know about this one but it's amazing when you find some new great authors like that and this book looks really good! It's intriguing!

  5. A cover that is actually different from ones out there, wow

  6. I'm not sure that I'm ready for such a romantic story but sounds like something I would love with the different timeslines... reminds me a bit of The Tree of Life, a movie that I adored!

  7. I adored this book so much. So addictive and beautifully woven together. I love the romance through the time. It was a brilliant time travel novel and that from a debut UKYA author. I met her at a event it was so great to know how she created it too. Lovely review.

  8. Oh, I LOVE the sound of this, Maja! Immutable, you say? I have to read it!!! Lovely review.

  9. Okay, I'm adding it to my list! I'm VERY curious about this romance! I like the sweeping romances that really have the FEELS and not so much of the physical. I'm off to check it out and add it to my list right now!

  10. This sounds like such a fun way to tell a story. I'd be interested in how it works. Great review!

  11. I saw your Instagram post about this book, which, by the way caught my attention right away. I've never read a book by hers, but this looks like a great place to start.

  12. I really love the idea of romances that span multiple universes and possibilities and though it seems so hard to pull off seamlessly, your recommendation goes such a long way. I can't wait to dive into this because it really does seem like a beyond beautiful debut. Gorgeous review, Maja!

  13. This book sounds adorable and I love that it made you laugh a couple of time. I'm normally not into books centered around romance, but this sounds lovely. I like that the romance takes place in different universes and how the author worked this into a story.

  14. So the characters aren't aware of what's happening? This sounds really good. I'm definitely adding this right now.

  15. I had no clue this was a young adult title. Romance circulates highly at my school and I'm always on the lookout for additional titles to purchase. I will have to check this one out and order it for my library. Thanks for the great review, Maja!

  16. This sounds like a book that I will love to hate and hate to love. If you know what I mean... LOL If I read this one and cry, I'm blaming you! ;) Oh I am so curious and I want to know more about how the stories all blend. Hm... might have to read this one for sure!

  17. Nice to hear a good balance with the humor and emotions

  18. Oh man, this sounds absolutely amazing. I am already drooling over this premise already! It sounds like this is the kind of book that reminds you that love knows no bounds and limitations, that it transcends both time and space. Oh good lord, this is so romantic D: D: D: I WANT THIS BOOK SO BAAAAD!!!!

    Faye at The Social Potato


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