Thursday, January 14, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan. Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan? In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate? Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him. 

Gah, this book . . . OMG, this book!!

So beautiful with one of the BEST friendships I have EVER seen in a book!!

So yeah, this book was all about first loves and fate and parallel universes and taking responsibilities for your decisions and man, I could relate to all of it. Hannah is twenty nine and just dumped her married boyfriend. She has traveled all over the country, rarely staying in one place for long, and has no steady job and no plans for the future. So of course, she goes to the one place she does consider home: Los Angeles, where her best friend (Gabby lives). She also entertains the idea of a meeting with her high school boyfriend (and first love), Ethan. One night, after a party, Hannah has to decide whether to go home with Ethan or not. What follows is the story of what happens in each possible scenario. We see what Hannah's life would be like if she chose to go home with him and what her life would be like if she didn't. 

Hannah was the most relatable character ever. She made bad decisions and had no clue where she wanted to go with her life, but she took responsibility for her decisions and her mistakes. She knows when she screwed up and is not afraid to say it. She was very independent and she didn't let life get her down for long. Oh, and she adored cinnamon rolls. 

"Maybe all of this time," I say to Ethan, "I've been looking for home and not realizing that home is where the cinnamon roll is."
Yeah, that's pretty much how I feel about bacon but her descriptions of all the cinnamon rolls made me so hungry! I love books with food in them, so for that reason alone, I fell in love with this book. But there are a lot more reasons to love it than just the food porn.

Let's talk about Gabby for a minute: I LOVE HER!! More importantly, I love how much she loves Hannah and how they are there for each other, no matter what. Both of these women were so strong and so loyal and so completely protective of each other. And God, I think every woman could use a friend like Gabby. I wish I had a friend JUST LIKE HER!! Screw the romance, I thought Hannah's soulmate was Gabby. 1000% Gabby.

So now we move on to the romance. I'll be honest and say that I wasn't the biggest fan of Ethan at times. I thought he could be impulsive and a bit immature, but when he confessed to Hannah just how much he loved her, I melted a little. And let's face it, some guys make a lot of stupid decisions. I can't really blame him much for that, right? 

What I loved most about this book is that her life was DRASTICALLY different, depending on what decision she made. It really showed how EVERY single choice could impact your life, even the little ones. But at the same time, there are certain things that may happen in your life regardless of the choices that you make. There were certain things about Hannah's life that were so very different, depending on the decision, but there were also certain things that remained the same. 

"Fate or not, our lives are still the results of our choices. I'm starting to think that when we don't own them, we don't own ourselves."

“If there are an infinite number of universes, I don’t know how I got so lucky as to end up in this one. Maybe there are other lives for me out there, but I can’t imagine being as happy in any of them as I am right now, today. I have to think that while I may exist in other universes, none is as good as this.” 

I did love the topic of soul mates and how you know you have met yours and what happens if you miss your chance at meeting your soul mate. Personally, I don't even really believe in soul mates, but I loved all the issues this book brought up. 

I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK!!! Now I need to read everything this author has ever written. Oh, and eat a cinnamon roll. Must eat cinnamon roll.

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Buy this one!!!


  1. YAY!!!! So glad you loved this. Gabby is amazing. Totally agree their friendship is amazing. I liked the whole concept too - soul mates, how one decision could change everything. Great review!!

    1. Grace, I should be thanking you because I only read this book based on your review. I should never doubt you!!

  2. I really liked this one too! I thought it was so interesting to see how differently her life could turn out, yet in each case, she couldn't imagine anything as perfect as what she ended up with. (And I loved all the cinnamon rolls too!)

    Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies

    1. Lisa, I agree Lisa. It was such a great message, that things work out exactly how they are supposed to.

  3. This isn't my typical type of book, but I've seen so many raving reviews about it that I think I've been convinced. I love that you say the friendships are so strong. Adding this one to my wishlist (which is way stronger than just adding it to my TBR!)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Nicole, I think you definitely need to give this one a chance. I have a feeling that you will LOVE it!! I am glad to hear that I could convince you to add it to your wishlist. :)

  4. Oh this sounds like the perfect motivation to cure me of my reading blues! Thanks for putting it on my radar. :D

    1. No problem, Joy! If you are in any kind of reading slump, this one is PERFECT for you!!