Sunday, 2 August 2015

Review: The Next Together by Lauren James

Title: The Next Together (The Next Together #1)
Author: Lauren James

Release date: September 3rd 2015
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Format: ARC
Pages: 356

Source: Pansing

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 The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, "original" historical documents, news reports and internet articles.
"Matthew, I'll let you in on a secret. I don't think there are any true heroes. Just people who ignore their survival instincts long enough to do something incredibly foolhardy."
The Next Together is definitely one of my top books of the year so far! And I have a good feeling it's going to stay up there. This book is magical, guys. It's sweet and funny and sad and exciting all mashed together. It's nothing like anything I've read before, and I'm so stoked about that. I loved every second of this!

This book is split into several different 'time landscapes', all of which feature Katherine and Matthew. The two of them are brought together and then torn apart over and over again, only to be reborn in another time to do the same thing all over again. But why does this keep happening? They need to figure it out so they can stop the cycle once and for all.

I've got to admit, this novel is nothing like what I expected. The synopsis is kept vague on purpose, I've realized, so that we can go into this with a fully open mind. And you're going to need that open mind while reading this, because man is it complex! Super confusing at times, and we still don't even get all the answers in the end. But it's oh so amazing to go on this journey with Katherine and Matthew. The time landscapes are spread out pretty well, with two being very historical and two in modern times. My favourite, I think, is the one in 1854. I just liked those versions of Kate and Matthew the best.

Speaking of our protagonists, these two are the star-crossed lovers everyone roots for. We see them in so many different stories, and in each of them they're drawn to one another like magnets. And in the modern timelines, these two just felt so real to me. The way they act with one another is hilarious, and their constant good-natured banter made me laugh out loud at times. I love how courageous and spunky Kate is, and how sweet and goofy Matt is. They complement each other perfectly.

I really don't want to say too much about what happens in the book, because I want everyone to go in with the same anticipation I did. Because of course there is something that ties all the timelines together, and the ending will just about blow your mind. I was left reeling by the end, and I just want to sit down with Lauren James for about an hour and ask her everything I possibly can about this book. She's created a truly incredible story, and I just can't emphasize enough how much I loved it.

So bottom line - read this as soon as you get your hands on it. You will not regret it. The Next Together gave me chills every time something big happened, and got my heart racing at each action scene. I cannot wait to see what we're going to get in the sequel, but I sure hope it'll be just as fantastic as this one.

*Thank you to Sasha at Pansing for sending me an ARC for review*

Rating: 5/5

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