Review: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Maybe in Another Life offers readers an intriguing premise. Twenty-nine year old Hannah has just returned to her hometown of Los Angeles after living in many different cities. On her first night home, she hits the bar with some friends. And at the end of the night, she finds herself having to make a choice--should she go home with her old high school boyfriend Ethan or should she go home with her best friend Gabby. From there, two different timelines play out--one in which Hannah goes home with Ethan and one in which she goes home with Gabby. Same person, two very different lives and outcomes.

I was attracted to this one for three reasons--the premise which reminded me of Sliding Doors, the fact that I read another Taylor Jenkins Reid novel recently and I loved it and the fact that the blurb hinted that Hannah was happy in both of her lives and I was looking for something intelligent yet light and cheerful to read. Turns out the blurb tricked me. The book isn't that happy--it seems that every time things are going well in one of Hannah's lives, everything is absolutely catastrophic in the other. I also found that parts of the story were melodramatic and just didn't ring true, from the fact that her supposedly loving parents dumped her in LA at age sixteen and left for the UK with her younger sister, to the whole thing with the pregnancy. I felt many of the characters were just a little too careless and it didn't make for uplifting reading, irrespective of how happy both of the endings were for Hannah.

Or maybe I was expecting too much. This one did get a starred review from Kirkus.

Ultimately, Maybe in Another Life offers an interesting insight into how there isn't just one way to live a rich and fulfilling life, though I probably would have enjoyed this one more if I had been in a better mood for it and better prepared for all of the melodrama.


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