Posted in book reviews

The Next Together (The Next Together, #1) – Lauren James (A Review)

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 The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports and internet articles.

Oh wow, I loved this book. It was great.

In particular I loved the way the story was told. Through newspaper articles, e-mails, notes, blog entries or just normal prose, it was great. I thought at first the constant change between formatting would get annoying, but it didn’t. It kept me on my toes & searching for clues. The timeline at the top of the page also changed to the date in coordination to which story was being told/when it was being told. Details like that made me happy – and the fact that every time it changed between time periods, so did the font (I looked waaay to much into this, I think).

In several reviews I’ve seen people pick their favourite Katherine/Matthew and the favourite time period. But I just can’t. I love them all. What I love is that even though they are essentially the same people reincarnated over and over again, they still seem like separate characters. They have some of the same quirks (I personally love those old-timely ‘that’s what she said jokes’ that Matthew made, which Katherine soon picked up) but still each character has their own story, so it doesn’t really seem like you’re reading the same thing over and over again just in a different setting.

This book really does have everything: romance, history, time travel, reincarnation, war, dystopian-esque features, humour, and two really strong protagonists. So whatever your a fan of, you’ll more tan likely find something to your tastes in this book.

The ending was slightly anti-climatic. Throughout the whole book it seemed like we were building up towards something so dramatic, so life-changing, a really great reason as to why they kept living over, and over, and over again…and then it was revealed and it just fell flat. There was too loose strings, and the last page certain didn’t help  (like helloooo? the little kid typing that code like THE CODE THAT WAS USED THROUGHOUT THE BOOK, BY THE PEOPLE SEEMINGLY WATCHING AND CONTROLLING THE FATE OF MATTHEW AND KATHERINE???) and I’m hoping the next book will address this (Although to the most of my knowledge, the next one is completely new characters).

So it wasn’t a bad ending but it wasn’t great either. The whole book was enjoyable & great, and the finale didn’t live up to it. Still looking forward to the next book & I highly recommend that if you haven’t already read this, then you do!

 

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