by Lauren James
Release Date: September 3rd 2015
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 The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, "original" historical documents, news reports and internet articles.
So the story has four main timelines that we follow 1745, 1854, 2019 and 2039. Now that sound like it would be confusing but it isn’t. I was impressed at how well written The Next Together is in the fact that I never once felt confused with the timelines. Everything flowed flawlessly together and when things start to speed up and merge as we reach the finale the pieces fit together easily. It has great pacing throughout and I never felt disengaged. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next, who are these people/person that could intervene.
We are following the ultimate love story of Katherine and Mathew. No matter how many times they are reborn they manage to find the other and fall in love all over again. They take fated love to the next level. It’s very sweet.
Matthew is the level headed of the two. Intelligent and quiet, he’s the guy that everyone wants to be friends with. Which feels like the best way to describe him. If you went out with a group of friends, he would be the DD. Always reliable.
Katherine, Katy, Kit...she is the snarky sarcastic counterpart of Matthew. She brings out his lighter side and is constantly making some kind of joke. She thinks she is hilarious. She’s the girl where you would be like how on Earth did those two end of together.
Each timeline has it’s own side characters but the focus always revolves around Katy and Matthew. I thought it was interesting how they were never raised the same, especially Katy. There was no perfect formula. Sometimes she had parents, sometimes she didn’t. She always comes out to be pretty close the same person and same personality. Her actions often seemed to be the biggest factor influencing how the timelines were going to turn out. The 2019 timeline is probably one of the more serious ones but the story is told through notes, letters, emails and messages. Which are hysterical bits of them being sarcastic to one another. I think it’s the timeline that made the couple feel real.
I’ve reread the ending a few times and I keep changing how I understand it. I liked it because it lets your brain put it together.
This book is so unique that it just amazed me. I want it to be a movie or a tv show or something. It feels like it needs to be. I really loved it, I think it’s a book I will continue to ponder.
She now lives in the village of Berkswell in the UK.
You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James, which she mainly uses to fancast actors as her characters and panic about all of the overly ambitious plans she has for her PhD, or her website at http://lauren-e-james.tumblr.com.
She likes strong, intelligent women, Dylan O’Brien, and things with plants on them. These are her favourite books: http://www.myindependentbookshop.co.uk/Laurenelizjames