The Next Together by Lauren James

(The lovely team at Walker Books sent me this one, at my request admittedly because LucyTheReader loved it, and so I wanted to see what she was talking about. Yes, this review’s honest, no it’s not affected my opinion. Basically, don’t be mad!)

As I said in that disclaimer bit there, I requested this one from Walker Books and it arrived on my doorstep on Monday. I started it on Wednesday and finished it the next day. I was hooked on this book, and let me explain why.

Some people believe one day they’ll be reincarnated as many different things. A bee. A lion. Well, for Matthew and Katy, every time they die, they are destined to both be born, meet, fall in love and die again. The Next Together follows Matthew and Katy in the past during the Carlisle Siege and the Crimean War, and in 2019 and in 2037. So when neither of them remember the last time they met, maybe, just maybe, the Next Together will be different?

First off, the plot is so original! I’ve never heard of, let alone read, a book on reincarnation. Ever. It was fascinating to read Lauren’s take on such a different topic. I’m also especially fond of the new tagline the book carries: “How many times can you lose the one you love?”

I find it hard to talk about Katy and Matthew as characters because in every chapter they do something different. But the way that the story tells them in their different professions is charming and heartbreaking at the same time. The four unique storylines for each moment of time travel at the same pace from each other, and all of them bring you suspense that leaves you literally not knowing what’s going to happen when you turn the page next.

One thing I didn’t get about the book, however, is the programming. Not much of a spoiler, but there were lines of code dotted throughout the book with references to what was happening with the code, it was just there. It did provide some helpful guidance to the plot, but other than that I don’t think the story would have suffered without it: it seemed a bit like a nuisance to me.

But there are so many more positives to talk about with this book!

The research and effort and thought that has gone into this book shows, and it’s tremendous. It’s incredible, and a debut novel like this should really be earning awards. Lauren James has written what I think will actually become an un-put-down-able modern classic, and The Next Together, when it gets released to the world, will be a book to be reckoned with.

It’s official: I’m now a Lauren James superfan, and when you read the book, you’ll understand why too.

“Who knows? Maybe The Next Together will be different…”
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