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The Next Together Hardcover – June 13, 2017
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“A heartbreaking and unpredictable love story spanning time and space.” --Melinda Salisbury, author of The Sin Eater’s Daughter
“Such an absorbing book. Lauren James spins together multiple timelines and plot threads to create a story that’s complex and intriguing without ever being confusing. An accomplished debut.” --Kendra Leighton, author of Glimpse
“An explosion of storytelling. It’s everything that I love about books. Read it.” --Alice Oseman, author of Solitaire
“Packed with humor, adventure, conspiracy, and epic romance, The Next Together is a sensational debut that is sure to put you on the edge of your seat and keep you there.” --Catherine Doyle, author of Vendetta
“A funny, gripping, and incredibly imaginative story of true love and reincarnation.” --Louise O’Neill, author of Only Ever Yours
"An ambitious, promising premise . . . James is one to watch." --Kirkus Reviews
"Interspersed with love notes, emails, and blog posts, this work captures not only the love between the couple but the danger surrounding their circumstances. Fans of Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger and Heidi Heilig’s The Girl from Everywhere0 will enjoy this romance through time and history. . . . This science fiction take on European history will excite any historical fiction reader. Although the main characters are teens, this title also has crossover adult appeal." --School Library Journal
"The Next Together is a heartbreaking tale of love, loss, greater good, and sacrifice." --Foreword Reviews
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Katherine and Matthew meet at the University in England. When Katherine looks him up online to find out more information about him, she finds articles from 20 years earlier that name a different Matt and Katherine as terrorists.
When she confronts her gran she finds that Katherine was her Aunt and they never believed that she was a terrorist. As Katherine begins a connection with Matthew they are soon drawn into the past to uncover the truth of their relatives.
However, they soon find that they meet over and over again. In 1854, 1754 and so many other timelines. But, they always die and this time Katherine wants things to be different. Trying to stay one step ahead of the government that killed the previous versions of them is tricky! Will they be able to complete their mission? Will they find out the truth?
Whew, at first this sort of seemed like a straight out past lives book, but it was so much more than that. It alternates between 3 different timelines 1745, 1845, and 2039 with documents and journals from the 2019 timeline. In each place, they randomly meet and fall in love. Sometimes it isn't a smooth ride for them and they often end up in dangerous places. Like the English border during Bonnie Prince Charlies's uprising or the Crimean War.
I don't want to say too much because I don't want to spoil anything but this was a fantastic read and I did consider the ending a bit of a twist. I did not see that coming, and I admit I had reached a certain level of frustration like what were they supposed to do? Why did they keep coming back? I must say I was happy with the ending it wasn't anything crazy, but it was interesting and special I thought. A reminder that sometimes the right two people can create or change something in just one way that changes everything forever.
I love anything time travel/takes place over different times related. Now this one isn't time travel, but it's more of one of those 'the same two people born over and over again' type of stories and I loved seeing all the different versions of Katherine and Matthew and how they changed over time and through each time period they were in.
When I first started reading the book I thought I was only going to like the "newer" versions of Katherine and Matthew, set in 2039. I don't really do historical fiction, at all. So a book that was partially set in 1745 and 1854 had me worried a little bit. But if possible, I think I liked the "older" versions even more than the "newer versions".
1854: Kate, an orphan, has been living as 'Kit' (a boy) for two years when she gets a job as a with Matthew, a journalist reporting on the front lines of the Crimean War in an effort to portray not just the small victories but also the brutality of war. Meeting under the toughest of conditions only brings the two closer together, as well as closer to danger.
1745: Kate, a young lady in waiting born to English nobility, lives in the town of Carlisle at a time when England faced invasion and a rebellion uprising was gaining momentum. There she meets meets lowly coach driver Mathew and develops a, potentially scandalous, tentative friendship while on the brink of invasion.
2039: Kate And Matt both find themselves studying Science at the University of Nottingham. Drawn to one another, it isn't long until the two discover their namesakes; married couple Katherine and Matthew, who were tragically killed under the accusation of biological terrorism in 2019. They come together to clear Katherine and Matthew's names but end up discovering a rich history of war, lineage and a romance that will span several lifetimes, each tragically ending in much the same way.
It's a contemporary book very cleverly hiding some time travel and science fiction in there too but ultimately it is an 'across the ages' romance. I really liked the inclusion of texts, emails, post-it notes and journal entries as a way to show the relationship between the Katherine and Matthew of 2019.
Each version of Katherine and Matthew was different, as was each relationship/romance and at no point did I forget which version of the characters I was with. There was a point however when things got a little confusing due to a bit of a switch-around, and although I liked the way that the story went it did take me a little time to settle back into the story.
I loved the whirlwind and forbidden romance of 1745 and the sweet and tentative relationship of 1854. The Katherine and Matthew of 2019, who we only get to know through notes etc were fun, down to earth and most definitely in love. The only couple I struggled with slightly was the 2039 versions of Kate and Matt who didn't seem to develop their relationship enough, for me, by the end of the book. However, as a sequel is expected later this year, I am very hopeful that we will get a continuation of their story which will make this romance as epic as the previous.
"She didn't know if she was crying for Matt, this Matthew, or for every Matthew she'd known and lost. All throughout history they had been doing this, finding and loving each other and then being ripped apart before they even had a chance to live. Why did Matthew always leave her alone?
Why did it always end? Why did it always even start?"
Most recent customer reviews
The Next Together by Lauren James
Pages | 355
A wild ride through history that will make you believe in a crazy thing call...Read more
This story is sweet, heartbreak and also funny!Read more
Carlisle, England, 1745. Katherine is a rich young lady from a good family and Matthew is her family’s coachman.Read more
The Next Together is a wonderfully unique read that I just could not put down.Read more