Review: “The Next Together” – Lauren James

June 2, 2016 Book Review 4

 Review: “The Next Together” – Lauren JamesThe Next Together by Lauren James
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Published on: September 3rd 2015
Published by: Walker Books
Pages: 356
Series: The Next Together #1
Genre: YA Romance, YA SciFi
Format: Paperback

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This book is part of The Next Together series. You can find more of my reviews via the links below:
The Next Together (The Next Together #1)
Another Together (The Next Together #2)
The Last Together (The Next Together #3)

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(summary from Goodreads)

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 The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports and internet articles.

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My Thoughts

Oh wow, why have I not read this book sooner?! It’s been sat on my bookshelf for 9 whole months and yet I have only just read it! But I am so so glad that I finally did.

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?”

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Final Thoughts

This book was exactly what I had wanted it to be, my only problem was that I needed so much more! I will definitely be checking out the sequel to this book when it is released in October, and more books by Lauren James in the future.

Re-Readability: Definitely

I would recommend this book to fans of: historical fiction, romances set over time, time-travel, forbidden romances

Rating Loved it

Are you a fan of romances based over multiple time periods? Have you read any books like this before?

Have you read The Next Together? Are you a fan?

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4 Responses to “Review: “The Next Together” – Lauren James”

  1. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I’m happy to see a review of this. I bought it a few weeks ago because I loved the premise and then preceded to not read it. Your review makes it sound interesting, though. I hadn’t thought about the fact the different versions of the characters would be different and their relationship together would be different as well. I mean, obviously it would, different societal rules and upbringings would have moulded them into different people. I’m adding this back to the top of the TBR pile because I cannot wait to get reading.

    • Brocs Bookcase

      Well at least yours has only been sat waiting for a few weeks, I’ve had mine for nearly a year! It is definitely worth the read, I loved it and loved seeing the differences but also the little similarities between all the couples. I hope you like it as much as I did!

    • Brocs Bookcase

      You really really do! It is so good! I can’t wait for the sequel!