Novel of the Week: The Next Together – Lauren James (No Spoilers)

Hi everyone!

If you’re ready for your next genre-bending novel that will have your mind firstly guessing, then blown. Then you will immediately go into your nearest Waterstones to purchase the sequel, because you need answers. And NOW. Sound like your kind of book?

Then, read on…

The Next Together by Lauren James

Genre

Young adult/Romance/Sci Fi

Publisher

Walker Books

First Published

3 September 2015

Author

Twenty four year old Lauren James, a recent Chemistry graduate from the University of Nottingham.

Synopsis

Matthew and Katherine mysteriously fall in love, over and over, magnetically brought together throughout the past – and the future. In one time period, they are at the cusp of the Seige of Carlisle in 1745, in another 1854’s Battle of Alma, with the soulmates also together when we catch glimpses of 2019, and its all interwoven by “our” Matt and Kate in 2039. Intrigue, mystery and four versions of two highly likable people makes for a real page turner.

Best Features

This novel has it all. Romance, mystery, sci fi, time travel, war, drama, the possible end of humanity, the past and the future are all blended and it would be easy with a story like this to confuse the reader, or to have one strand of plot more interesting than the others. As it happens, that’s not the case. James expertly weaves the story lines so they pace evenly and each are as strong as the other.

Worst Features

The focus of the book is not really on the sci fi. I know that. The “why” is not as important as the “what” or the “who” or even “where”, but I don’t like that to be able to understand the ending, the concept, the very basis of why any of it happens, you have to read its sequel, The Last Beginning. Fine, leave some mystery, because I don’t mind a good cliffhanger, but to leave every question unanswered felt unfair.

Conclusion

Despite its sequel prerequisite, James has masterfully written this novel, especially considering it is a debut, and especially for such a young author. This is hands down my favourite ook so far this year. The romance and sci fi aspects of it work together like cheese and wine.

If you’re a fan of YA, make sure you read this book.

Rating of 5

5/5 – Excellent!

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