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…”
I can tell you one thing, I struggled with The Next Together by Lauren James. I wanted to love this so bad, because I liked the concept, but somehow it didn’t click for me. Maybe my expectations were too high? I am going to try to keep this as Spoiler-free as possible to make you understand why I had a difficult time with this.
So, Katherine Finchley and Matthew Galloway get reborn again and again to influence history. They always look fairly the same and they even have the exact same names. I guess I expected this to be more linear, that one timeline would be told after another, but in truth they are told all at the same time.
What I liked:
- The designers of the book really cared about their product and it showed! Every timeline (1745, 1854, 2019, 2039) has a different font to clearly distinguish where in time you are at the moment. There are “original” historical documents, letters, notes and internet articles that make it a lot more realistic and fun to read.
- It has a bit of everything! You like science? Check. You like history? Check. You like romance? Check. You like mystery? Check. (I think you get the point by now …)
- I think everyone will have their own favourite timeline and mine was the one in 2019. It was the only one that wasn’t told in continuous text, but rather in mails, text messages and refrigerator notes.
- Right up until the ending, I sort of resigned myself to not continue this series, but now I feel like I have to. The ending was the real mystery and even though I struggled so much with the story, I now want to know how it continues.
What I didn’t like:
- I didn’t really connect with the couple because it felt like they just already knew each other every single time. The actual falling in love part therefore fell short and their connection (other than obvious physical attraction) was a little beyond me. It must have started at some point and 1745 didn’t feel like their first rodeo.
- The story in general lacked depth (not just in terms of feelings but also background) and while I do enjoy fast-paced writing, The Next Together was just majorly rushed sometimes (especially towards the end).
- The whole programming and incarnation thing is still a mystery to me. I get that that was supposed to make me want to continue the series, but I would have liked to at least get a glimpse of why and how this is happening. Although I have a guess at who is responsible/involved.
Fazit: 3/5 stars. While it was enjoyable, I just wish it was … more.
I hope this review wasn’t as much of a mess as I perceived the book to be sometimes. I’m almost done with my September TBR! Have you read it? Did you feel the same or the total opposite?
P.S. Even though this Katherine looks nothing like the Katherine from The Vampire Diaries, I couldn’t help but picture her like that the entire time. They are somewhat similar in character in my opinion (at least in terms of being snarky).