Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I can’t remember how I heard about this book but I’m sure glad I did. Maybe in Another Life is totally a beach read that you must have in your library if you’re getting over a bad breakup, need a reminder that love does exist out there somewhere, or if you believe in parallel universes and the butterfly effect. Or, ya know, you just need a good beach read that doesn’t take much brain cells or neurons to get thru.

I’m fairly certain I finished this book in about a day or so, give or take. Maybe thats because I needed a good mind numbing book or maybe it’s that i heavily relate to the protagonist, Hannah. The book starts off with her moving back to LA from New York City, fresh off an affair with a married man. She’s worked a few jobs since graduating college and lived in more than a few cities across the country. If you know me in real life, that’s me. I’ve moved 5 times to 4 different states in about 5 years. And let me tell you, it’s not easy. It’s confusing, weird, and I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing. But i”m starting to be a lot happier than I was a few years ago. I’ll take that as a win.

Tangent aside, I relate heavily to the protagonist. And this novel, though fiction, is set up in an interesting way. The first chapter is present day, Hannah moves back to LA. Goes out with her friend Gabby and meets an old high school boyfriend, Ethan, where there’s still some unresolved ties left to be dealt with. At the end of the night, when Gabby decides to go home, does Hannah stay out with Ethan? Or does she go home early?

Therein lies the rest of the book. Every other chapter explores what would have happened if Hannah stayed out or if she went home. There are some overlapping characters that it seems like she would have met regardless and some overlying themes, like a freaking unexpected pregnancy by said married man. Don’t worry, I’m not giving away anything too major here.

It’s a really interesting read that explores the could bes and the what ifs that we all have about ex significant others.  That if we chose differently or if our car didn’t break down or xyz event, how would our lives end up? What kind of people would we be if we made different choices or were in different circumstances? It’s fascinating to think about, as long as you don’t go down the rabbit hole for too long.

This is a really easy read, especially if you’re laying out in the sun by some open water with your drink of choice nearby. It won’t necessarily rock your world or teach you quantum mechanics anytime soon. But it will make you think about your life and your choices and that one ex we all have that got away. This book is delightful and fun and witty and I love that it’s set in one of my loves, The City of Angels.



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