Beach Reads: Maybe In Another Life

Maybe In Another Life Book Cover

What’s The Buzz?: Author Taylor Jenkins Reid is quietly building up a reputation for creating thought-provoking, intelligent women’s lit, after her first two novels After I Do and Forever, Interrupted both earned solid reviews from fans and critics alike. With stories typically focused on women in their 20s – with major twists – anticipation was high for her third novel,Maybe In Another Lifewhich features perhaps the most unique concept yet, earning ‘must read’ status with the likes of People magazine and US Weekly.

What’s The Plot?: Hannah Martin is approaching 30 and to be blunt – is kind of a mess. Having skipped around the U.S. for the past decade of her life, Hannah returns to Los Angeles, where she grew up, with a broken heart, no career prospects, and her family living in England and very much absent from her life. There is one bright spot in her life though – Hannah moves in with her best friend Gabby and her husband Mark, who welcome her to town with a party. That night, Hannah bumps into an old flame, Ethan, and toys with the idea of going home with him. This is where the book gets really interesting, with one of Jenkins Reid’s signature twists. The story splits into two alternate realities (based on a real theory about parallel universe) that follow Hannah’s path if she does and doesn’t go home with Ethan. I won’t spoil what they are, but each one has its very high highs and very heartbreaking lows – including a trip to the hospital and Hannah’s past catching up with her.

Parallel Universes? Is This A Sci-Fi Book?: Not at all! Toward the end of Maybe In Another Life, a character explains this multi-verse theory, that everything that *could* happen *does* happen. Some scientists believe that when you flip a coin, for instance, even if it turns up heads, an alternate universe is simultaneously created where that coin comes up tails. Trippy hey? Jenkins Reid just uses that theory to explore everything that could happen to Hannah, based on this one particular choice. She doesn’t attempt to explain the how’s or the why’s, but she does quietly link the two worlds together as Hannah grapples with some of the same subjects – her relationship with her family, her future career, taking responsibility for some of her past actions, and so on. Surprisingly, the book never becomes boring despite the quiet overlaps in it, although the final epilogue-type scenes are almost *too* similar in their details. I will say that the ending will definitely give you something to chew on. Some people, myself included, expected the story to end *quite* differently, but truth be told? I liked it, even if it gave my heart some little pangs.

How Beachy Is It?: Don’t get me wrong – Maybe In Another Life deals with some pretty heavy life and death stuff. But the short snippets of Hannah’s alternate lives make it easy to digest, and taking some of the insights you gather from one world and applying it to the other is pretty interesting. At the end of the day, ‘chick lit’ like this is always a safe choice for a summer read because it doesn’t ask too much of you as a reader emotionally or mentally – even in a mind-bending book like this one.

Who Should Read This Book?: A small part of me thinks that Jenkins Reid is similar in nature to the likes of Emily Giffin. The story doesn’t spend quite as much time in Hannah’s head as a typical Emily Giffin novel, but like those books, Maybe In Another Life follows the story of a woman going through a complex time in her life, offering up a bit of humour and a lot of reality on every page. I really liked Jenkins Reid’s ability to create a real, sometimes complicated but ultimately loving female friendship between Gabby and Hannah, and Hannah’s little quirks made her feel like a gal you know (or maybe even yourself).

I’ve once again got a copy of this fun, engaging book to giveaway! If you’re interested in winning a copy of Maybe In Another Lifehere’s how to enter:

1) First & foremost: you must be a subscriber to the Canadian Gift Guide to enter this giveaway. It’s as simple as finding ‘The Gift of Gab’ box in the righthand column and dropping in your email or clicking follow. Then, tell me in the comments below by September 4, 2015 – why are you interested in reading Maybe In Another Life?

2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around August 18, 2015 to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.

3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.

4) Bonus Entry: Follow Simon & Schuster Canada on Twitter, tag them and me (@cdngiftguide) in a Tweet about why you want to read this intriguing book! Post a link to your Tweet below in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.

5) Bonus Entry #2: Add this book to your to-read list on GoodReads, and leave a link back to the page it’s on below in a separate comment to earn yourself another bonus entry.

37 Responses to “Beach Reads: Maybe In Another Life”
  1. Heather Swanson says:

    to relax & get away from it all

  2. Karen says:

    Sounds interesting, love to try a new author.

  3. Joan G. says:

    I enjoyed After I do and would like to read another of her books.

  4. Lindsey says:

    I’m always looking for something new to read even if it is a bit crazy!

  5. CLC says:

    This book reminds me of the movie Sliding Doors and I loved it so I’d love to read this too.

  6. intensev5 says:

    Looking for a book to read- looks interesting to me. Thanks for the chance to win it.

  7. Anne Derkat says:

    Sounds like an interesting read. I’m game to try it.

  8. kiraali says:

    Fascinating concept for a story! I’d love to read that.

  9. Harmony A. says:

    You had me at quirky & Parallel Universe! This sounds like my kind of book 😉

  10. Harmony A. says:

  11. cookie3 says:

    I’m interested in reading this book. It looks like an interesting concept. Haven’t we all wondered at one point in our lives what would’ve happened had we taken the road not taken. This takes ‘what if’ to another level.

  12. Lynn Andersen says:

    The concept intrigues me, as I have never read anything like this

  13. Mary warner says:

    I like Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

  14. Kelly E says:

    I just love to read sci-fi

  15. Susan says:

    I’m a passionate reader and could use a chick-lit book about now!

  16. Cara says:

    Looks like a good & interesting read…and I’ve read the books you thought had a similar style.

  17. Holly says:

    I need one more good summer read!

  18. S. Hirano says:

    Physics and romance together? That is right up my alley! I am very interested in reading this book.

  19. jasmyth says:

    I would love to read this book! I like the idea of two different paths and how things might have happened on each of them. An interesting concept!

  20. Susan T. says:

    I love the “Sliding Doors” type concept with different timelines taking totally different paths. Each decision completely changes the outcome.I often wonder about the decisions I have made and how things could have been different.

  21. mousecat says:

    I’d love to read this book because it sounds different and very intriguing with the two alternative possibilities!

  22. Victoria Ess says:

    I’d actually like to give this to my mother who would enjoy it.

  23. Jessica Lord says:

    i would share with a friend

  24. janicour says:

    Love Sci-Fi. Parallel Universe sounds intriguing!!!

  25. janicour says:

  26. macfsh says:

    I subscribe to the gift of gab and I want to read this Maybe in Another Life because it sounds just like the type of book I love to read. Also, I’ve never read anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I love exploring new authors.

  27. macfsh says:

    Here’s a link to my To-Be-Read shelf on GoodReads. Hope I did this right!

  28. Gracie Mc says:

    I love the idea of parallel universes, so that is why I am intrigued. Also, it sounds like a similar concept to the movie Sliding Doors from the late 90s. That movie has stuck with me over the years, and I would be interested to read Maybe in a Different Life for the chance of another though-provoking story entering my life.

  29. Lisa says:

    This sounds like my life..

  30. photomum says:

    I subscribe and also have a love of reading!

  31. Kelly H says:

    I love to read, and this book sounds interesting and like something i could relate too.

  32. veRONIca says:

    I would love to read this because I have never read a story that is split up into both options. That sounds incredibly intriguing!

  33. Wanda Bergman says:

    I am a subscriber and would love to win because this is an author I’ve never read before.

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