Blog Tour: The Next Together (The Next Together #1) by Lauren James
The Next Together By: Lauren James Published: Sept. 3, 2015 Publisher: Walker Add toGoodreads Source: ARC from the publisher for a honest review Purchase At: Amazon Book Summary: 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 The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, "original" historical documents, news reports and internet articles.
The Next Together was an excellent debut by author Lauren James. This story flew by, and I didn't want to put it down for even a few minutes. The author used a variety of written media to give the story an authentic feel to it. We get everything from diary entries, maps, and notes, to emails, blog posts, and descriptions of audio and video. The way that Ms. James broke up the story was brilliant! She alternates with short passages the stories of four different lifetimes where Katherine and Matthew co-existed, fell in love, and strived to make the world they lived in a better place.
The four time periods that we read about are Carlisle England in 1745 where the "Jacobites" are trying to overthrow England, The 1854 Crimean War, 2019 where Matthew and Katherine are trying to destroy biological weapons, and 2039 where that are both University students. In each of these time periods, initially Matthew and Katherine aren't aware that they lived before. However, they experience deju-vu, dreams that feel like memories, and feel like they've known and loved each other forever. While each of these stories alternates, they are all told chronologically from beginning to end.
Regardless of what time period Matthew and Katherine were in, their personalities shined, and as the reader I got to know the essence of what made them who they were. I loved both of these characters. Matthew was conservative, serious, sweet, dependable, big-hearted, and not much of a risk-taker. Katherine was outgoing, cheeky, fun, liked taking risks, and was really good at getting Matthew to loosen up, joke around, and do things that he wouldn't normally do.
The Next Together brought parts of history to life, and made me contemplate the future and the mysteries of the universe. It is a story that will make you think about the possibility of soul mates, as well as if there is a larger reason for why we were put on this earth. This story was vastly entertaining with its many plot-twists, conspiracies, high octane suspense, and sweet and tender romance.
My one critique of the story was that I had questions at the end that were not answered. However, since this is a series, I am hoping they will be addressed in the next installment. I can't wait for book #2!!!
I give, The Next Together, by Lauren James, 4.5 Endless Love, Tender Moments, Destiny, Exciting, Pulse-Pounding, Suspense-Filled Stars!
About Lauren James:
Lauren James is a scientist by day, writer by early hours of the morning. She graduated in 2014 with a first class Masters degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics.
She now lives in the village of Berkswell in the UK.
You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James, which she mainly uses to fancast actors as her characters and panic about all of the overly ambitious plans she has for her PhD, or her website at http://lauren-e-james.tumblr.com.
She likes strong, intelligent women, Dylan O’Brien, and things with plants on them.