by Lauren James
Title: The Next Together
Author: Lauren James
Publisher: Walker Books
Book: #1 of The Next Together
Genre: YA, Time-Travel, Romance
Found: The Library
Rating: 3.5 Voodoos
Popsugar Challenge #7. A romance set in the future
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…
Such a cute romance!! It gave me warm fuzzy feelings throughout!
This is my second re-incarnation book of 2016. The first was The Incarnations by Susan Barker. In comparison this was a much easier, much friendlier story of love following two souls through time. Where The Incarnations’ was full of raunchy violence, The Next Together was full of hope and sweet teenage romance. I know it was aimed at Young Adults so there wasn’t any detailed ‘romantic connections’ but there were implied relations which I think helped keep the reader engaged. The Next Together tells how two souls, Matthew and Katherine, meet in four different time frames. Each time period is of significance but you are unsure as to why till later on. In each time frame I got a feeling of foreboding, like something bad was always just around the corner waiting to pull them apart. In a way it felt a bit like Romeo and Juliet.
Matthew and Katherine are really likeable characters. Katherine is clearly the dominant one and it was lovely to see that in every reincarnation they were very similar. Matthew was always shy, even when he was the one in authority. It was very easy for Katherine to take control and she did so in such a fun and humorous way. She seemed to always mock Matthew and cause him to laugh.
We aren’t the only ones to be watching Matthew and Katherine. Throughout the book we have indications that someone else is also watching them. We see this through notes in the form of computer coding. Its as though someone has placed these souls into the time-frames with a unknown but very specific objective in mind. I was unsure as to whether this other entity was good or bad because it was so unclear what they wanted from Matthew and Katherine.
I was really impressed with the development in this story. At the beginning there were clear cut time-frames with the different Katherines and Matthews appearing significantly different. Their actions and language were fitting for their time-frame but as they start to remember their previous lives together they started to meld into one, using pet names etc from before. While I found it really interesting I must admit I did get a little confused in the last quarter and I’m not 100% happy with the explanation as to why they were there or how they were remembering. I feel I have so many unanswered questions!
I was a little surprised to find that this was no longer a standalone novel but part of a series. I wasn’t sure at first but once I’d got my head around the idea of a sequel, I was actually quite pleased. I hope that The Last Beginning will hold some of the answers I need to find closure for Katherine and Matthew.