Title: The Next Together
Author(s): Lauren E. James
Publisher: Walker Books
Rating: 5 stars
Put on your running shoes, get your damn wallet out and get ready to sprint to your closest bookstore! The Next Together is in my Top 3 Favorite Books of the Year for SO many reasons. Hilarious, complex, and eloquently written The Next Together is a gem you don’t want to miss out on. Lauren James has made me rediscover my love for historical fiction and made me fall in love with a book all over again. Honestly, it is one of me most powerful love stories I’ve ever read; you not only get to read one side of the story but it gives you a thousand perspectives that make you get to know the characters in such a deep way.
Katherine and Matthew’s story happens in four different time landscapes, not necessarily in order. In 1745 the story revolves around the Siege of Carlisle during the revolution of the Jacobite against England; Katherine is part of a rich family living in Carlisle while Matthew is one of her servants. During the Crimea war in 1854 Matthew is the first ever journalist who goes to war to report and write articles about the condition of the settlements while Katherine is living her life as a boy spying on what Matthew filters to the media. Both Katherine and Matthew are university students in 2039 and the plot follows them uncovering secrets form their past reincarnation; 2019 which becomes the main and most hilarious time periods of the book.
My favorite reincarnation would be the Siege of Carlisle during 1745 just because the atmosphere of the scenes is wonderful. They pull you in and you won’t even notice you finished the whole damn chapter! While my favorite Katherine would be 2019’s Kate. She is THE MOST hilarious person to ever exist on the earth. I need more of her or else I won’t be able to deal with life for much longer. The only downside I would bring up is that Matthew sometimes felt like a sidekick next to Katherine instead of being the main character he actually is. His personality wasn’t as strong so a lot of the time he felt a little alienated in the whole story.
Their relationship goes through a lot of hardship and misfortunes but they persevere no matter how little opportunity of success there is; and that’s inspiring to read about! Let me just say that Matthew is definitely hubby material; especially 1975 Matthew (Yes. I’m a little obsessed with the 1975 story line).
Lauren’s writing. Oh boy. Her writing is just flawless. She is able to captures what her characters are feeling and make you feel it as well; her atmosphere-setting is beyond words as well! One of the things I enjoyed the most about it is how easy the plotlines are to follow; but at the same time the story line is SO complex and rich in detail. The historical research and all the scientific facts she throws at you can get very accurate and I think that just adds a lot of value to a book because you’re not only reading a story you thoroughly enjoy but you’re also learning history and cool facts.
I just need the next book because the book hangover for this is REAL.
When I finished the book I was left craving answers so I contacted Lauren on Twitter and asked to do an interview. Guess what? SHE SAID YES. Her interview will be up on Friday December 18th for y’all to gag on.
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