Title: The Next Together
Author: Lauren James
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Publication date: 3rd September 2015
Publisher: Walker Books
Summary: Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. How many times can you lose the person you love? For Matthew and Katherine it is again and again, over and over, century after century. But why do they keep coming back? How many times must they die to save the world? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different.
I was so excited to pick up The Next Together, it has been sitting on my shelf for almost a year now and sitting in my Amazon wish list much longer than that! After being in a reading slump and not sure what to read next, i picked it up.
Katy and Matthew and have lived before, as the same people, and together. They end up in they year 2039, fighting to save the name of their past selves and the rest of the world from a Weapon of Mass Destruction. We follow their lives as they learn about each other all over again, and the past versions of themselves.
I had such high hopes for this novel, and admittedly, i was really disappointed. Nothing was extremely stand out about it. The storyline itself was interesting. We follow four different versions of Matt and Katy through numerous time periods. This did offer an interesting take on the ‘classic’ YA romance story and i did enjoy the difference it made. It was interesting to see a YA author write within a 1700’s time period. However this was overshadowed a little by the confusing storyline intertwined with the timeline.
The storyline was relatively easy to figure out and you can pick it up quickly, however towards the end of the novel when the different versions of Matt and Katy are intertwining, it’s difficult to follow and often leaves you a little confused.
I have to somewhat leave that confusion down to the writing. It wasn’t the best i’ve ever encountered, and a lot of it is very cringey and i found it difficult to read at times. The feel of Matt and Katy’s relationship doesn’t suit to the book at all. There are a lot of YA tropes that so many people hate hammered in to this novel that it disappointed me quite a bit. I hit rock bottom when Katy ‘giggled and felt butterflies’ because he half heartedly asked her on a date.
More so than anything, i found the ending to be the most disappointing thing. The Next Together is a part of a duology (the second is due to be released in October), and i’m glad it is because so many things were rushed through and brushed over at the end. The whole story is left open and couldn’t have ended there. The most frustrating thing is the rushed final pages. So much was opened up that it left me feeling frustrated and quite frankly like i’ve read a bad FanFiction.
The saving grace of this novel was the experimental writing. It has snippets of script, texts, notes, webpages and coding within it that breaks up the writing a lot, and gives it the feel of a fast read.
I probably won’t be wasting my time with the second novel, it took me almost two weeks to get through The Next Together and i was completely disappointed with the writing. The story has so much potential to be amazing, and some of the characters you do fall in love with, the execution was not what i wanted at all.