We adore Taylor Jenkins Reid and her novels. And her latest, Maybe in Another Life (out today, July 7th) is definitely her best yet. It was the obvious choice for our book club pick this month! (Can you imagine being able to live out two versions of your life? Such a great concept!) And because we love you guys, we have a copy of her book up for grabs! Just leave a comment here or on our Facebook page to be entered to #win. Contest closes Thursday, July 9th at 8pm PST.
The scoop: From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.
At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.
Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?
In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?
Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.
Our thoughts: The movie, Sliding Doors, is such a great concept. Taylor translates this idea into book form in such a unique way. All we can say is we loved, loved, loved this book! And you need to read it ASAP if not sooner! :)
Liz & Lisa's Book Club: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
We love the movie Sliding Doors and your book hits on that idea of what could happen if you'd made one single different choice in your day. Without giving anything away, we really appreciate how you handled it in your book. How did you come up with the idea?
I have been preoccupied with the debate of fate vs. chance my entire life. I remember back in the 90s watching a trailer for Sliding Doors and deciding right then and there that it was my favorite movie even though I hadn't even seen it. I just loved the very concept. Personally, I wonder, "How different would my life be if..." on a regular basis. So, going into this book, I already knew exactly how I wanted everything to end.
We're curious about your writing process, especially with this novel and the dual storylines. Do you write your chapters in succession? Do you outline? Do you know the end before you begin?
I write everything in succession with no real outline. I start with where the character is at the beginning and I write toward how I want the book to end. Anything in the middle is up for grabs. It means that my first draft is excruciating. I wake up every day knowing I have to write a certain amount of pages and having no idea what they will be. But it also means I'm surprising myself sometimes with what the characters do and say -- which is the most fun part.
Congrats on FOREVER, INTERRUPTED being optioned for film. When you write your novels, do you picture the book as a movie?
Thank you! Yeah, I think every book I write feels cinematic to me. I just see it all so clearly and because my first job out of college was in feature film casting, I often see characters as actors.
You also developed a show for HULU. Do you ever sleep? Ha. Tell us about how you juggle your day jobs!
Oh, my God. Sometimes I'm positively exhausted. It's not the 'hours in the day' problem so much as the creative energy. It can be hard to replenish once you feel like you've spent it all. I'm just now starting to really tap into what inspires me and learning how to harness that inspiration to fuel my work.
What's up next after MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE publishes?
Another book out next year and hopefully a few more project announcements! Every day I'm hustlin'.