Saturday, June 18, 2016

Maybe, Just Maybe in Another Life? by Taylor Jenkins Reid | A Book Review

This reminds me of my favorite song from Boyz 2 Men, Oh, Well
Maybe, just maybe...hmmmmmm... 

The title also rings a bell. It is so frequently used, especially in times when we wish that maybe in another life our circumstances were better than what they are now. That  maybe things were not as glum as they are right at the moment.

Maybe, Just Maybe in Another Life? by Taylor Jenkins Reid | A Book Review

Hannah, twenty-nine, moves from one state to another and from one job to the next. She seems to be looking for something but she hasn't figured what it is. After an affair with a married man ended, she decided she needs to leave New York and go somewhere else. She set to go back to Los Angeles, the city where she grew up, to pick up the pieces of her life and figure out her next steps.

In Los Angeles, her best friend Gabby, decided to throw her a homecoming party inviting their close friends from high school, including Hannah's ex-boyfriend Ethan. After the party, Hannah is faced with two options: 

1) To go home with Gabby and her husband or   
2) Stay at the bar and go home with Ethan.

From here is where the story starts to get so interesting and thought-provoking. Hannah's decision from the two choices will determine what happens to the rest of her life and what the future holds for her.

It talks of the multiverse theory - in a parallel universe, our other selves are living the alternate choices and consequences of our decisions.


At first, I thought that I would need to figure out which version of the story is really happening, the effects of Hannah's choice. I tried to put myself in Hannah's shoes and if I were her, what would have I done? Would I just go home with Gabby and call it a night or stay and spend the rest of the night with Ethan? Let go and move on, or hope for love and see if it could be sweeter the second time around? To be rational, or be heedless and carefree one last time? While still pondering over this, I proceeded to the next chapters. Maybe I will be able to find more hints on what Hannah really did. But I was disappointed to assume that, it was not what happened. Yes, I was getting ahead of myself. As I said, the book explores the multiverse theory, it shows what could have happened in both options. And in both alternate universes, Hannah found a happy ending. In both choices, Hannah gets to turn her life around, resolve her issues and be with the man she loves. It was a win-win. Two very appropriate endings. The reader gets to choose what version s/he prefers. I was consoled to understand this. I can't decide which version I liked best. I think both versions had Hannah move out of her comfort zone and become a more decisive woman. I think her character turned out to be what I hoped for.

The story may seem a little too scholarly, talking about multi-universes and theories but it was not the case. I did not actually realize it until it was explained in a later chapter. I just thought that one version of the story may just be an imagination of Hannah--wishing she had made more responsible decisions. I regarded that was what the author intended for the readers to figure out--which version is real in the story and which one is imagined.

The book was very easy to read. It was not confusing or complicated. It was very thought-provoking that it made me examine my life. How am I living it and what is waiting for me at the end of the rainbow or at the end of the dark tunnel, so to speak. It was very introspective, I too, thought that in an alternate universe, I might be living the life I want and doing the job I really love. This is what I like most about reading. It demands you to find a semblance of the story in your own life. To discover an affinity with the protagonist and share praise for the cunning or dislike for the evils of the antagonist. It makes me interpolate the messages and the stories into my life. I love books that affect me, rattle my core and shake my views. I have often find solace, strength and inspiration in the books that I read. In most cases, the characters and the stories gave me courage to continue facing the hurdles and the changes of adult life. They may just be fictional stories but then, there is always truth and experience in them too.

I give the book five stars and a year's supply of cinnamon rolls. I loooove cinnamon rolls. One time, I had it for breakfast every day for more than a week that I thought I had way too much cinnamon. I thought I had eaten my fill that would last me for the rest of the year. I resolved to not eat them until the next year. Anyway, back to the story, it has affected me more than I wanted it to. Aside from the fact that it made me crave for cinnamon rolls, I love that it was not what I thought it was. I was wrong and I am not ashamed to admit it because it was way, way better than I wanted it to be. It made me hope that maybe in another plane, I am a better version of what I am now or that I am the best version there is of me. That what I imagined might actually exist in a not-so-remote possibility. I really loved reading it and I am thankful that my friend nerdy talks suggested this book. It was a very stimulating read and would love to read more of Taylor Jenkins Reid.