The Last Beginning (The Next Together #2)

The Last Beginning (The Next Together, #2)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously read by the same author:
The Next Together

Synopsis:

The epic conclusion to Lauren James’ debut The Next Together about love, destiny and time travel.

Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives. But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history? Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove’s investigation?

For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future.

Thoughts:

Oh my goodness, Lauren James’ debut The Next Together blew me away when I read it. I really didn’t expect to like it as it isn’t my usual thing. However, I gave it a go and ended up loving it. I wasn’t sure whether The Last Beginning would live up to my expectations, but it really did!

In The Last Beginning, we follow Clove Sutcliffe who is determined to find her long lost relatives. Katherine and Matthew seemed to have disappeared from the world, with no-one able to find them. Clove doesn’t know where to start looking for them, because they appear to have been reincarnated at several key points in history. Clove wants to find out the connection between them all and discover who Ella is…

I really liked Clove as a character, although I can imagine that she might get on some reader’s nerves. She does make some pretty stupid decisions- one particularly big one which I won’t spoil. However, I think she had likeable qualities and I enjoyed reading about her adventures.

This book is so well written. As I mentioned, I really liked the author’s debut, so I was cautious about approaching this one. I need not have been. It was an incredibly unique story, just like its predecessor. I loved how the story was told through articles, emails etc. It wasn’t just about the prose. It’s little things like that, that make a book stand out compared to others in its genre.

The story is so carefully considered. There are bits in The Last Beginning that makes sense of what happened in The Next Together. It’s just so clever! I love it when a duology is so thoughtfully planned like this must have been. Really, I bow down to Lauren James.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A fantastic solid end to a wonderful duology that I absolutely adored!

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The Next Together

The Next Together

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

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…

Thoughts:

I initially saw this book doing the rounds on the Top Ten Tuesday meme. I’m not a massive fan of books that jump around in time a lot, but I was assured that this book was worth it. I have to say, I went into reading this book not expecting to like it. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it can be confusing at times but on the whole I thought it was a fantastic read that I’m thrilled I read.

This book centres around two characters, Katherine and Matthew. They are destined to be together. I absolutely loved reading about how they found each other in different time periods. I also really liked how the story included different media. This aspect doesn’t always work well for me, but it really did work with The Next Together.  I really liked reading the text messages, the emails, the notes to each other. It was adorable and added something special to the story.I really enjoyed the characters and loved seeing how they came together in each era. They seemed like a meant to be couple which I absolutely adored. I could really back them in any era.

I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this book because its science-y more than romance-y. I have to say science isn’t really my thing and I thought that would spoil the book for me, but surprisingly it captured my attention and kept me turning the pages. I thought it was a well paced storyline, although I felt a little let down by the ending which prevented me from giving it a full five star rating. I guess I wanted a little more resolution and a lot less confusion from the ending!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

An interesting, fast paced debut!

Clockwise

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- Thanks to All Night Reads.

Synopsis:

Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this –she’s accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward. Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just “brotherly” protectiveness? When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again. Which of course, she does.

Thoughts:

I requested this book a while back based on the synopsis. I thought it would be a nice fit for when I was in the mood for a quick, fun read. Clockwise is perfect for this. It’s utterly enjoyable, but it’s not particularly a series that I feel compelled to finish.

Clockwise is a tad cliché, this isn’t a criticism, sometimes I like to read books like this. I think the reason why I won’t continue to read this series, is because I didn’t feel like I connected with the characters as much as I’d hoped. Casey was a good character, but she was quite weak. I like my female protagonists to have a bit more about them. Nate isn’t your typical swoon worthy character, which I liked, but again, I didn’t really connect with.! I really liked Casey’s friend Lucinda, and would’ve liked to have known more about her.

I liked reading about the time travelling. Sometimes this concept becomes confusing, but I didn’t feel that way with Clockwise. The concept may have had some flaws, but it was enjoyable enough to read. I liked reading about Casey’s experiences in the pre Civil War era.

Despite my reservations about this book, I do think it’s a quick, enjoyable, easy to read book!

Reading next:
Flat-Out Love- Jessica Park

All Our Yesterdays

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn’t happened yet.

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture – being kept apart, overhearing each other’s anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There’s no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It’s from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that’s about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future . . .

Thoughts:

I had heard SO much about this book that I had to pick it up really. Book blogger friends were raving about it and lots of people seemed to be adding it to their shelves. Not one to miss out on a good read, I had to get it! I’m so glad I did, because I thoroughly enjoyed All Our Yesterdays. It’s going to be a very hard book to review because I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. In fact, I was trying to explain it to my sister today and had to be very careful. No-one likes a spoiler.

All Our Yesterdays is a fantastic, gripping time travel story. I haven’t liked a lot of time travel books as it’s quite a hard subject to write about. I found All Our Yesterdays to be incredibly well written. It is told from the point of view of two narrators, Marina and Em. Marina’s point of views explains what has already gone on and Em’s is the current point of view. I thought it was very clever how the two narratives were woven together.

As I don’t want to say too much about the plot I shall explain some of the story. It starts with Em who is in prison and being tortured because she doesn’t want to give up information that her captors need. Em lives in a very bleak world that has been destroyed by one of her closest friends. Finn, the boy next door to her cell, is the only thing that is helping her get through the day. Em and Finn are determined to return to the past to prevent the future they’re currently living in from happening. This means they have to stop events from unfolding in the past, but this doesn’t come without trouble and some serious decisions to make.

All Our Yesterdays is action-packed and complex. Complex in a good way! There are many twists which make it very hard to predict. I thoroughly enjoyed All Our Yesterdays so I’m thrilled that this was a hyped book that in my opinion, was well deserving of the hype.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Reading next:
Note To Self- Peter Ward