I am pretty positive everyone has said the phrase “What if?” at least once in their lives. It is a question that can haunt us, make us regret, and make us yearn for something more. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid helps show both sides of this what if moment for Hannah Martin. Hannah moves back to Los Angeles and has a homecoming party at a bar where her high school love, Ethan, shows up. Hannah has a choice to make as the night winds down, leave and go home with her best friend Gabby or stay out with Ethan. Her choice either way is shown and how her life would be altered by it. Hannah lives her life in a fly by the seat of your pants way and moves from city to city trying to find where she belongs. After being in a disastrous relationship with a married man in New York, Hannah decides it is time to make better choices. By choosing to go home with Gabby after her party she ends up being the hit in a hit and run accident and wakes up in a hospital bed. By choosing to go home with Ethan she falls madly in love with the man she is convinced she should have been with this entire time. The thoughts that fate brings things in and out of your life or that things are just a complete accident is something we will never know. This story tries to show that no matter what choices you make some things were meant to be and will cross your path. This is a story about hope and rebuilding when you think your life has gone to shit. Hannah’s life in both scenarios has gone places she never expected and has been ruined in ways she couldn’t have imagined, but she picks herself up. It feels like a love story at first, but it really ends up as a hopeful tale of how your life will work out no matter how horrible it may seem right now and that somethings in your life are just destined to happen. That there is more than one soulmate for everyone and sometimes it’s the person that just falls into your life at the right time. This story as a quick read that didn’t have the vigor of her other books, but still a feel-good story.
Favorite Quotes – “When you sit there and wish things had happened differently, you can’t just wish away the bad stuff. You have to think about all the good stuff you might lose, too. Better just to stay in the now and focus on what you can do better in the future.”
“That’s what you do when you want something. You don’t look for reasons why it won’t work. You look for reasons why it will.”
“It doesn’t matter if we don’t mean to do the things we do. It doesn’t mean if it was an accident or a mistake. It doesn’t even matter if we think this is all up to fate. Because regardless of our destiny, we still have to answer for our actions. We make choices, big and small, every day of our lives, and those choices have consequences.”
“Fate or not, our lives are still the results of our choices.”
“If you love someone, if you think you could make them happy for the rest of your life together, then nothing should stop you. You should be prepared to take them as they are and deal with the consequences. Relationships aren’t neat and clean. They’re ugly and messy, and they make almost no sense except to the two people in them. That’s what I think. I think if you truly love someone, you accept the circumstances; you don’t hide behind them.”