The Last Beginning by Lauren James
Publisher: Walker Books
Release Date: October 2016
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Plot: 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.
I wouldn’t say there is a checklist for what I look for in a book, because that would be silly. I am diverse in my taste in novels, but you do end up looking for books that you feel are similar to your faves’ novels.
I am recently a big fan of Alice Oseman (Solitaire, Radio Silence), and I met her and watched a talk including her on books/fandom/the interwebs at YALC this year. The talk was a dynamic duo gig, and also included none other than Lauren James. I hadn’t actually heard of Lauren James’ books, and so when I saw one on offer at Waterstones and that the MC was a gay lady, I just sort of blacked out and suddenly was owning and reading this book.
Look, if your novel has an LGBT MC, I’m probably going to read it.
I wasn’t actually sure what I was reading at first. The blurb came across as a mystery mixed in with themes of fate and…reincarnation? I read the first half and found it easy to understand and enjoyable (this is relevant because it’s science heavy, and I got a low C in GCSE Science), however, there were parts about other characters that seemed to me like I should have read something else before this one.
Turns out, this is the second novel in a duology, and I am an idiot.
So there is stuff I’ve missed out on, stuff that might’ve been a little helpful. But if you end up doing the same thing as me and reading the second book first, then it’s OK. You can; it’s still great, still cute, still a Back To The Future with a queer, female Marty McFly with more science smarts. It doesn’t ruin it, and even more, it makes me want to now read the first one!