Showing posts with label lauren james. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lauren james. Show all posts

Thursday, September 3, 2015

[Interview] Lauren James On Her Debut YA Novel "The Next Together"

I had the pleasure to interview Lauren James, the author of "The Next Together", a clever reincarnation time travel romance. The novel is released today!

Quick Synopsis from my review:
"In "The Next Together" by Lauren James teenagers Katherine and Matthew are reborn again throughout different centuries. They always find each other and they always end up falling in love.

When the Katherine of 2039 stumbles upon a news article from 2019 which shows an exact doppelgänger couple of her and her lab partner Matthew who even have their exact names, she starts investigating."


The main characters Katherine and Matthew have quite the unusual job. What made you want to write about scientists? 

Lauren James: "I studied Chemistry and Physics at university, and it always really annoyed me to see scientists portrayed as multi-talented anti-social geniuses in films and TV shows - because we definitely are not! 
I thought this portrayal was really damaging, because it would make teenagers think they weren't clever enough to go into science - when they are. 

You don't have to be a genius to study science, and you don't need to be amazing at every area of science. I wanted to write characters who showed that - that scientists are just normal people, who maybe happen to study biology too." 

Do you have a fan cast for your characters?

Lauren James: "I do! Here are my mental images of the characters. Matt is a mix of Ben Whishaw and Hugh Dancy, and Kate is Jessica Chastain." 

The plot of "The Next Together" is spread out through different time lines. What time line is your favorite and why?

Lauren James: "I love them all a lot, but I do have a soft spot for the 1745 time landscape. I really love my regency romances and I think this storyline has the most of that! 

I do love the boat journey at the start of the 1854 storyline too. And everyone says the 2019 extracts are their favourite. Oh, it's too hard to choose! I love all of them!" 

How long did it take you to write TNT?

Lauren James: "The first draft of TNT was the first novel I ever wrote, and it took me four or five months to write. I finished it when I was nineteen, and I got a book deal when I was twenty-one. The editing took a lot longer than the writing!" 

Will some characters from TNT return in the sequel?

Lauren James: "Almost all of the characters will be in the sequel "The Last Beginning". You'll get to see more of Kate and Matt's story, but I'm also very excited about introducing you to some newbies too!"

The Next Together

Release Date: 3rd September

Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 356
ISBN: 9781406358056

Lauren James 

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Have you read "The Next Together" or are you planning to?

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Monday, August 31, 2015

[ARC Review] The Next Together - Lauren James

In "The Next Together" by Lauren James teenagers Katherine and Matthew are reborn again throughout different centuries. They always find each other and they always end up falling in love.

When the Katherine of 2039 stumbles upon a news article from 2019 which shows an exact doppelgänger couple of her and her lab partner Matthew who even have their exact names, she starts investigating. 

Three Love Stories .... -ish.

The story sucks you in within the first two hundred pages.

The story begins from the point of view of 2039 Katherine and I was really hoping to at least have an anchor for the story. There is no real main love story and to me, the story in 2039 feels simply poorly executed. Even though it all comes together in the end, it doesn't feel like one big love story. It feels like reading about several different couples. 2039!Matthew and Katherine hardly talk, but from one second to the next end up in bed together. I didn't feel the epicness of their love story, everything felt too forced and too constructed. 

I don't like crossover novels, but for "The Next Together" the concept of a romance/historical/sci-fi story works. It feel like three separate love stories . However, I'd rather have read three stand-alone romance books than one big time travel-ish one. The novel really needs a pair of main characters, each reincarnation of the two feels like two entirely different people.

Exceptionally funny- but a little too much lingo

I feel like there is too much in-depth knowledge needed to understand what is actually going on. I'm not particularly a fan of history and I have never studied the Crimean War at school. When writing about topics like this in novels that aren't just about that, you definitely have to make sure that even the uneducated reader will understand. Or as one of my writing professors once said: "Always write for the idiot reader".

The same applies to the science talk. Whenever 2019 Katherine started talking about bacteria, I was pretty much clueless. So it's a deadly fertilizer? For bacteria? I still don't get it after at least a dozen repetitions.

Talk about lingo - I love that James decided to base the 2019 couple on tumblr humor, and I loved it even more that she decided to keep that sense of humor in Katherine's character throughout the time lines. Some dialogues are flat-out hilarious and I had to pause for a minute to catch my breath.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

 I liked the overall idea and the concept and the writing is nice. It's always great to have a well-written time travel novel. It's most likely a book that I will reread in the future so I'll get all the little foreshadowing hints.

I'm definitely going to pick up the sequel when it comes out. 

Additional Info

Pages: 356
Publisher: Walker
Cover: Walker, 2015
Genre: YA / Sci-Fi / Time Travel
ISBN: 9781406358056

"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...(Source: Goodreads)

Can you recommend nice time travel reads to me?

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Great Books That Celebrate Diversity | Top Ten Tuesday

I decided to only stick with the books that have a striking amount of diversity and that I've read recently. All of these are guaranteed to not disappoint in terms of representation.

Here are my Top Ten Six Books That Celebrate Diversity

6. Insatiable (Insatiable #1) - Meg Cabot

Every novel by Meg is guaranteed to be full of diverse characters. There are more canonically non-hetero non-white characters in this than anything else. Love it, even though the book wasn't much for me for other reasons.

5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Saenz

This is a haunting love story between two young boys. I have no idea what it is about this book, but it'll stay with you for a long time.

4. The Hunter (The Forbidden Game #1) - L.J. Smith

As a big fan of Smith's books I'm proud to add her to this list. Every novel she writes features a couple of diverse characters that are carefully thought out. She doesn't only slam diverse characters in there and doesn't develop them - they're often even more carefully developed than the main characters.
Also nobody writes a swoon-worthy romance like L.J.

3. Beauty Queens - Libba Bray

Essentially a satirical social critique, this book is packed with diversity. Also kickass females who don't take any crap from anyone in heels? Yaas.

2. Luna - Julie Anne Peters

This list would feel incomplete without the one book that got me into LGBTQ* lit in the first place. The story about the life of a transgirl, taught from her sister's point of view.

1. The Next Together (The Next Together #1) - Lauren James

I was surprised to find diversity in this - I love how James took the chance to add her personal twist on everything. Review to come, I really enjoyed this one. 
A little birdy told me that the sequel will feature a lesbian protagonist, so I'm very excited for that, too.

Have you read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originating from The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday they choose topics that we are supposed to create a list about, considering our personal reading preferences.
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