15 June 2017

Book Review: The Last Beginning (The Next Together #2), Lauren James

The Last Beginning (The Next Together, #2)

Title: The Last Beginning
Series: The Next Together #2
Author: Lauren James
Published: 06/10/2016, Walker Books
Pages: 352
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback

Rating: 3/5

"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."

The Last Beginning is the follow-up to The Next Together and I'm so happy to say that it cleared up a lot of my confusion from the conclusion of the first book. Like The Next Together, The Last Beginning was a fun, fairly light read, even when you have to think about what's happening, and it couldn't fail to hold my interest.

The Last Beginning is set 16 years Katherine and Matthew's most recent timeline in The Next Together. Although a lot of the story is about Katherine and Matthew, the story actually follows their daughter Clove as she tries to figure out what happened to her parents.

I'm not sure how I feel about Clove. Most of the time I liked her, but at the same time, she was a bit irritating. She had a tendency to act before thinking - which resulted in a pretty major plot twist that was so easily avoidable.

I didn't find The Last Beginning too predictable. There was no knowing what was going to happen next - although it was obvious some things wouldn't go to plan. However, the story gave so much clarity to The Next Together and the pieces just fell into place.

I do think at times the plot was a bit slow, and then so much is packed into the last third or so of the story. This did mean that the story felt a bit uneven. I'm unsure how logical the story is as a whole, however, I still thought it was enjoyable.

So, I did enjoy The Last Beginning. It's a pretty solid conclusion to the duology. However, I did think the pacing was a bit off and I wish we learnt more about Ella. I'd definitely recommend The Last Beginning to those who liked and were left confused by The Next Together.




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