I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on May 3, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Emotions & Feelings, Literature & Fiction
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In one moment, two lives will be changed forever . . . and forever . . . and forever.
The one thing that’s certain is they met on a Cambridge street by chance and felt a connection that would last a lifetime. But as for what happened next . . . They fell wildly in love, or went their separate ways. They kissed, or they thought better of it. They married soon after, or were together for a few weeks before splitting up. They grew distracted and disappointed with their daily lives together, or found solace together only after hard years spent apart.
With The Versions of Us, Laura Barnett has created a world as magical and affecting as those that captivated readers in One Day and Life After Life. It is a tale of possibilities and consequences that rings across the shifting decades, from the fifties, sixties, seventies, and on to the present, showing how even the smallest choices can define the course of our lives.
The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett is a tale told in three parts. Each section begins with the same day; and the meeting or almost meeting of two students. Told in alternating chapters each timeline unfurls through the decades with each what if covered. It is an interesting concept for a book, one that I have seen in a few movies, all done with varying success. The Versions of Us was mostly successful.
The plot of The Versions of Us was very intriguing. Three possibilities in life, a giant “what if” followed through time. I was impressed with the writing of Laura Barnett. It is difficult to run three distinct plotlines containing the same characters and timelines and make them all distinct. The pacing had some issues as at times decades would pass and at times just days and it always took me a bit to catch up to the time change. The world was secondary to the characters and was not super fleshed out. There was a fair bit of emotion in The Versions of Us as love was at times lost then found then turned around within the three plots. The characters were where I felt a disconnect. I understand that all the timelines were meant to be distinct, but I just did not like their actions in the majority of the stories.
I enjoyed The Versions of Us for the most part. I must applaud Laura Barnett as all three parts were distinct and their own. It was difficult to read, as each chapter was a different timeline and I had to refocus and remember where the story left off a few chapters before. The main characters though, is what turned me off. I understand that they wanted to find true love and were constantly thrown into each others lives, but I did not like the actions taken for them to get there. I have a few plot points that instantly turn me off, and (no spoilers) but one of them was in The Versions of Us multiple times. If you enjoy a complex read with multiple storylines, then The Versions of Us is for you.
Favorite lines – For all the years he has spent without her are dulling now, losing their shape and colour — as if he were sleepwalking through them, and has only just remembered what it is to be fully awake.
Biggest cliché – If only…
Have you read The Versions of Us, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge