Cover Reveal: MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I know the protocol for offering cover reveals is to make you read through a bunch of text in anticipation and finally reveal the cover at the end.

Well, I’m a graphic designer and reader, and my first encounter with a book is usually with its cover. So I’m starting there, with my first impressions, just like I did with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s After I Do. Then we’ll talk about the story.

First Impressions

The Title

“Maybe in Another Life” is another great title from Reid. Seriously, this woman should teach a class on evocative titles. To me, it sounds like something any woman might say while daydreaming. “I’m unsatisfied with my current life. Maybe in this other, hypothetical life, I’d be more satisfied.”

But then we see the cover…

The Cover


So what does the cover tell us? It’s all in the subjects and the symmetry. This book is about a classy lady with a decision between two parallel choices, either one of which you, Reader, would probably love to escape to.

Take away the aqua and the modern font (which hearkens to style magazines), and this might be a memoir or a stuffy novel about a museum curator. With the typeface and color choice, we know it’s Women’s Fiction.

How efficient is that? I’d like to give the highest of fives to the designers that work on Reid’s novels. Every one of them seems to say “Women’s Fiction is legit Lit, y’all!” (and it’s true).

And just in case you didn’t get the gist of the contents from the image, there’s a tagline which, yet again, is evocative and ties everything together.

Are you excited for this book? Because I am. I’m ready to preorder right now …


IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Apple | Blio | Google

But if you really want to read the blurb before ordering, then …

The Blurb

From the publisher:

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college, but on the heels of a disastrous breakup, she has finally returned to her hometown of Los Angeles. To celebrate her first night back, her best friend, Gabby, takes Hannah out to a bar—where she meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

It’s just past midnight when Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. Ethan quickly offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay.

Hannah hesitates.

What happens if she leaves with Gabby?

What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into surprisingly different stories with far-reaching consequences for Hannah and the people around her, raising questions like: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

Let’s break this down.

“Hannah Martin” Anybody else think Hanna Marin from Pretty Little Liars? Just me? Okay.

“high school boyfriend … Hannah hesitates” The fact that she hesitates tell me there’s still something there between Hannah and Ethan. I’m not a fan of on-again, off-again relationships, so I’m hoping that the “something there” is mostly attraction with some underlying drama that will give off plenty of heat, but no HEA for those two.

You should all know by now that I’m not super into romance, and that my favorite movies have “happy for now” endings rather than “happily ever after” ones. But I do have a not-so-secret affinity for Hilary Duff movies. So if these two end up together, I want it to be Sweet Home Alabama style, with a clear, good reason they broke up and an ending that’s a no-brainer that they need to be together. None of that “we couldn’t handle being apart from each other for more than a month, so we broke up” nonsense.

“In concurrent storylines”. Aww yiss. I love me some nonlinear storytelling.

with far-reaching consequences” Double yesss. Fiction without consequences is just irresponsible. Curious George is horrible. But seriously, I am a fan of chain-reaction plots. Just because I don’t believe in love at first sight—attraction, OF COURSE. Have you seen my husband?—that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy stories about fate. The fact that this is a cause-effect sort of plot lets me know there won’t be random coincidences.

“soul mate” I’ll buy it. “The One”? No. I’ve known too many widows. But I like to think that my husband and I are linked more than just mentally, socially, and physically.


You’ll have to wait until I read it for me to give a review! But now you know what kind of expectations I have going into it.

Author Chat

You can follow Taylor Jenkins Reid on Twitter @tjenkinsreid. I’m sure she’ll be interviewed about Maybe in Another Life soon.


I haven’t read it yet! But Reid herself recommended books by Emily Giffin or Amy Hatvany after I enjoyed After I Do.

Writing Prompt

Write about a decisive moment in your life, and what happened as a consequence. Turn it into a story, a short blurb of a memory, or a flow chart. Or ask a friend or relative about a seemingly insignificant choice they made that ended up changing their or someone else’s life.

An example: A man switched from a music major to a history major, which meant he spent five years in college instead of four. His fifth year was the first year a “colloquium” class was offered—an independent study tied to a spring break trip to Ireland and the UK. It was my freshman year, and I also signed up for the trip. We were low on numbers, and needed a couple more students to sign up before the trip could be booked. He invited his brother, a Junior history major, whose topic of choice was the historicity of King Arthur. My topic was Arthurian literature. We became study buddies, then friends, then more than friends, and now we’re married. I introduced my now-brother-in-law to one of my college roommates, and they were married last November.

So there you have it. A “major” change that didn’t actually affect his career at all, but certainly affected his family. Now he has a wife, a sister-in-law, and two nephews because of it.

Friday Reads: AFTER I DO by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I’m starting a new series on the blog! I haven’t blogged about books in forever, so the hope is one per week. I’ll only be blogging about my favorites (no room for negativity here), and I’ll end with a writing prompt. Ideally I’ll post ever Friday, but life happens! So be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already, and then you can be sure to not miss out. Adult fiction, YA fiction, MG, graphic novels, picture books—I’ll cycle through them all.

Starting off, After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I’d heard so much about this novel on Twitter, I had to pick it up, even if Women’s Fiction isn’t usually my bag.

First Impressions

The Title

“After I Do” is a great title. Immediately we know it’s about what happens after a wedding, rather than before, regarding a married couple.

The Cover

The color, the illustration that leans on the doodle side, the tagline—these tell me this is women’s fiction, possibly bordering on “chick lit.” The hip, handwritten typeface tells me this is a contemporary novel.

The illustration itself, with the knocked over champagne glass, tells me the celebration—the honeymoon—is over. This isn’t a romance after the wedding, this is about a broken marriage.

The Blurb

From the publisher:

From the author of Forever, Interrupted—hailed by Sarah Jio as “moving, gorgeous, and at times heart-wrenching”—comes a breathtaking new novel about modern marriage, the depth of family ties, and the year that one remarkable heroine spends exploring both.

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.

Let’s break this down.

“They decide to take a year off … anything goes.” Already I think this is a stupid idea, that if two people want to fix their marriage, they should learn how to communicate, not take a break and do whatever falls under “anything goes.” But I’m intrigued. I’m just expecting some dumb choices from the characters.

“Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery …” This tells me that this book will be an emotional journey, with plenty of introspection, and probably not much action. It also tells me that this book is primarily about Lauren, not about Lauren and Ryan.

“This is a love story about what happens when the love fades.” This is what really sold me on reading the book. It’s a love story but not a romance. I’m not a fan of romances—the tropes, the miscommunications, the lies. But I love love stories.


This is a character-driven, theme-driven novel. It’s not plot- or action-driven. So if you start reading and don’t like Lauren, or if you aren’t interested in exploring marriage from all different points of view (in the book, the opinions come from the surrounding cast of characters), then this isn’t the book for you.

I like Lauren’s voice. The tone is depressing but funny, and I really enjoy that contrast. It’s like grief. Sad one moment, funny the next.

The way Reid can characterize through her characters’ dialogue makes me excited about any future movie deals. All of the characters are three-dimensional, even if they only make cameos. Even if I didn’t agree with their opinions or decisions, I felt like they were complex, real people, and not just that, but they were all sympathetic characters. Reading is an exercise in empathy, and I think I’m a more empathetic person after reading After I Do.

I really enjoyed this book. I even marked the letters in the book to have my husband read them (don’t tell his fellow Marines he enjoyed it). It sparked a great discussion. Reading it was almost like preventative couple’s therapy. I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s married or who plans on becoming married—it’s definitely a cautionary tale.

Author Chat

Taylor Jenkins Reid talks about After I Do in this interview from USA Today.


If you like After I Do, you might like books by Emily Giffin or Amy Hatvany.

If you’d like a personalized book recommendation from Penguin Random House, check out The Penguin Hotline.

Writing Prompt

One of the plot devices this novel employs involves letters written between characters. Choose two people at odds with each other, whether fictional or real, and have one write a letter to the other. Let the writer assume that the reader will never receive the letter, so he or she can be completely honest and uncensored.