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The Last Beginning

(The Next Together #2)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,180 ratings  ·  228 reviews
The epic conclusion to Lauren James's debut The Next Together about true love and reincarnation.

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 momen
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 6th 2016 by Walker Books
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Popular Answered Questions
Lauren James They don't have cameos in my next book (....yet. that is an excellent idea.) BUT I would love to write a novella about them one day! Fingers crossed i…moreThey don't have cameos in my next book (....yet. that is an excellent idea.) BUT I would love to write a novella about them one day! Fingers crossed it happens!(less)
Lauren James You don't have to, but it might help. If you want to dive in on this book there's a Book 1 Recap over on my blog.

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  1,180 ratings  ·  228 reviews

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Emer (A Little Haze)
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emer (A Little Haze) by: Gabby


This series is like one of those classic old oil paintings. Up close it's pretty and colourful and interesting to look at... BUT STEP BACK AND IT IS A MASTERPIECE

We have normalised diversity. Clove Ella. I SHIP YOU WITH EVERY FIBRE OF MY SOUL


Intelligent use of alternative storytelling styles (documents / coding etc)
Lauren James
I wrote this!

"Ideal for teenagers, this epic novel is the follow-up to author James’ debut, The Next Together. This latest release follows themes of reincarnation and endurance through time travel and the enduring love of Clove and Ella." - The Independent

A Diva Magazine Queer Summer Reading List title.

"The perfect book for your loved one." - W H Smith

The Last Beginning is published by Walker Books in the UK and Australia. It will be released in the US on 2nd January 2018 by Sky Pony Press. A
Shaikha Alahmad
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The first book The Next Together had me really confused at some point, but everything finally added up!
This book is exactly what I needed: closure.
An absolutely clever, fast-paced (not complaining) emotional roller-coaster. 🎢
At the beginning I thought I wouldn't give this more than 3 stars but when it finally picked up, I was IMPRESSED! Like, REALLY impressed.
What a brilliant, MIND-BLOWING paradox/butterfly effect! 🔫

The Last Beginning starts sixteen years after The Next Together when Katherine l
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
Rep: lesbian mcs

not even the lesbians could save this one
Sylvie {on semi-hiatus}
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, sci-fi, time-travel
Much less confusing than 'The Next Together' and I still enjoyed it as much as the first book.

Alice Oseman
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
you lot are in for a TREAT AND A HALF
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
For me, The Next Together by Lauren James was one of those gorgeous, magical reading experiences that you just don’t see coming. As a debut, it was a dream come true, a story of one romance in four different places and four different timescapes, often centuries apart. The Last Beginning follows in its predecessor’s amazing footsteps, perhaps with a tiny bit less romance and magic, but with so much heart that it doesn’t really matter by the end.

James continues her complex story in this sequel wit
rachel ☾
After being so thoroughly disappointed with the previous book in this series, I had no real expectations for The Last Beginning... so to say that I’m merely surprised by how much I enjoyed this book would be an understatement. I’m shocked! In the best way possible, of course. I knew from the moment I started reading, and realised that this story followed Clove rather than Katherine and Matthew, that this book had potential - and luckily, it tapped in that. I think my enjoyment of this book can b ...more
I received a copy of The Last Beginning from Walker Books Australia to review. You can read my review of the first book in the duology, The Next Together, here.

I had a lot of questions after I finished the first book that I hoped would be answered in this. I’ll admit that I was a little bored with the first half of the book and I wasn’t really interested in Clove’s life. She came across really immature at times. I wanted to know what had happened to Kate and Matt and why they kept appearing thro
Oct 19, 2016 added it
This book did such a great job of explaining all the mysterious parts of 'The Next Together' and giving me an entirely new ship in Clove and Ella, who were the best lesbian time travellers ever. Just as with TNT, I loved all the little extras and screenshots and text messages. I'll admit that the timeline did confuse me a little in the middle, but by the end everything panned out and I think I wrapped my head around it!
Kate Ormand
An expertly crafted, exciting story of time travel, discovery, love, and chance, spanning over hundreds of years. As soon as I finished I wanted to go back and read The Next Together again! Seriously brilliant.
Catherine Doyle
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another epic story from Lauren James. This one is very special.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1018, 2016
I received an e-copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books*

I had been looking for a chance to read the sequel to Lauren James's series for a long time! Imagine my surprise when Edelweiss was offering an e-copy of the book!

The story takes place years after the end of "The Last Together" and Clove will discover the secret behind her parents' existence and will be catapulted back into the past! Not to mention that she will meet the mysterious El
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
Originally posted on A Frolic Through Fiction

Here’s how you can tell that this year, I’ve gotten harsher with my ratings: I enjoyed this book more than the first, and yet it has a slightly lower rating. Wut?

Never fear though, I do mean only slightly.

And for once – are you ready for this shocker – I know the exact reason why I liked it more.

*The crowd gasps in surprise*

I know right? It’s practically unheard of. Me, actually being able to explain what I like about a book? What is this sorcery?

So h
This book was thoroughly disappointing. I read it mostly because, when I read The Next Together two years ago, there were a great deal of unanswered questions and I wanted answers. Everyone who has read it seemed to have enjoyed it, and judging by social media and her excellent third book, Lauren James is a cool person. How let down I was.
I couldn’t help but compare The Last Beginning to another time travel book I’ve read this year: Invictus by Ryan Graudin. It’s tightly plotted, easily explain
I liked it, but I didn't enjoy this as much as The Next Together.
I think it's because I went into TNT deliberately blind, having been told that the best way to enjoy it was to know as little as possible about it, and I loved getting thrown into the story straightaway. That didn't work the same way for TLB, but it's hard to explain why without spoiling the whole book, which seems a bit pointless in a review aimed at people deciding whether or not to read it. Essentially, the book delves back into
Willow Rosenberg
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow! What a butterfly effect! The way the story wraps everything up so nicely in parallel universes and everything ... I loved it! I definitely recommend reading the other book first, because this story really blew my mind with refrences to the first story. I also really enjoyed Clove and Ella together - something for my little bisexual heart.
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing

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 t
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Okay so i ended up liking this book way more than i thought i would and now that i think about it, i wish i had read it more slowly than finishing it in 3 hours...but regardless, absolutely loved how it explained everything that happened in book one so well! If you're time travel trash like me then you should definitely read this series :3 my love for scifi just keeps on growing with good books like these <3 ...more
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this one has GIRLS KISSING but NO MURDERS but 50% of my wish list ain't bad
Clove is my overemotional child and I love her.
. (not active on this account stop adding me)
i really only started this series because book two has a lesbian mc only to not really like it anyway
Although I had an inkling about who Clove was, it was nice to finally be able to read it on paper!
The order has been restored, everything makes sense now (more or less) and I now have so many feelings about Clove and Ella, and Kate and Matt and all you beautiful characters. Is it possible to love so many characters from one single series?
Everything about this book was wonderful, I don’t feel like I need to even review it as I’ll always remember how much I loved
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
SO CLEVER. Fortunately, this does not suffer from second book syndrome. I love how everything came together. This book has tons of information and detail on time travel and timelines but it's so easy to follow and understand, and to be invested in. It could easily become too much/info-dumpy but it never does. Also, once again, I love the change in format — the web pages, the illustrations, messages, and how the font changes for each timeline. Unlike some books *cough* illuminae *cough* (I'm sorr ...more
4.5 stars.

I put off reading this for weeks because I was scared it wouldn't live up to my love of the first book. So colour me delighted when it was basically everything I wanted. It answered all the questions that I had about the first book. It was filled with the same fun documents and illustrations and chats that I loved so much the first time around. The characters are delightful, there's a sassy AI, and the writing is fun.

On the whole, it was ALMOST as great as the first one. Very very ne
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I ended up liking the sequel better than the first installment. The main character was a lot more likeable, and the plot started to make much more sense.
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-english, own
I liked this book quite a lot. I think I liked it more than the first book, although it just kind of tells another side of the same story, or actually fills the blanks. I liked how they were woven together, this must've taken some carefully planning. The book is fast-paced and fun with all the quirks and problems time travel brings.

I have one thing to criticize: there's not much built-up to the romance, the character just comes in, let's everyone know she's the love of Clove's life and then they
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one hell of a book.
Angel - Angel Reads
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diversity
Full Review Coming Soon.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
'Clove Sutcliffe, you are doing things no human has ever done before. You are groundbreaking. You are unique. Do not cease to function due to emotional weakness'


I'm a firm believer in the theory that the circumstances under which you read a book have a direct impact on your enjoyment of said book.
For example, a book you read lying under an umbrella on a sunny Hawaiian beach will be more enjoyable than a book you read huddled in an oversized raincoat on a grey station p
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Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker, The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and The Quiet at the End of the World. She is also a Creative Writing lecturer, freelance editor and screenwriter. Her books have sold over a hundred tho

Other books in the series

The Next Together (2 books)
  • The Next Together (The Next Together, #1)

News & Interviews

  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
25 likes · 39 comments
“I can remember thinking I’d been turned inside out. Kind of like the first time I saw you.” 4 likes
“All I'm doing is carrying you around, and making a fool of myself. I’m useless. I’m not helping anyone.’’

‘’Clove Sutcliffe, you are doing things no human has ever done before. You are groundbreaking. You are unique. Do not cease to function due to inappropriate emotional weakness.”
More quotes…