Book review: The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

Book review: The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

The Versions of Us tells three potential tales of the main protagonists Eva and Jim, after they quite literally bump into each other whilst studying at university, and shows us each different way that things could have gone for them. None of the tales are perfect, which is why I fell in love with the book. Although it’s fiction Laura Barnett has constructed a true reflection of real life with the ups and downs of everyday goings on, incorporating everything from career struggles to births, deaths and marriages along with everything between.

Fans of David Nicholls’ One Day will love this book because it tells the tale of the characters’ stories from the moment they meet which I believe gives us better insight to the characters and their relationship, something I have surprisingly found quite rare in romance novels (and trust me I have read a lot of them!) By telling three different versions of the same characters story The Versions of Us goes one step further by showing the impact which each of the characters decisions has on their lives and the possible paths which they can lead to.

To begin with I admittedly found that the structure made the book a little difficult to get into, as jumping between the three stories with each different chapter made it hard to keep up with and at times I found myself having to re-read chapters to remind myself of what was going on in that particular version of Eva and Jim’s story. Persevere with it though, I found myself hooked from about a third of the way in and couldn’t put the book down as I was fascinated to see how each story would progress and ultimately whether the Eva and Jim would end up together.

If you’re looking for a charming whilst thought provoking read then I would highly recommend The Versions of Us. Even if you aren’t a fan of the typical romance novel I think you will be pleasantly surprised as it isn’t cheesy or predictable in the slightest and will certainly make you think about how everyday encounters can shape our lives in the most unexpected of ways.

by Katie Thole