I Loved You In Another Life by David Arnold

I Loved You In Another Life by David Arnold – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Romance, destiny, soul mates, music.
YA book title: I Loved You In Another Life.
YA author: David Arnold.
Genre: Teen romance.
Published by: Hot Key Books
ISBN: 9781471414329.
Recommended for children aged: 14+.
First published: Paperback October 2023.
This YA book is ideal for: Teenage romantics.

I Loved You In Another Life by David Arnold

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Our review:

Evan has always been drawn to the wilderness and is desperate to attend the Headlands program in Glacier Bay, Alaska after graduating next year. But since his Dad left and his Mum was diagnosed with cancer, Evan can feel his plans slipping away.

Silence and sadness are not the same thing.

After graduating early from High School, Shosh is all set to start at a prestigious performing arts college in LA. But then her beloved older sister Stevie is killed by a drunk driver and Shosh’s life falls apart. Estranged from her friends and drinking heavily, Shosh is spiralling out of control.

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As Evan and Shosh try to make sense of the new and unwanted trajectories of their lives, they’re unknowingly linked by a mysterious music that only they seem to be able to hear. When the pair finally meet, they’re confronted with the overwhelming sense that they’ve somehow known – and loved – each other in other lifetimes, always. And maybe in this lifetime, they can finally get things right.

I Loved You In Another Life is both heart-warming and heart-breaking. David Arnold’s lyrical prose gets to the very heart of what it means to be a teenager in love with the impossible while simultaneously at war with themselves. This is a soaring tale of soul mates, destiny and discovering what’s really worth fighting for in life.

All that mattered was their secret world…and the certainty that even when they were alone, they were together.

The song lyrics that Evan and Shosh gradually decipher add a unique musical element to the tale. The side characters are well developed, with fully formed personalities of their own, especially Evan’s adorable ET-obsessed younger brother Will. Shosh’s growing dependency on alcohol and Evan’s openness about his anxiety give a welcome depth to the novel that is unusual in a romance, which tends to focus merely on the relationship aspects, to the exclusion of all other areas of the characters’ lives.

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The book alternates between Evan and Shosh’s perspectives, giving the reader dual insight into this unique romance – a love that transcends gender, time and even death. Interspersed with Evan and Shosh’s story are glimpses of other star-crossed lovers over the centuries, from Paris and the Shetland Islands to New York and Tokyo and even into space in the not-too-distant future.

I Loved You In Another Life is a beautiful tale that will have even hardened cynics believing in true love and soul mates. This tender tale will appeal to fans of Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper and Lauren James’ The Next Together.

Many thanks to Hot Key Books for the review copy.

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If you like I Loved You In Another Life by David Arnold you might also like: our reviews of The Girl Who Grew Wings by Anna Waterworth, Overemotional by David Fenne, Sing If You Can’t Dance by Alexia Casale, Gwen and Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher and The Silver Chain, written and illustrated by Jion Sheibani.

Browse our list of books for 14 year olds

About Melanie Dillon

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Melanie has a Master’s degree in Information and Library Management; a Post Graduate Certificate in Children’s Literature focusing on the Reading Agency’s Reading Well scheme & LGBT YA fiction, and extensive experience working in school and public libraries. Linkedin | Reviews by Melanie Dillon