By Amy Wilkinson
Updated January 23, 2015 at 05:00 AM EST

On a December day in 1992, three sets of teens sit in darkened theaters watching the film version of a Guardians of the Galaxy-esque comic book called Eons & Empires. Over the next two decades, their lives will intersect in ways romantic, humorous, and heartbreaking. In Some Other World, Maybe is an engrossing second novel from Goldhagen, a seasoned gossip columnist, whose insights into both Hollywood and the journalism industry inform and shape vivid backdrops for her cast of characters. But with so many leads, some, such as wanderlusty Oliver, get short shrift. That may be for the best, though, since struggling actors Phoebe and Adam emerge early on as the central—and most compelling—protagonists. B+