Again Again

Again Again In This Novel Full Of Surprises From The New York Times Bestselling Author Of We Were Liars And Genuine Fraud, E Lockhart Ups The Ante With An Inventive And Romantic Story About Human Connection, Forgiveness, Self Discovery, And PossibilityIf You Could Live Your Life Again, What Would You Do Differently After A Near Fatal Family Catastrophe And An Unexpected Romantic Upheaval, Adelaide Buchwald Finds Herself Catapulted Into A Summer Of Wild Possibility, During Which She Will Fall In And Out Of Love A Thousand Times While Finally Confronting The Secrets She Keeps, Her Ideas About Love, And The Weird Grandiosity Of The Human MindA Raw, Funny Story That Will Surprise You Over And Over, Again Again Gives Us An Indelible Heroine Grappling With The Terrible And Wonderful Problem Of Loving Other People 4 1 2 stars Now, this is the sort of YA contemporary I love wistful, bittersweet, and sad, but hopeful too.Again Again is actually quite different to anything Lockhart has written before I was a big fan of her earlier fun chick lit stuff and never really got on board with her dabbles in the mystery thriller genre, but while this one is definitely suited to my tastes, I would say it is not much like her recent thrillers OR her older fluffy books It s a book about love and loving, but it is not, in my opinion, a romance At the start of the book, we meet Adelaide as she struggles in the aftermath of a devastating break up, as she tries to juggle her feelings about her brother and his opioid addiction, as she falls in love, maybe, possibly, with someone new Alongside the main plot, we also see Adelaide s story play out in different universes, in snippets of what might have happened, what could have happened, what never did, if she had made other choices I was unsure about this at first, but I really grew to love it as the story progressed.There is something about the multiverse theory, especially when applied to love and relationships that might have happened or never did happen, that makes me quite inexplicably sad I think Lockhart taps into that here There s a lot going on here for such a short book 304 pages and that s including many pages of texts a lot of food for thought.The author sensitively portrays grief though not the kind that follows a death, as we most often see in YA and the effects of addiction on the families of the addict Emotions are complex in this book, just as they are in real life, and Adelaide battles with complicated feelings of love, fear and anger following her brother s relapse Which emotion wins out Well, that depends on what universe you live in.In the end, Again Again shows there s good and bad, happiness and sorrow, wins and losses in every universe For every chance you didn t take, there s another one you did It s about accepting the good with the bad I thought it was all quite beautiful.Facebook Instagram My head is spinning so fast and I m truly seeing the stars I think I start singing Swinging on a star right now Which reminded me the heist scene of Bruce Willis Hudson Hawk movie See I m already thought hungover after reading the book Sometimes if we have second or third chances to do something differently and even though we choose the different paths at the end each path may drag us into the same consequence Maybe we cannot prevent the inevitable, maybe we re just puppets who think we can control our own strings which we called them freewill and beat the master to perform our own life plays Again and again is a complex story makes you think what ifs of your life, your regrets, your wishes to redoing something, changing your life What if there are parallel universes and different version of ourselves act different, talk different and show different reactions to the same curveball life throws you Could you be braver, happier, lonelier, determined, devastated, regretful Yes, this book opens up can of worms and make you question everything in your life, confusing the hell of you, frying your brain cells, pushing you out of the comfort zone but eventually it helps you to accept things you cannot change and hidden message is forgiving yourself and approving your choices you made, the actions you took, and the words came out of your mouth This story is so unique, thought provoking, remarkable and exhausting You may give your full concentration because you read alternated versions of the same events between the characters at the same time and sometimes you can ask yourself What , Ha , Wait a minute, come again and you turn back to reread to make sure you understand everything correctly Our heroine Adelaide is sad, heart broken, suffers from egg yolk of misery her definition of depression in her own words She tries to look vivid, happy, strong but she cannot act any she misses her unique relationship with her brother who is an addict and she is so scared he s going to relapse again She wants to take care of him, playing weird vegetable attack games, sharing her secrets and gossiping about parents over protective attitudes She also wants to be loved but her boyfriend ended her 8 month relationship and now she meets with Jack when she s dog walking and she remembers him wrote a poem for her during their first meeting at a party in Boston two years ago She still keeps the poem inside her wallet She starts to think she might be the one So she has so many alternated versions of her own story to prove herself that her guts tell her the truth or she cannot be so wrong Overall this is quiet fascinating story about the loss not as a grief but connection loss with the loved ones you shared important parts of your life , siblings, addiction, family, love, future plans, regrets, choices I loved Adelaide s profession choice and the ideas she brought out when she was designing theater set of Fool for Love That design was also the reflection of her family s skeletons in the closet and unhealthy relationship patterns she has It might look like sad, depressing, mind bending story but when you finish it, you realize you read something surprisingly promising, hopeful and refreshing and you start smiling, taking a deep breath and keep on thinking your other version of yourself and what would you do if you chances to do over things Yes, I loved this promising premise I enjoyed Adelaide s story and I loved the book s approach to help me get a closer look to my own life Full, well deserved, complex but also entertaining stars Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children s Delacorte Press fro sharing this unique ARC with me in exchange my honest review. Instagram Twitter Facebook PinterestDNF p.40I have a new policy where if a book doesn t grab me within the first 30 40 pages, I no longer finish the book unless I absolutely have to I feel like if a book fails to grab you from the beginning, or at least make you think it will, that is a shortcoming great enough that it warrants a review AGAIN AGAIN was a book I was excited about ever since I first heard about it because I ve been a fan of Lockhart since high school don t ask how long ago that was with her Ruby Oliver series, which was much edgier than a lot of the offerings that were being promoted to me and my fellow kiddos at the time.With books like WE WERE LIARS and GENUINE FRAUD, she seemed to get edgier, and trying to capitalize on the growing trend of Gillian Flynn esque mysteries among the 13 18 set A lot of my friends didn t like WE WERE LIARS, but I actually really enjoyed it far than Ruby Oliver, even I love unreliable narrators and I liked the fact that there were no easy answers or flawless characters in the book.AGAIN AGAIN isn t like Lockhart s earlier or later stuff, so if I am to give kudos for one thing, it s that this is an author who constantly seems to be evolving and trying new things She doesn t stagnate Which is a check when it comes to creative progress, but kind of hard for us readers, who will never really be 100% certain whether one of her books will be for us they re all so different.The premise is that there are two timelines in this book, and I guess we get to see how the heroine, Adelaide, makes different decisions that change the progress of each world It s not science fiction so much as a speculative young adult work with some mild supernatural events fueling the plot, kind of like how BEFORE I FALL did the same thing with life after death only this heroine isn t dead I thought the premise was interesting, but I couldn t easily tell the difference between the two timelines which made reading confusing,I was also really not a fan of the writing style This had a pretentious, forcibly artistic Maggie Stiefvater vibe to it that I really did not like at all The heroine likes poetry and some parts are in verse and it just feels way too affected and pretentious, and I did not enjoy it at all Some might, particularly if you enjoy Maggie Stiefvater, but I hate that author s work and steer clear of it at all costs, so seeing one of my faves start writing in that kind of style felt like a betrayal.Your mileage may vary, of course But I know what I like and don t like in fiction, and it seemed pointless to force myself through this book as soon as it became clear that it wouldn t be something I enjoyed I think if you enjoyed her newer books because of their edge, you should avoid this one, because it has none It feels like a YA that is being targeted at a much younger audience Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 1 to 1.5 stars Well, this was lovely, bittersweet and melancholy And welcome back, E Lockhart I was afraid you d succumbed fully to the mystery genre, to writing of the stories I don t enjoy.I wouldn t call Again Again a complete return to the lighter chick lit type stuff of her early writing career But this is monumentally better than the unfortunate Genuine Fraud Again Again is a story about accepting the pain and joys of loving people The cover might give one an impression that this is a romance, which it is, somewhat, however the focus of Again Again is on allowing yourself to love, even with the knowledge that this love romantic, sibling can and will bring you heartache I know I am being unclear and rambly You just need to explore this for yourself Lockhart achieved quite a lot of depth in this work, even though the novel is set in a pretty standard YA landscape of school, family and romantic woes And her characters, unfailingly, are great conversationalists, if you don t mind the uppity, a bit too precocious tone of her works.There is also an interesting gimmick of the same events playing out in different parallel worlds inserted here For a lot of this novel I thought it had only entertainment value, but the last part of the book pulled it all together All in all, a delightful reading experience, made even so by my simultaneous binge of DEVS multiverseftw. This book is tough to rate because while I did have some problems with the story, l appreciate how the author was creative in her storytelling There were aspects of the story I really loved, particularly the storyline involving the brother But as a whole, I wouldn t say this was the most satisfying read I do think there are readers who will connect with the story and character than I did.High school student Adelaide Buchwald is spending her summer as a dog walker And that s pretty much all you need to know other than the story explores alternate realities or scenarios or whatever you want to call them Throughout the course of the book a situation plays out but then you get the chance to see if the outcome is different if something else had been said or done differently by Adelaide Sounds confusing Well yeah, it kinda was confusing I ve read a couple other books that went the alternate scenarios route and really enjoyed them but I wasn t impressed with the execution of it in this book The heart of the story for me was everything regarding Adelaide s brother, Toby There was just so much raw honesty that resonated with me It s amazing how I ve seen the same subject explored in many other novels, but yet I walked away from reading this one and felt like the author managed to convey something in a new way I actually would have preferred if of the book revolved around him instead of so much devoted to Adelaide s love life Other than a few moments here and there, I just wasn t invested in the romance elements of the story This was my first time reading a book by this author and even though this wasn t a perfect read, I can at least recognize she is a talented writer Not all books are going to be an exact fit for every reader and I would much rather read a story that aims high and misses the mark a bit than one that doesn t even attempt to bring something new to the table I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review Or maybe our encounter was in another possible world That is, in one of the countless other versions of this universe, the worlds running parallel to this one, we are already in love I don t really know how I feel about this book I absolutely loved the author s book We Were Liars, and internally screamed when I was approved for an eARC, but I just don t really know what I read I enjoyed some aspects of this book, but for the most part I didn t really like how it was written.We follow Adelaide who is staying on campus for the summer, and is a dog walker of five dogs Her relationship with her boyfriend has just ended abruptly and she is heartbroken Her brother is a recovering addict and she has a lot of emotions about everything, but puts on a happy face and never really brings up those emotions This book explores alternate realties and the, what ifs that we all face in life We see multiple ways a moment in her life is going to go, but then we see how it actually played out.I went into this thinking it was going to be a unique look at love and have some form of alternate reality with it After reading it, I think my least favorite part was the love component I found Adelaide quite annoying with her love life, and she was kind of crazy with all of her boyfriends I would have much rather read about Toby, her brother and their relationship How the author puts in those gut wrenching moments of what addiction is like made my heart hurt I loved reading the horrible honest truth of addiction I really appreciated how Adelaide dealt with her brother and their relationship meant the most to me in this book.All in all, I still don t really know what the author wanted to convey with readers, and it saddens me that I didn t like this book I just felt that the plot was bizarre, don t get me wrong I love when authors experiment with unique story lines, but this one didn t seem to have a main point I couldn t connect with any of the characters and it just fell flat for me. E you have got to stop doing this to me I only have the one heart You can only fill it to the brim and then break it so many times before I drop dead The concept of the multiverse is a very, very hard one to nail in fiction Please see my review of Blake Crouch s enormously awful attempt in Dark Matter for on how easy it is to screw this up It turns out simplicity and truth are the key Adelaide is a teenage girl about to start her senior year at a pretty prestigious private school that she attends because her dad is the new English literature teacher there Well, she ll be starting her senior year if she doesn t flunk out As the book, and her summer, begin she s got one chance left to create a set model for her theater design class in order to pass or she ll be looking for a new school come fall To add insult to injury her boyfriend has just broken up with her and later dayed it out to Peurto Rico Then there s the matter of her brother who is battling an incredibly serious illness Adelaide has a lot on her plate in other words and any number of things could happen to disrupt the tenuous, taught tight rope she s currently walking on.What better subject then a teenage girl to explore the endless possibilities of the multi verse with Its that time in your life when all you do is consider the possibilities, what will happen if you do or don t talk to that boy, finish that project, say what you really mean when your mom asks how you are Everything that happens to you is the most heart breaking, monumental, earth shattering, life changing thing that has ever happened in the whole history of the universe E Lockhart is also the perfect author to take on this kind of story She is an absolute master of what I m coming to think of as a touch of strange Her stories are incredibly grounded, her characters are very real people But she manages to infuse her world s with just a bit of magic, enough to make it seem like it could be real She takes Adelaides moments of indecision or tragedy or romantic hope and branches them out to give the reader multiple stories that somehow blend seamless together into one larger one This isn t some hamhanded soap opera where you re constantly re reading the same scenes over and over again Its like watching the waves come in while you sit on the beach This wave comes up high enough to wipe away your sand castle, this one doesn t, this one comes all the way up and soaks your towel Adelaide texts with a boy she likes and we see three quick versions of the conversation, each one totally believable and likely She tries to show her project to her teacher, three different teachers respond to it in three different, totally viable ways There s no transition between moments but it never feels stilted or stumbly You start to realize how even the smallest of changes completing reframes the story but its hard to pinpoint exactly what happens to make things turn out differently becomes Adelaide herself stays fundamentally the same She comes to certain realizations at different times but grows in the same organic, believable way In some versions of her story she s a bit sympathetic, likable In some she s clingy and insecure and harder to like I wish books like this had been around when I was a green girl with so many feelings and hopes and needs and angry neediness This is a total treasure, as I m beginning to realize all E Lockhart s books are. Again Again is the first book by E Lockhart that I have read This is a YA fiction book I found it confusing at first the way that it was written, and it did take a while to get used to it It was a quick read, with much of the text being in the form of text messages between the characters It is the story of 17 year old Adelaide Her younger brother is an opioid addict and she has moved away from him and her mother with her father to a boarding school where he is teaching She has just broken up with her boyfriend, she is in danger of being kicked out of school and she is not loving life much at the moment It is the summer holidays and she meets Jack while out dog walking We learn about Adelaide and her family through her thoughts and text messages We see how certain scenarios could play out with one slight change This is where it got confusing in the beginning as there is no real warning about this It was an interesting way to do things, but hard to stay track of at times.What I did love about this book was the relationship between Adelaide and her younger brother They have become distant since his drug tacking started and it is heartbreaking to see how it affects Adelaide It is clear how much she loves him and the conversations between them were my favourite parts of this book.Thanks to Allen and Unwin for my advanced copy of this book to read. What if you made other choices What if your life was playing out in a different way in another reality I cannot believe how wildly close to today s reality Lockhart s new book was and it was such a refreshing return to her writing that I loved I wasn t a fan of her thrillers, but this.felt very much like the E Lockhart I found so compelling before.Adelaide is at a boarding school, Alabaster Prep Academy, where her father is a teacher Her mother and younger brother Toby are living still in Balti, hours away from her father The why of this remains quiet for a while in a book, but it is revealed that Toby has a drug addiction and their mother is staying there to help ensure he finds a way to recover Adelaide and her father move so he can continue to make an income for the family and so she can get a good education.Except it won t be that way Or at least not in this reality Adelaide and her boyfriend broke up, and she s feeling lonely and sad while walking the dogs she s watching this summer She meets Jack at the dog park and he looks familiar to her, but she can t really place it But she knows immediately she likes him and begins to pursue him hard In the mean time, she s failed to turn in a major project to her set design class and her teacher isn t thrilled Yes, it s summer Yes, it s break But she s been given time to complete it anyway, since her teacher believes she has talent Set building is, you see, about executing an idea in a way that isn t necessarily the real image of the thing, but as true a rendition as possible so the audience understands what it is In Adelaide s experience, the people in her life are the set, but none of it is real to her She s walking through it, but none of it is real, alive Mired in grief and sadness, worry and fear, Adelaide begins to attach herself to Jack who isn t interested in her in that way When her ex reaches back out, in desperation, Adelaide feels compelled to forgive him That s the story in one reality But this book is about the multiverse, or the idea of multiple realities So the story plays out in a number of different ways throughout the book Sometimes Adelaide and Jack are together Sometimes Adelaide is a good sister to her sick brother Sometimes, she s a nasty human being and in each of these realities, we see a complex picture of who she is.This is a love story but the romance is no where near central It s purposefully peripheral, as it s there as a means of Adelaide waking up to how she behaves towards others in her life and specifically, those people who are closest to her She s privileged and healthy, but she can t take those blinders off to see the bigger picture and to see where she herself is falling apart or too dependent upon others to give her reason and purpose Clever, unique, and packed with emotional moments, depth, and philosophical fun, Lockhart s book is one that will delight many readers It packs in a lot without saying too much this is a slight book, with chapters written in broken apart dialog and texts and doesn t rely on anything cheap to pack a punch Fun fact Alabaster Prep is where The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks was set as well, and Jack from this story was inspired by Jack in Lockhart s short story in the 21 Proms anthology I love those little Easter eggs and , love this book had signature Lockhart writing and smoothly executed wit Some of the marketing suggests this is funny, and it s not really It s clever, but not necessarily funny And important to note none of the dogs die or get hurt. Adelaide and her family were still coming to terms with her brother s addiction As her family supported him through multiple stints at rehab, Adelaide wanted to be the good daughter, the easy child She found comfort in assuming these roles, but the longer she played them, the she lost touch with herself Now dumped by her boyfriend and on academic probation, she finds herself adrift, but not lost, in a sea of possibilities.The hook of this book is supposed to be the idea of the multiverse That the entirety of our world is the sum of a group of universes Heady stuff, but don t worry, because it s not that complicated in AGAIN AGAIN In the book, we follow Adelaide over the course of a summer We watch her fall in and out of love, confront her fears, reconnect with her brother, and complete her design project As the story plays out, there are points, where multiple possibilities are explored, and we get to see how each choice she makes affects the outcome I read these little branch points, and found it interesting, but when I saw how it all came together at the end, I was a bit awed I tip my hat to you, Ms Lockhart.I loved seeing the different potential outcomes It was fascinating to imagine how big an impact small decisions could make Each thread had Adelaide making different choices for her love life, but in all of them, she was a sister desperately trying to restore her relationship with her younger brother It was the moments she shared with her brother, that hit me the hardest Those scenes were touching and heart wrenching, and I think they impacted me , because I lost a cousin, who had lived with my family, to addiction, and was therefore, I understood her pain and fear It was also fantastic seeing her grow in each possible universe Different choices yielded different outcomes, yet each augmented Adelaide s understanding of herself, her brother, her parents, love, and life.When I finished this book, I wiped my tears, and just sat back, so I could quietly appreciate the beauty of the story It was a little bit sad and bittersweet, but it was also imbued with hope It reminded me that life is full of endless possibilities, and that I do wield some power over it via the choices I make ARC provided in exchange for an honest review BLOG INSTAGRAM TWITTER BLOGLOVIN FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS