Again Again by E. Lockhart: A Review

“Human beings were capable of creating beauty and strangeness far beyond what nature offered. Their minds could be weird and grandiose.”

I’d like to start by thanking NetGalley and Delacorte Press for the ebook galley I received in exchange for an honest review.

Unlike a lot of people on the online book community, I have not yet read E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars. This is the first of E. Lockhart’s books I’ve read, so I don’t really have any feelings about other books to compare this to.

“This story takes place in a number of worlds. But mostly in two.”

This book follows Adelaide Buchwald and her experiences coming to terms with herself and her grief in multiple universes. I wouldn’t say it’s a romance, exactly, though there is romance in it. Adelaide falls in love constantly and immediately, and you’ll meet the people who catch her eye and hold her heart.

Mainly, this story is about her and her brother, Toby. He’s a recovering addict, and her relationship with him was once central to her life. The tragedy and chaos surrounding Toby’s addiction has strained her dynamic with someone so important to her, and its affecting how she experiences the world. I think, at it’s heart, despite all the worlds and romances and moments, this is about Adelaide finding her brother again.

I liked this story. I liked the way it was written, with occasional lyrical poetry in her thoughts and actions, because Adelaide is a character who sees art in the world. I liked the possibilities, the unfinished stories, the way you were exploring all the outcomes of one moment.

My main problem was simply that I didn’t care about any of the characters in Adelaide’s world. I didn’t care about her love interests, I didn’t care about the teachers (whose dialogue was written so strangely it felt inhuman). The book spent a lot of time telling you that Adelaide was in love with this person or that person, that Adelaide loved the dogs that weren’t hers, but I didn’t feel it. The only relationship I cared about was hers and Toby’s, and even that fell flat sometimes. I didn’t ever really like Jack, who was supposed to be some epic multiverse soulmate for a good majority of the book.

I will most definitely recommend this book to fans of poignant, touching contemporary YA. It was a good read, and it made me think, made me ponder on the nature of love itself. You may not love the ending if you’re a fan of perfectly tied up romances, but I did like the ending, because to me, this story wasn’t about romance. It was a story about family and grief and the way our decisions affect the world we create.

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