AGAIN, BUT BETTER by Christine Riccio


Age Range: 14 & up
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A shy college student time travels into a second chance at love and life.

When Shane Primaveri travels to London for a semester abroad, she wants to have a go at doing college right: She vows to be braver socially, and she’s lying to her parents about continuing her pre-med track when she’s really studying writing. The roommate-assigning fates gift Shane with instant friends, she meets a flirtatious boy named Pilot, and she excels in her classes. But her scary, controlling parents discover her deception, and Shane returns to America dejected. Six years later, about to become a doctor, she still feels hollow and regretful. She looks up Pilot and they stumble back in time (as in Shane’s favorite TV show, Lost, the supernatural rules at play here are mismatched and vague). She helps a friend see through a jerk love interest but becomes subsumed in drama with the wishy-washy Pilot—until she realizes that she’s losing her chance at the redo she most wanted: to pursue writing for real. Shane and Pilot share a white default; several secondary characters are racially diverse. Making all Shane’s study-abroad friends fellow Americans is an oddly narrow choice, however. The first-person narration is natural and charming; Shane is more likable than she knows. Overall, the story seems designed for adult readers who might long to change their own pasts.

Half wish fulfilment, half cautionary tale and full of charm. (Contemporary fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 7th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-250-29925-3
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2019


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