Do you ever wonder if there is another version of yourself living in a parallel universe? And if so, how their life is playing out differently from yours? This is exactly what Again Again by E. Lockhart explores. In her latest book, we see how one girl’s life changes across different timelines based on the choices she makes.
I started reading Again Again immediately after finishing We Were Liars, which is another YA novel by E. Lockhart. I was expecting another wild ride, but this new novel is quite the opposite. If you’re a fan and want something similar to We Were Liars, you won’t find it in Again Again.
Instead, we get a more laid back story that focuses on the main character, Adelaide Buchwald, and how she’s spending her summer vacation. We have the main story line (that I assume takes places in our universe), where she recently broke up with her boyfriend, and is spending the summer working as a part time dog walker. She’s also trying to navigate her relationship with her younger brother, who recently left rehab.
Throughout the story, we get breaks (written in a different bold text) that show what begins to happen in other universes to Adelaide as she begins to make decisions. Should she talk to that new boy she just met? Should they go on a date? What happens if she doesn’t answer that one specific call from her brother?
In some of the story lines new relationships emerge, in others, heartbreaking losses are had. Everything changes depending on the decisions that are made. Some have great outcomes, some are devastating, and some are only slightly different blips along the way.
It’s hard to give a summary since so many different plots happen alongside each other. To me, this book was more about the idea behind it (exploring parallel universes) than it was about the actual plot. It was a really cool concept, and I liked how many different outcomes there were. It was almost as if you could choose whatever story you liked best.
That being said, Again Again still deals with some very important themes. The dialogue around Adelaide’s brother, Toby, and his battle with substance abuse was very well written. It doesn’t glamorize the situation; instead, it goes into detail about how difficult rehab is for him, and his family members. It shows different scenarios and how events could have played out, which shows how complicated addiction is rather than just black and white.
I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a well-rounded contemporary YA novel to read. It was a quick read, and the idea behind it was really interesting. I’ll admit I was a little confused at first, but once you understand that the sections are parallel universes, it begins to flow nicely. Again Again has everything that a book within this genres needs, with an added unique test.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Again Again by E. Lockhart comes out on June 2, 2020, and can be pre-ordered or purchased wherever books are sold.