Review: #AgainAgain by E. Lockhart

Again, Again is a book about love: romantic love, love for friends, love for family.  It’s also about how those relationships are interconnected to form something much bigger than ourselves.  I saw so much of myself as a young adult in Adelaide.  Though I didn’t have the same struggles she did, I had similar experiences with men, similar emotions and anxieties, I’ve even told myself that I’m okay when I truly was not okay.  Almost everyone can relate to a character in this narrative, whether it is Adelaide or her brother or a love interest. 

Early on, I felt so connected to this character, Adelaide.  I have often found myself needing an escape but falling into a hole where I can’t get work done or I procrastinate long enough that something just doesn’t get done at all.  After a jarring, but seemingly necessary move, Adelaide feels this way, something I’ve felt often. 

I felt like I was re-living the emotions and experiences I had as a teenager and college student through the eyes of Adelaide.  This is a poignant journey through love found, love lost, and the emotional growth that comes with those experiences. 

The style was of particular interesting.  There were several small things that I really enjoyed about this book.  This book has a bit of a fourth wall breaking cadence to it.  The characters interact, but there are little moments of “it was in her wallet,” or “she was wearing it under her jacket”.  The feel of the writing is that the character is whispering these little things to you, breaking the fourth wall (it’s not a play or movie, but you get the idea) and letting us in on these secrets that the other character doesn’t know.  It’s honestly a great technique and super engaging!

The asides in the middle of chapters, alternate versions of the how the conversation would have gone – these just speak to me.  As a person who goes through every scenario for a conversation, especially a hard conversation, before I have it, this hits deep. 

I also loved the inner monologue of the dogs that Adelaide walks, it was a nice touch that brought even more personality out of them.  Possibly my favorite metaphor is the egg-yolk-of-misery, I’ve felt this in my bones.  When I’ve gone through a particularly hard time emotionally, I’ve felt like there is a film between me and the world and I am the misery filled egg yolk.  Just brilliant. 

This is a novel that drained me emotionally and built me back up again.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone, it’s an easy read that packs an important and valuable message.

I received a galley copy of this title in exchange for an honest review

Again Again releases June 2nd from Delacorte Press! Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this opportunity!

Get your copy today and follow E. Lockhart on Social Media for updates!


Review: The Music the Stars Sang

The Music the Stars Sang is the story of Adi and Rupe, two brilliant characters that find each other by chance when Adi is placed with a foster family while her grandmother gets medical care.  The author uses music-oriented imagery to describe the beauty and the dangers of the world throughout the narrative.  After Adi’s grandmother passes away, she is thrown into a bout of grief that is gut wrenching and something that middle grade readers may have similarly experienced.  Readers are introduced to a ‘getaway’ world called The Sidereal Kingdom when Adi and Rupe venture out. 

This world is filled with memorable characters, beautiful descriptions of sounds, smells, and sights.  This is a surreal world designed to be an escape and what a wonderful escape this is!  I loved the characters and worldbuilding, along with the wonderful tendrils of music threaded through the story.

Books in and of themselves are used as an escape from reality, which is a coping mechanism that is used by many people.  Personally, I use books to escape periodically into a new world or a world that is familiar and safe.  Weaving the musical elements through the narrative is also a beautiful note that lends itself to this coping mechanism.  Particularly when I was around 10-13, I listened to music in order to cope with various things.  I love this idea for middle grade readers and reading about Adi’s story of working through her grief is particularly relevant and timely for readers.

I would absolutely recommend this book to any middle grade reader or parent interested in books such as this.  Adi will hold a special place in my heart from now on.  I will be purchasing a copy of this book for my son to read when he is a little bit more skilled at reading.  I am going to look into other works by T. L. Cervantes, who has a beautiful and engaging writing style!  I am so glad that I was approved for this book, it has been a joy to read and review!

The Music the Stars Sang is available now and I would encourage you to purchase from your favorite retailer! 

You can find The Music the Stars Sang on goodreads and T. L. Cervantes’ website can be found here!

Thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for providing a galley copy of this book in return for an honest review.