Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Again Again

Rate this book
From the New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars and Genuine Fraud comes a complex novel about acceptance, forgiveness, self-discovery, and possibility, as a teenage girl attempts to regain some sense of normalcy in her life after a family crisis and a broken heart.

If 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 mind.

A 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.

289 pages, Hardcover

First published June 2, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

E. Lockhart

38 books14.2k followers
E. Lockhart is the author of Again Again, Genuine Fraud, We Were Liars and Family of Liars, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and several other books. Whistle: A New Gotham CIty Hero is a graphic novel.

website: www.emilylockhart.com
Instagram: elockhartbooks
Twitter: elockhart

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
867 (9%)
4 stars
2,464 (26%)
3 stars
3,797 (40%)
2 stars
1,656 (17%)
1 star
575 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,746 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews294k followers
July 25, 2020
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 more 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
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,200 reviews40.7k followers
January 15, 2023
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, more determined, more devastated, more 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 anymore: 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 more 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.
Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
616 reviews499 followers
January 22, 2021
If someone asked me to describe Again Again in three words, I'd say it's simple but complicated, and really unique.

I also think it's realistic, but yet also unrealistic because who gets to live their life again and again.
Or maybe there are alternative universes where we get to see what would happen if we made a different choice. I always liked the idea of them.

I love Liars by E. Lockhart. It's one of the best books I read in my entire life, so Again Again was my most anticipated book of 2020.
When I got an invitation to read and review it via Netgalley, I was beyond happy.

Again Again was solid ya contemporary with a splash of difference.
I have never read anything like it, and I love how every alternative version was realistic. There was no sugar coating.

However, it made me confused, and it left me confused to this day, because I still don't know if we followed alternative universes, or just stories in Adelaide's head.

The writing style was good, and the novel was easy to read.

I certainly enjoyed spending my time between pages of Again Again, but Liars was a masterpiece comparing to this story.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
June 3, 2020
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 more so by my simultaneous binge of DEVS. #multiverseftw.
July 25, 2020

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

DNF @ p.40

I 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 more 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
Profile Image for Nataliya.
744 reviews11.9k followers
July 25, 2020
“And this other guy, he makes you happy?”
“It’s not his job to make me happy,” she told him.”

Building a book around a gimmick takes some courage. If it doesn’t resonate with the reader, the book may end up forever discarded, spending its life in a sad dusty corner. But if it works, then your bold approach has paid off and the book can be smugly proud of its shiny fancy self.

I’ll start with the gimmick that almost triggered a migraine.

For no discernible reason
the narration
breaks into a verse
at least once per page
or so it seems,
out of the blue.
And it gets
And then the narration resumes as though there has not been any interruption.

I’m not sure what all this random switching back and forth is supposed to achieve besides a headache. Maybe it’s supposed to be artsy or evoke the memory of a poem Jack once wrote for Adelaide or remind nostalgically of teenage poetry-writing days. I have no clue, but what I do have is mild annoyance.

Another gimmick is the entire structure of the book. The titular “Again Again”, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Yes, it has a purpose - for that Part IV of the book to have any emotional impact. But in the meantime it does take a while to adjust to it.
“That summer she would fall in and out of love more than once,
in different ways
in different possible worlds.”

The idea, brought up at a random party full of aspiring philosophers, is that of multiverses where “There’s got to be another possible world for every way that our world might have been but isn’t”. And so from the moment of Adelaide meeting Jack on the first day of that eventful summer we see the events play out in small snippets, every situation shown in a few possible permutations showing us what could have been.

To keep it simple, each of these possible versions is in a slightly different font, and our “main” story of what actually happened in the universe that we follow is therefore easy to follow — but with the added benefit of knowing bits and pieces that played out in the other universes in this multiverse, knowing things that the “main” Adelaide does not yet know or see. And all those angles and permutations and insights from these parallel-ish universes flesh out otherwise unremarkable story of a summer in a young girl’s life, her heartbreaks and hopes and a journey to self-realization. (Although also at times they make me wonder why in the world we follow this particular universe out of all the other ones, and why I am supposed to care.)

Adelaide Buchwald is seventeen, and secretly unhappy. On the surface she holds it together - a happy, “talky” and “sparkly” girl with a perfect boyfriend, enrolled in a fancy boarding prep school where her father teaches — a school that offers fancy-pants classes such as Greek and Set Design and a class in making puppets (no, really) and all such dream stuff:
“Alabaster Preparatory Academy is a boarding school. It is the sort of place that offers classes like Eastern Religions, Theories of Popular Culture, and Microeconomic Theory. Students play lacrosse and row crew. They live in quaint residence halls that smell of wood and have no elevators. There is a chapel with large stained-glass windows. Most of the buildings are gray stone. There are woods on one side of the campus, and there’s a small town on the other.”

But her shiny sparkly pretend happiness is just plaster covering the cracks.

Adelaide’s formerly ordinary world becomes fractured after her younger brother Toby has a near-fatal opioid overdose and ends up in rehab — twice. Her world now encompasses hurt and fear, disappointment and mistrust — and deep sadness. To cope, she puts on a sparkly veneer of pretend happiness while seemingly falling in love with her perfect boyfriend Mikey.
“Adelaide wasn’t depressed. She never felt bleak. She had energy. She was talky. She painted her fingernails green and wore floral-print dresses and enormous cardigan sweaters.
But you can be talky and paint your fingernails and still be very sad.
In fact, you can be talky and paint your fingernails to protect other people from how sad you are.”

But as this story starts, the veneer begins to crack. The perfect boyfriend Mikey realizes he does not love her, and casually dumps her. And now she faces a summer on the empty campus with dog-walking as her only distraction. Well, and her obsessive attraction to Jack - who is handsome and mysterious and who does not remember not only having met her before but also having written her a poem once, years prior. Jack, who certainly can make her happy. Or maybe it’s Mikey who can make her happy. Or maybe Jack. Or whoever fits that perfect boyfriend mold.
“Romantic obsessional tendency—that is not a good quality in a person.”

This is a story about Adelaide dealing with issues, about learning to find and assert herself, about realizing that you cannot let others deal with the burden of making you who you need to be, of making you happy. This is a story about finding clarity to deal with things and accept yourself and make yourself be a person you want to be. With the balance of sweet and slightly safely edgy-ish, it is nothing earth-shattering, really.

But the memorable thing about the book, something that (outside of the gimmicks) broke the mold for me was Adelaide’s brother Toby, the recovering addict whose downward spiral had been the turning point of Adelaide’s life. Toby’s story (unlike Adelaide’s obsessive teenage struggles) actually felt like it had resonance and weight. Toby, who at fifteen is realizing the weight of the mess his addiction created and needs to figure out how to deal with it and how to be this new person who is always marred by who he used to be. And it’s sad and heartbreaking, and thoughtful.
“I AM NOT THE GUY WHO did narcotics and told the lies and took cash from your wallet and wouldn’t talk to you and acted terrible in therapy and was just a thunder-butt.
I mean, I did all that stuff. I just don’t want to walk around every day saying to myself, I am a complete and utter shit. I feel like a reasonably nice human.
I would rather say I used to be an addict.
But that is NOT what you are supposed to say.
You have to say, I am an addict.
And Mom is scared of the addict.
Justifiably scared,
Like it might take me over, like a werewolf changing at the full moon.
And she can’t trust the me that’s here because of the addict that’s inside”

So yeah. There were parts that resonated with me, and there were parts where I was really wondering about the point of endless permutations of mundane conversations and events — what did they really accomplish here?

Sweet book, but perhaps not too memorable.
But managed
to put me off reading random verse
for a while.

3 stars.
“And this other guy, he makes you happy?”
“It’s not his job to make me happy,” she told him.”
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,294 reviews2,962 followers
July 25, 2020
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 more 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 more 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.

Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
394 reviews677 followers
October 12, 2020
Oh oh no no, not again. NOT AGAIN.

I’m giving this author a second chance because of the premise and that cute cover although I loathed We Were Liars. And what do I get?

Just the opening: it’s happening again. The-suddenly-turns-into-verses, inexplicably she writes exactly like this:

    “I would let a creepy doctor with a secret basement lab shoot a
    random glowing substance into my ear if I knew it would stop me from feeling the way I do.
    I tried listening to happy music and
    putting on a ton of makeup. So much makeup. Then my
    eyebrows (with their makeup) looked scary and
    their scariness made me depressed.”

Yepppp folks! Still annoying even after all these years.

And still so very very dramatic *le sigh*

“I was depressed by my own eyebrows.”

Not again.

Oh oh
not again

Profile Image for Hamad.
1,009 reviews1,329 followers
November 24, 2020
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

I read Lockhart’s “We Were Liars” a few years ago and although it is a controversial book, I did like it. I haven’t read anything by the author ever since although I wanted to. I did not know about this book until I saw one of my friend’s rating pop up on my GR feed and I was interested. My first thought that it sounded similar to “Again, but better” but it was actually a bit different.

I did not know that Lockhart had many books released and that she wrote romance novels too. This is not a romance story, I have seen many reviews mentioning that and I do agree. The book currently has a relatively low rating on GR (3.28) and that just made me more interested. I initially liked the book but the ending (endings?) was not satisfying for me.

The story follows Adelaide after her breakup with her boyfriend and also it touches upon her brother who is an opiods addict. The magical part is that we get to see events in parallel universes and then the events in the story we are reading (Different fonts were used) and that was initially confusing but I ended up liking it more later in the story. The plot was not the typical romance story that I have read many times in YA novels and that is good. On the other hand, I believe it has open endings which kind of got on my nerves and I still don’t understand what was the point of it.

The writing is good, I think Lockhart has a good prose but I didn’t understand why sometimes the paragraphs turned into columns like slam poetry which did not make sense at all and I think it was just used to expand the story to fill more pages because I think the word count is only around 50-60K words.

Adelaide is an okay character, I think I will forget about her sooner than later and what also made me sad that all the males in this book were kind of a-holes even in the parallel verses. The book has a sad atmosphere so you need to be in a certain mood anyway to like it.

Summary: Again Again was a weird read for me, the story was kind of going well with a few things that irritated me but the last chapters were not my cup of tea. The writing is good, sad and atmospheric. If you are looking for a weird read then you may still love this one!
Profile Image for Angelica.
805 reviews1,127 followers
July 25, 2020
I am conflicted!!

On the one side, this book is not 'technically' a bad book. E. Lockhart is a wonderful storyteller. The story itself is also told in a fantastically creative way.

On the other hand, I didn't actually enjoy the book. I wasn't satisfied. I wasn't as involved as I would have liked. I like to get lost in a story, and I simply couldn't do that here.

All of that said, I do think this is an extremely interesting novel. Especially seeing the repetition of events happening in all the different possibilities.

Despite what the cover implies, this is not so much a romance novel, as it is a book about love. Love for yourself, for your family, for all the people that hurt you. If anything, the romantic aspect of the story was my least favorite part. I much preferred to see the family relations, especially between Adelaide and her brother, Toby.

I enjoyed the way the book dealt with grief and loss. And I liked the fact that the loss is not related to death. It is the loss of a person that while they remain physically here, is lost to you in all other ways. Seeing how Toby's struggles with addiction and seeing how his family has fallen apart due to it was both interesting and heartbreaking.

Overall, I thought the book to be well written and interesting, and yet, almost contradicting myself, I didn't fully enjoy it how I would have liked. I sill prefer E. Lockhart's We Were Liars. I also think this is the kind of book that a lot of people might not enjoy if you aren't familiar with, and interesting in, the author's style of writing.

Follow Me Here Too: My Blog || Twitter || Bloglovin' || Instagram || Tumblr
Profile Image for Samantha.
177 reviews75 followers
July 15, 2020
I read this in a day but not because it was good. It was just okay. Honestly I just really wanted to finish it. We Were Liars is one of my favourite books and I love the writing style and I shouldn’t compare it to that book but in this one it just didn’t hit any mark for me. I was frustrated and annoyed at times at Adelaide and a couple of the other characters. Toby though was a good one. Nothing much happened and there’s a lot of repetition of scenes because of the “alternate universe” theme. I appreciated it somewhat but it just wasn’t for me.
Profile Image for Fares.
246 reviews315 followers
September 11, 2020
Would you believe it, I finished a book!
While this was confusing as heck it still had some good parts and I just loved reading, probably bc I missed reading in general but still this had some good parts.
I hesitate to recommend this tho, it's definitely not for everyone.

I think I would've enjoyed a simpler storytelling than this which had different timeline jumps, it was a mess imo but I definitely liked the writing. It could've been easily a 5 stars in another universe.
The irony of that 🙂

Buddy read with Miss pride and prejudice
Profile Image for Angela Staudt.
374 reviews108 followers
July 25, 2020
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 more 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.
Profile Image for Avani ✨.
1,585 reviews329 followers
November 12, 2021
2.5 stars

The book started well, I enjoyed Adelaide's view and narration, but then 50% past the book, it went very annoying and repetitive. I just felt at one point the characters were so toxic and I did not want to read any further. But I did finish the book, and all I have to say is, it was a very neutral book for me. I get that the plot and Adelaide's thoughts were meant to be confusing but I don't think so that worked out for me very well.
Profile Image for Sara the Librarian.
748 reviews323 followers
July 25, 2020
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 more 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 more 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 more sympathetic, more 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.
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,339 reviews300 followers
September 18, 2021
I'm also a Book Blogger
(ARC provided by NetGalley, my opinions are unbiased.)

This book smelt like independent coffee shops and felt like slouchie hats. It sounded like discussions about Proust and tasted like avocado toast. In short, it was the most pretentious Hipster horse sh-t I have ever read, and I've suffered through multiple Levithan books.

This book does have it's merits, I particularly liked the idea of it, just not the execution. Adelaide Buchwald (Book Forest if you slam two German words together I guess) meets Jack while walking some professor's dogs, and then she meets him again - in another universe. Five meetings with different outcomes can take up a single page and quickly becomes repetitive and confusing.

I struggled to see the point of this. It didn't have much of an outcome, literally switching to a different suitor later on just to fill space. The ending didn't leave me feeling satisfied with Adelaide's journey, of which not much happened. I didn't feel like she or I learned much during the course of the story.
Profile Image for Lindsay (pawsomereads).
680 reviews375 followers
January 10, 2021
I really liked the majority of this book but then the last 50 pages or so lost me so much that I just have no idea how I feel now. For that reason, it’s hard for me to even explain what this is about.
Again Again is a YA romance with a bit of a fantastical twist with a kind of parallel universe thing going on throughout.
It had an interesting format. It has normal prose mixed with some sections that read like poetry. It also had different inserts from different possible universes and I liked that. It was definitely a different approach than a typical YA contemporary novel.
This book was very character driven but still intriguing and interesting. I didn’t find the plot dragging too much at any time. It focused on love; falling in love, losing love and finding new love. It also discussed drug addiction a lot and the affects that can have on a family.
All in all, I liked it but I also just feel like I didn’t get it. I really enjoyed the concept of exploring parallel universes and how little decisions can impact big parts of the future but I don’t understand why the ending went in the direction that it did so maybe I just missed the big picture message.
Profile Image for Sylvie .
632 reviews821 followers
July 25, 2020
2.75 out of 5 stars.

It had been a hot minute since I read an E. Lockhart book, and when I remembered yesterday that 'Again Again' was released I knew I had to read it.

The story overall was peculiar and I don't mean this either in negative or in a positive way. The writing style was very strange, I didn't quiet understand what was the purpose of the ''time lapses'' It didn't make sense to me. I know in a way that this was sort of a coming of age book, but I just disn't get the vibe of that. Maybe I myself wasn't in the right mood to enjoy or appreciate this book's concept.
Profile Image for Mandy White (mandylovestoread).
2,031 reviews528 followers
June 6, 2020
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 more 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.
Profile Image for Sheena.
601 reviews264 followers
June 4, 2020
If there is a dog on the cover, I am going to read it. I enjoyed Adelaide and Toby's relationship - it was heartbreaking, pure, and real. I love reading about complex sibling relationships and I expected this to be more focused on the love interest mostly but I'm glad it didn't though. Adelaide seemed a little too much in love with each and every boy she met and maybe that is the point of young love but it made her come off as desperate and annoying. I did like that the author included her feelings of depression as I found it relatable. This did end in a way I didn't expect and I'm actually content with how it ended. The alternative endings or situations was a bit confusing and I had trouble figuring out what actually happened and what was in Adelaide's mind. Sadly, that part didn't work out for me and it was what I was most excited for.

Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced copy!
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,211 followers
May 19, 2020
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 Baltimore, 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 more 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 more, 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.
Profile Image for Brittany (whatbritreads).
577 reviews1,056 followers
June 18, 2021
*Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for review!*

I have never been more confused by a book in my life like… what on earth was this? I’m so disappointed because I usually like e.lockhart but this was just a complete mess. Oh dear.

First and foremost, the writing style. Listen, I know a lot of people aren’t a fan of lockhart’s writing style but I can usually deal with it. In this book, it was quite frankly ridiculous. The amount of times she unnecessarily split a sentence over several lines for no apparent reason actually infuriated me. It just felt like she finished the book and it felt too short, so she randomly decided to bulk it up like that. I’m not even exaggerating but I thought it was terrible.

What even was the plot? I’m being serious, I have no idea what I just read or what was even going on. I’m actually convinced nothing happened at all. The whole formatting of the book was so OFF. The synopsis really makes it sound so much better an more engaging than it is. The whole ‘parallel universe’ stuff is handled so poorly. The same scenes are just repeated three times in different fonts and it serves as no purpose but to confuse you, in my opinion.

The whole thing was so wishy washy and superficial. Mentions of several serious topics that are never actually explored. Insta love. Bland characters. Difficult relationships that are never actually explored properly…. None of this was cohesive and it made no sense.

On the plus side, it was an extremely quick read and I managed to read it all in a couple of hours. However, it was completely immemorable so if you ask me what this was about in a week my mind will be blank. Such a let down.
Profile Image for Renata.
428 reviews279 followers
November 9, 2020
What did I just read? I’m so confused omg. The good thing was that it was so fast to read, this book has different timelines and I guess it wasn’t that easy to follow up or it was me who got lost after three chapters and gave up in trying to understand it because honestly, I didn’t cared that much about the characters either.
Profile Image for Noelle.
373 reviews246 followers
July 25, 2020
I ended up really liking Again Again - or should I say The Verse and the Multi-Verse (badumdum, tip your waiters).

E. Lockhart has this ability to just cut to the quick of emotions - especially the fraught emotions of adolescence - in a way that makes an examination of self-worth and emotional maturity not only accessible but still believable. Like, she brings up specific emotional issues in YA books that I can vividly remember experiencing in my youth but not reading about in my own teen reading selections. Who knows, maybe it would have sailed over my head back then but now I find her empathy and approachability about painful, scary, “ugly” emotions so valuable and admirable.

The last few Lockhart novels proved too gimmicky for my tastes but in this case the gimmicks added instead of detracted from the reading experience, especially the multi-verse conceit. It mirrored the incessant what-ifs and over-thinking of an adolescent (or you know, anyone with anxiety, hello how are you) while also reinforcing the idea that there is no such thing as perfection. There will always be ups with downs, heartache with love, risks inherent in vulnerability.

When I got to the last section I had a bit of a battle within: What was real? Did it matter? But after sitting with it a moment, beyond my wish for a "happy" ending, those questions were almost beside the point. Our world is made anew each day.

(Totally sobbed about the sibling stuff <3)

Oh, Lockhart you got me again.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,436 reviews234 followers
July 25, 2020
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 more 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 more, 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.

Profile Image for Melanie.
67 reviews122 followers
March 9, 2022
I went into this book blind so it was difficult / confusing to understand why there was extra scenarios and it didn’t make any sense since the story was just going on as usual so I came to the conclusion that they might be her what if’s but I later see that it’s an alt universe. The characters in this book are really hard to like especially Adelaide , she seems like the type of person to only see her prospective and not care about what others think and does not even try to understand why the people around her do what they do and why .
This story is boring , nothing interesting happens , everything about it is boring . I liked the fast paced writing that is probably the only thing that was good about this book.
Profile Image for brie.
578 reviews50 followers
March 9, 2021
e lockhart is known for having an ability to craft unique and eccentric novels, that are unlike any others. unfortunately, from the three i've read, i haven't enjoyed any of them. i would probably have to say again again is my favourite, but i would have to say i attribute that to the the fact i liked the "this is what makes me unique factor" the best out of any of the three books. i didn't really like anything about this book. i just hated it less.

this books explores the concepts of the multiverse, and how things play out when certain scenes are changed, infinite possibilities, all that jazz. i think it worked for the story, and it definitely brought an element of meaning and enjoyment to the story, but i would still definitely say there was potential for a lot more. i think the multiverse aspect brought a lot to adelaide's grief and sense of loss, but it also caused there to be a detachment from the characters, therefore taking away from that hard-earned empathy you get from it.

adelaide is a fine character, she goes through some shit over the course of the novel, and then we see her suffer, and grow, and all that. there were individual moments and scenes where i cared about adelaide and i truly felt for her, but in general she fell through the cracks and was forgettable when it comes to ya contemporary mc's. she became just another of the hurt and mentally scarred mc's i've read in countless ya contemporaries at this point, never to be thought about again.

if you've enjoyed lockhart's other novels, you'll probably enjoy this one as well. i think i'll always be willing to read more of her books, because they're always so unique and different, but i'm still sad i've yet to enjoy any of them.
Profile Image for jesslyn.
311 reviews237 followers
June 27, 2021
I read E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars a looong time ago and it was one of those books that made me ugly cry.

True, it wasn’t the best book. I gave it three stars (and if you read my review, ignore that shit, I was a wimpy preteen or teen who gave 5 stars to everything and thought all books are good), and that’s quite something since back in the day I used to give 5 stars to everything. The fact that I gave it a 3 means it wasn’t spectacular, to say the least. But it did make me cry. I cried so hard. So even though the book itself wasn’t to my liking, I think the ending was worth it.

I haven’t read any works by E. Lockhart since then. This is my second ever and… oh boy

This book is such a mess.

So, Adelaide Buchswald is a girl who spent her summer holiday walking dogs(?) at a school where her father is currently teaching(?), then she met a boy(?) God it’s such a mess I can’t even remember how it started.

The format of this book is supposed to dive into alternate realities, so it’s like playing Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnacth. Each chapter tells several outcomes that could come out of a certain situation. It is a unique and interesting concept, but it does not work.

Mainly, the format itself is very confusing because like it’s promise; ‘a story that happens in many worlds’, it involved too many worlds or outcomes and each of these outcomes are not even handled properly. The author actually just follows one timeline but also introducing different outcomes in each scene that ends up abandoned halfway. So instead of being intriguing, it confused the hell out of me because I don’t know which one, or which universe that we should be reading about.

I would just say that it would be better if we follow two worlds and just two worlds, where one choice could alter the course of the timeline entirely, but who am I to say? This is not my book. I just think that it would be less confusing because remember: this is not an interactive movie.

I was about to DNF around halfway but I pushed through and the ending itself didn’t give some kind of closure, satisfaction, or anything else. Reading this book is such a waste of time. I really wanted to love it because of the unique concept but sadly, there wasn't anything to like.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,746 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.