!!> PDF / Epub ✅ Again, But Better ❤ Author Christine Riccio – Writerscompany.co.uk
oh dear this story made me cringe so much, i now need to make an appointment with a chiropractor to work out the new tenseness in my shoulders.to keep it brief, this book definitely tries way too hard im not a fan of the writing it has a low quality fan fiction vibe to it im not a fan of the characters shane is one of the most insufferably immature characters ive ever read im not a fan of the overly used pop culture references theres practically one on every page i actually thought the concept was cute but the execution leaves much to be desired there are so many other books that have done this kind of story once, but better 2 stars THE MOST HEARTWARMING ROMANCE SET AGAINST WHIMSY COMEDYWhat a debut If you love to laugh out loud and feel a kinship to the main character, Christine does wonders with the funy awkward first love She just gets it I had such a wonderful time reading this heartwarming story about second chances It encompasses the warmth of a 90s Meg Ryan movie with the setting of Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow This is the kind of book that will keep you company on your summer vacation or be your best friend on a rainy day. Unfortunately this one just wasn t for me, which is fine.Things I likedThe character s voice was distinctly different in the 2 respective timelines While I originally found Shane far too naive, enthusiastic, and overdramatic for my liking as a twenty year old, the portions at age 26 made that choice clear, as to establish maturity and character growth.Great pacing The trips to different countries and the balance of time spent at home, at work, at school, and out with friends kept things interesting and dynamic.Things I dislikedI was stoked originally to hear there was a small magical element to this, but the execution turned out to not result in quite what I was hoping for I know this is a romance, but by the time that magical element happened, I was banking on this second chance to really impact Shane s focus in life from her relationship to onto herself.The incessant 2011 references I ve never read a book so insistent on reminding you what year it is, especially as it had no real importance, besides the fact that there are 2 different years this book takes place in The constant book, technology, song, and movie references put in place to establish that it IS, still, indeed 2011 was exhaustive From referencing T Swizzle and this new program called Spotify to I m reading City of Glass The fourth book in the series is coming out soon and Death Hallows Part Two hasn t been released yet The pop culture references were abundant, and distracting than adding anything of value.Most of the romantic scenes were, for lack of a better word, cringey Shane came off very strangely obsessive with this boy she d just met the internal monologue over him was practically manic It gave off a very different tone than the romance I was expecting I have some especially weird feelings about the latter half of this book, and Pilot s character evolution with Shane s attempt to control itbut I don t quite know how to express what I disliked about it fully I ll have to think on this.There were some seriously weirdly structured sentences and jokes in this book A lot of them made absolutely no sense to me Note This could definitely be a result of my copy being an early edition, and not the final version But than likely I just don t get the brand of humour There were many, many I chuckled I snorted I laughed lines after nothing substantially humorous had just occurred Example In the middle of an otherwise normal conversation, a character says the normal phrase I volunteered to which Shane s internal monologue states I chuckle, thinking of The Hunger Games Quite perplexing.I would have liked some unpacking with certain topics I thought needed context such as that shocking dinner altercation, where verbal abuse is normalized, and the subject of cheating, which I feel was too glossed over.There was nothing inherently wrong with this that would make me caution anyone not to give it a chance, the book just wasn t my cup of tea Overall a fine first novel really I think it s common for author s to especially draw on their own experiences in their first book it s just unfortunate that we know this author so much than the average author because the self insertion was aggressively noticeable Future books I m assuming will lack this quality, and I d be than happy to give myself another opportunity to enjoy Christine s work. Shane has been doing college all wrong You fool.You absolute buffoon.That s the only way you do college. Can we start overWriters are often told to write what you know Even now, when I think of Shane Primaveri I see Christine Riccio, I hear Christine Riccio, I feel like I fucking know Christine Riccio So yes, she did write what she knew, because she wrote herself cries in YA I was really hesitant to read this book, but I made an effort to read it independent of its booktube writer I tried focusing on the story and stayed away from any reviews It really did not let me, I felt uncomfortable, like a fly on Christine s wall Firstly, I want to say that I have no problem with Booktubers getting book deals I think that it s brilliant that readers, reviewers and writers of Wattpad, Booktube, Goodreads and even Fanfiction are getting some seriously needed exposure A writer can be successful regardless of how they started We really are in a time where publishers want to take and make smart deals, so giving a person that has a high following a book deal is monetarily productive than giving an indie author a shot Which understandably, can go really swell or fucking jump ship awful This was the latter for me I felt like this book had a check list that needed to be fulfilled but each point was taken to the extreme and failed miserably The check list, was the ultimate guide to creating a popular YA novel ahem Hello, my name is Alex and welcome to my TED talk Step 1 Unique Writing From page 1, I shit you not, page one this book had an odd writing style It was like it was trying to reach for poetic prose but instead fell into something riddling For example, we are being told she is in a plane hereNow, I m thousands of miles over the Atlantic in a giant hollowed out pen with wings Then there were times where I think humor was added, but again maybe I m just a soulless sock that doesn t understand comedy So all in all, this started pretty rough for me Step 2 Remember to like, be like, relatable Of course, EVERYONE loves knowing that their issues aren t only their own and somewhere somehow, someone else is also fighting the same issues Enter Shane Not literally But, you know that feeling like light being circulated through your veins when you see someone cute, and all the sudden you explode all over with the thrill of said cute person noticing and acknowledging your existence as a human with whom they could potentially fall into a relationship with I smile back at him and then look away so as not to appear to be a weird statue that stares at him We re walking down the sidewalk in London together Pilot and I Me and Pilot A cute boy who s being nice to me Who I held a conversation with My heart is having a dance party It s also wondering, is this like, a date No, it s not a date, but it s like a something The romance was very two dimensional, and maybe because the characters felt under developed to me A lot of the time, they came off as cartoonish and unrealistic I mean come on, if you are going to name the love interest Pilot Penn, he s got to have something going for him Poor guy got a name from a stationary set The romance was all over the shop and insta love, and as a romance reader, I ve read my fair share of messy love stories Pilot was a character I really didn t enjoy and being 50% of the romance in this story, it was really hard for me to cheer on Shane and him The underlying cheating throughout the book added angst but it also makes me wonder why a romance is going on between them in the first place Step 3 Let s add an unrealistic depiction of a mental disorder In all seriousness, this was the asset of the book that I really didn t gel with Shane has social anxiety and at first, I was happy that this was represented in the book But then, I saw her social anxiety and I wanted to literally curl into a ball Whoever has anxiety or any mental disorder for that fact, knows that it is not just an excuse for awkward and odd social behavior It is your mind coming up with 10,000 paranoid alterations of reality and it leaves you feeling completely helpless I hated the portrayal of anxiety through Shane and if there is one thing I cannot handle is the way people use actual mental diagnoses to sensationalize and romanticize regular behavior Like when I hear people say shit like i like having my pens in order, i m soooo OCD or wow, i hate this traffic, I m actually gonna commit or shit, it s monday tomorrow i m depressed uhmmm NO Also the fact that Shane is magically going to cure her anxiety and social nervousness by going to another country and falling in love and making friends and etc etc etc is false advertising You cannot measure mental health progress on a linear scale and say this is the start and this is the end It s such a distorted representation of how truly unforgiving mental health can be Step 4 Diversity YAY Any progressive reader knows that diversity in any book is a fucking gift from heaven I would love to have a shelf solely for diverse reads, our own voices and minority representation Even better, I would love for those characters to be the main characters cough cough but moving on But I hate when authors force diversity, like they are doing something just to check it off That s not the point of what you are trying to achieve So yes, I will give a point to Christine for trying to add diversity to her storyline but then just because I wish the execution was better, I m going to take back half that point Which brings me to the character dialogue Everyone shared the same voice Everything ended with a Step 5 Writing what you know Shane is the main character Shane is Christine.I m not even going to get into this one too much because I m pretty sure I ve said enough already Everything about Shane Primaveri was Christine Riccio Their habits, their dialogue, their hobbies If you want to know Christine on a really personal level, then this might be for you Unfortunately, it wasn t for me. OKAY UPDATE THIS COVER IS FUCKING AMAZINGChristine isn t my favourite Booktuber, but she basically single handedly started Booktube and that s pretty fucking awesome And she s been working on this for years even though we all KNOW because of her following she could of got it published ages ago I totally respect the work dedication that has obviously gone into this Plus I think the title is so catchy and fun ARC received via arcsfortrade on Twitter If you could go back and do London all over again, knowing everything you know now, would you do itFriends, I wanted to love this so badly So damn badly Christine is not only the actual Queen of BookTube, she was one of the first channels I ever watched She just seems so kind, and genuine, and I always feel like she radiates positive energy, and she was such a massive part of why I wanted to read Shadowhunters in the first place But this review isn t going to be about that, nor is it going to be a drag or me spilling the tea this review is just going to be about why this debut was only okay for me Even though I very much hope it works for you come May 2019 Also, please keep in mind that I have a very early ARC copy of this book Many things could be changed upon publication This story centers around a girl named Shane, who has had her life completely predictated by her parents wants and aspirations for her Her parents want her to study medicine and to one day become a doctor, while all Shane wants to do is read and write Yet, she somehow manages to be able to study abroad to the UK, where she will also be able to intern as a writer for a travel magazine and, most importantly, escape her parents expectations The book is also told in two parts the first part being set in 2011 where Shane is 20, and the next part set in 2017 where Shane is 26 But the book starts out in 2011 and we soon follow Shane during her oversea travels, and we soon meet all of her flat mates, most of which who have ridiculous names Babe, Atticus, Sahra, and Pilot Penn Yeah, you read that last one right But Shane is making sure that she is going to make the most of these three months of freedom, while trying to make friendships and connections that will last her entire life This books just reads so personal Like, I would even go as far as to say that I would feel comfortable as classifying this as semiautobiographical But instead of me being interested in the story, it really took me out of it because it felt so much like Christine and, in turn, felt so damn invasive Like, you will not be able to read this book and not picture the main character, Shane, as Christine From studying abroad, to being open about not making many friends in college, togaspShane s blog name being French Watermelon, to the constant Lost references, to the endless Cassandra Clare and Shadowhunter references, to Harry Potter galore, while the character of Shane also just has a personality and the same mannerisms as Christine This just feels so semiautobiographical I promise, you won t be able to not see it And maybe that will completely make the reading experience for you, and I truly hope it does, but it really pulled me out of the story constantly Also, Christine constantly is trying to make you remember that the story is set in 2011 for a majority of the time Which is fine at first, but it becomes so heavy handed and forced that it really made for an unenjoyable reading experience Angry Birds, to Jamie Foxx sBlame It , to every popular book of that time period It was just too much, and it really did a disservice to the story, in my opinion But my biggest problem with this book was the grey area cheating and even eventual cheating a kiss This was truly the reason that I could never love this book or ever feel anything for the characters Plus, the character that is getting cheated on is always villainized to look like a bad girl, when she has every right to feel threatened Also, just because this is something that is personal to me, I really didn t like how Shane s parents were never said to be abusive when they most certainly were Like, the verbal abuse alone her father showed in the text, on top of the constant emotional abuse throughout the entire story, it just made me so upset and I really was disappointed when the parents were never viewed as being shitty parents Especially at the end when they are being portrayed as good parents, just because their child was able to succeed without them It feels and reads so very bad Seriously, if your parents only want to love and support you when you are successful then they aren t that great of parents I really loved how this entire story and book shines a light on the constant theme of social anxiety I m not saying that Shane makes the wisest of choices throughout these six years but seeing her live with social anxiety was something that really meant a lot to me and something that I really appreciated My favorite thing about this book is how it truly is a love letter about how you have to live your life for yourself I know that Shane learns this the hard way, but I think that this is a concept that kids need to not only hear but to let the message absorb into their hearts I know that I learned it way later in life, and I wish so desperately that I could go back and learn that my life is only ever mine and that I deserve happiness so much sooner And I really hope that because Christine has such a huge audience, that so many teens and young adults will be back to learn this earlier and truly live and lead the lives that they want for themselves And this book is a really fast paced read, that will really leave you turning the pages because you ll be super curious where everything is going Even though I really didn t like the romance in this book, I was really invested with all the different paths and connections that Shane was making constantly And I truly believe that I could have sat down, with a big cup of tea, and read this book from cover to cover in one sitting Another thing I liked, that I don t want to talk too much about because of spoilers, but there is for sure a magical element of this book that I was not expecting at all And even though I think things could have been handled better grey area cheating , I really enjoyed how this fantastical element was implemented into the story, and it was a surprise that made me happy There is also a very diverse cast Even though the main characters, Shane and Pilot are white, I feel like most of Shane s coworkers at the magazine were people of color, and Babe is black and plus sized, Sahra is said to be tan, and Atticus is Asian, gay, and a Gryffindor which feels like a personal attack in the best way, because it s me There is also another queer minor character who comes out because Shane takes a second to talk to them, which is meant to be heartwarming but I was side eyeing a bit Overall, let s be real, people are going to one star and five star this just based on who Christine is upon release, which is never okay, but these are truly my feelings, even though I think Christine is a six star human Even though I didn t love a lot of elements of this debut novel, I still really appreciated some of the themes and thought it was a fun and quick read Blog Instagram Twitter Tumblr Youtube Twitch The quote above was taken from an ARC and is subject to change upon publication.Content and trigger warnings for constant grey area cheating, cheating a kiss , assault an unwanted kiss , and the use of ableist language like cr zy.Buddy read with Madalyn from Novel Ink I loved the writing style, but I really just could not get past all the cheating and girl on girl hate I m bummed as heck c I won an ARC of this book through a giveaway hosted by the publisher. I knew I was going to love Again But Better well before I read it The idea of a girl travelling to London to study abroad at her second chance at college to study what she wants, make new friends, and achieve her goals is all I could have wanted to read about as a teenager I firmly believe that had I read this book at 17, it would be considered one of my favorite books of all time For this reason, it gave me a unique sense of nostalgia, despite this being a totally new story to me, which had a big influence on why I loved this story so much.CW anxiety, cheatingI really liked Shane as a main character There resemblance to a certain good friend of mine who may have also authored this book is uncanny, so it would be hard for me not to like her as a protagonist Shane begins fairly naive, dramatic, and almost goofy, but as the stores spans a long period of time, the character growth is notable and really surprised me in the end I do wish we had seen from the side characters as the story strongly focuses on Shane and the love interest Pilot, but they were pleasant additions to the book I struggled the most with Pilot Sometimes he was a downright cutie and other times I was so frustrated with him, I thought he was bordering on irredeemable In the end, I couldn t resist his charm I had some strong issues with the course of Shane Pilot s friendship, but it was not detrimental to my view of the story I just feel a few situations could have been handled with honesty and courtesy.I felt the writing of the novel was fair for a debut It was not spectacular but I feel the pacing and certain storytelling elements were used effectively My main gripe is that the cadence of Shane s narration just wasn t my cup of tea I don t consider myself to be the biggest stickler for writing style and can frequently gloss over some issues if the story is fulfilling enough elsewhere, and while that stands true for Again, but Better, my bias being Christine s friend does come into play here While I may not have been the biggest fan of the sentence structure at times, I m fully aware that it s Christine s sense of humor and because I think Christine is hilarious, I was able to appreciate it for that reason There were multiple moments where I said to myself Ehh I m not going to chuckle at this and a few pages later, I could not stop laughing when it was brought up again I spent a lot of time giggling and smiling while reading, just because I knew it was EXACTLY how Christine would say it I definitely believe that the writing of this book is not for everyone it also includes many pop culture references at the time which a lot of readers dislike, but it was fine to me and even had some shining moments.A certain fantastical element does come into play halfway through the book, which I thought was cute and fun, though I would be interested to know of the foundations of it I did prefer the first half of this book because it was in line with what I personally wanted from the novel, but there was so much I appreciated in the second half The character development plus the themes and messages were incredibly uplifting and solidified much of why I liked this book I do wish the ending was fleshed out, but again, it s not the biggest deal to me as a reader.Overall, I had such a great time reading Again, but Better It fulfilled pretty much all of my expectations and even surprised me in some aspects This is definitely a book that is made for certain people and not others, but it made my England obsessed, book nerd heart fill with joy and I m not the least bit shocked I enjoyed it so much I received a copy of this book from Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own Shane Has Been Doing College All Wrong Pre Med, Stellar Grades, And Happy Parents Sounds Ideal But Shane S Made Zero Friends, Goes Home Every Weekend, And Romance What S That Her Life Has Been Dorm, Dining Hall, Class, Repeat Time S A Ticking, And She Needs A Change There S Nothing Like Moving To A New Country To Really Mix Things Up Shane Signs Up For A Semester Abroad In London She S Going To Right All Her College Mistakes Make Friends, Pursue Boys, And Find Adventure Easier Said Than Done She Is Soon Faced With The Complicated Realities Of Living Outside Her Bubble, And When Self Doubt Sneaks In, Her New Life Starts To Fall Apart Shane Comes To Find That, With The Right Amount Of Courage And Determination One Can Conquer Anything Throw In Some Fate And A Touch Of Magic The Possibilities Are Endless.