Again, But Better by Christine Riccio
Synopsis: 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.
“You’re bolder than before.”
I usually don’t like books by YouTubers, but Again, But Better really exceeded my expectations. It’s fun, it’s cute, and it’s a fast but emotional read. I loved the characters and the drama between everyone- especially Shane and Pilot and Shane and her parents- and Shane’s development throughout the book was really great.
Christine Riccio made studying abroad and all the places the people in the book visited sound vibrant and exciting with great descriptions.
The writing was not spectacular, but decent for a debut. It had an overload of references to 2011 (when the first half of the book was set) and Shane, the main character, seems very similar to the author, Christine Riccio. However, the book had a lot of funny moments and nostalgic vibes. The pacing was done very well, with a good balance between school, work, and hanging out with friends.
The plot twist was definitely unexpected, though I would have liked to know more of the background behind it, and have the ending fleshed out a bit more.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.