Lit Reviews: Again, But Better by Christine Riccio

Again but Better by Christine Riccio

Shane: white, premed student, and studied abroad in London for a semester

Me: not one of those things

Despite my need for reading stories only with lead characters that identify as black/other POC, I picked this story up on the recommendation of a friend. So,  I visited the library and picked it up and immediately read the authors note. The message really resonated with me and I was sold.

This is for all the teens/ young adults/ adults who feel like they’ve been left behind. You’re not behind. You have time to find yourself and love and adventure. It’s all out there, and when you’re ready to push yourself out of your comfort zone and look for it, you’ll find it. 

While I would prefer to not expose myself, I resonated with Shane on other levels. Yeah, she loves to write and read like me, but it was beyond that. She’s a college student who was reflecting on her college journey and she’s sort of found it… lacking. While I am not necessarily lacking in friendship as she claims she is, I understood her need for adventure. Her feelings of feeling behind her peers on so many other experiences. The desire to get out of her own head and try something new, be the version of herself she always wanted to be. She’s navigating being on her own in London, trying to pursue a career in writing –– a career her parents would never approve of–– and become vulnerable enough to pursue ~romance~. She’s going through a lot of new challenges but throughout the course of her journey, she stayed true to herself. I’ll stay vague on the plot of the story for the sake of spoilers but I do want to touch on the love story angle.

When I saw that the male lead was named Pilot, I just about dropped the book and walked away. Really, my face was like this:


I don’t understand why there’s a need for these ridiculous white boy names in young adult books. It’s like…I get it, you’re the lead. I told my friend his name and she texted back, “That’s a really dumb name. That’s like naming your child mailman.” Which it is.

Besides the odd name, the banter between Pilot and Shane was really cute and well-paced. I genuinely did feel like they were friends; however, I do wish that there was some more background on Pilot’s history. We get breadcrumbs here and there but I think if it was fleshed out a little more, it would help make his character a bit more dimensional. There was a part in the book where Shane questions how well they don’t know one another and I was like, um, yeah you don’t. 

On the other hand, not everyone is into slow-burn like I am so it’s really up to your own preferences.

All in all, I like the message of the story of encouraging people, at whatever age to step outside of their comfort zones, to be kind to themselves, and be brave with where life takes you. I enjoyed the book a lot and though it has a pretty high word count, I highly recommend it!

 Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it? Also, if you have any book recommendations for me (especially ones with lead characters that are black/other POC), let me know! I’m always searching for some new reads 🙂