Again Again

Reviewed By  Grasshopper2       June 3, 2020


Author  E. Lockhart

Distributor:      Allen and Unwin
ISBN:                 9781760295943
Publisher:         A&U Children's
Release Date:   June 2020  


Again Again has been created around the storyline of a young girl falling in love and the aspects of her life which influence her thoughts over summer. Adelaide’s boyfriend has just broken up with her and she is left devastated. She is about to enter her senior year at a prestigious college, (her father is the English teacher there). Her brother has an opioid addiction and the destructive fall out on this happy family is evident.

The reader will be drawn into Adelaide’s world by several marvellous, structures in writing which have been used by the author. Throughout the story the text is written in a free poetic style, which adds an intensity to the thoughts and feelings of the young woman. While very scared because yet again her young brother has been rushed to hospital, she thinks

“What if he relapses? What if he dies? What am I doing on this porch, eating pizza?….”

The words are pared back to focus on her single emotion of fear.

Another structure used by the author is one that we can easily relate to, as in some conversations she slips into the “What if’s.”  When Adelaide meets a boy in the park, they have a conversation. Lockhart reruns their discussion in several different ways, each with different endings. This is something that many of us do, and here the author shows us the totally different paths our lives could have taken and how just the use of different words could affect the future so easily.

This young adult novel is full of unusual and heartfelt prose. It is a love story that expands to love of family, love of dogs, and love of the possibilities that life holds. Human relationships are deeply ingrained in this family and their world. For Adelaide it is a time of understanding her conflicting emotions; of how her imaginative thinking and her creative understanding form her ideals.

The story is thought provoking and jolts the reader out of complacent reading.