Review of Again Again

Again Again
by E. Lockhart
High School    Delacorte    293 pp.    g
6/20    978-0-385-74479-9    $18.99
Library ed.  978-0-375-99185-1    $21.99
e-book ed.  978-0-385-39139-9    $10.99

In this novel set in the same world as The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (rev. 5/08), Lockhart explores the intersection between love and the multiverse. The summer between her junior and senior years of Alabaster Preparatory Academy boarding school, “middle-class white Jewish ‘faculty brat’ with a public school background” Adelaide Buchwald “would fall in and out of love more than once, in different ways in different possible worlds.” In most universes, she is devastated by a break-up with Mikey Double L, her first love. In some, she is distracted from her broken heart by Jack Cavallero, a mysterious poet with a tragic past. In one, she falls for Oscar, a pianist with a great sense of humor but terrible timing. In every universe, Adelaide is big sister to Toby, her beloved brother and a relapsed addict. If she can heal that relationship, the pieces of her complicated love life just might fall into place. Readers will be able to keep the universes straight through the use of font changes and clued-in chapter headings. An appealing cast of secondary characters — which include an acerbic art teacher, a romance-challenged roommate, and, best of all, a motley pack of sweet dogs that Adelaide walks — serves as amusing examples of the types of relationships Adelaide should embrace or avoid. An offbeat, philosophical love story for those who enjoy pondering the mysteries of the universe or the heart.

From the May/June 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Jennifer Hubert Swan
Jennifer Hubert Swan is director of library services and middle school librarian at Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School in New York City. She is also a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute School of Information, where she teaches youth literature and library programming. She blogs at Reading Rants.

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