Review: (Never) Again by Theresa Paolo

(Never) Again(Never) Again by Theresa Paolo

Genre: New Adult
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Page Count: 211
Published by: Berkley Penguin Group (USA)
Source: Review copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Just when she had finally moved on…
…He moved back.

When college freshman Liz Wagner hears her ex's voice for the first time since he moved clear across the freaking country, she does what any respectable girl would do: Dive into the girls' bathroom.

Zach Roberts—the Zach Roberts—is back. And he’s everywhere Liz looks—infiltrating her friend group, buddy-buddy with her brother. It’s enough to ruin college altogether. But what choice does she have but to put on a happy face and pretend he didn't leave her vulnerable and alone in a pile of emotional wreckage?

Pretending works, until tragedy strikes and the only person available for comfort is the one person she wants to stay away from. When Zach turns out not to be the jerk she convinced herself he was, but the boy she used to love, Liz needs to decide whether to open her heart again to the boy who tore it out.

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(Never) Again was a decent read, but not a favorite of mine. In the end I thought it was just okay because I didn't really connect with any of the characters.

The protagonist, Liz, had a really bad break up with her high school boyfriend, Zach. Now in college, Liz has put her life back together and has a new boyfriend, Joe. When Zach shows up again and wants to be friends, Liz must learn to deal with her lingering feelings for him. The more time they spend together, the more Liz starts to fall for Zach (again), but she is standoffish because she is afraid he will hurt her (again). Also, Liz likes to point out that she already has a boyfriend - even if he isn't all that great. Zach is desperate for a second chance with Liz, and he apologizes numerous times and tries to explain about the break up from his side. But Liz isn't so easily won over, and Zach has a lot of making up to do if he wants to get Liz back.

I was frustrated with Liz's behavior for most of the book, and I found her to be annoying. I felt that her voice was too immature for a college freshman. It was obvious to everyone except her that Joe was a tool, yet she insisted in believing him to be worthy of losing her virginity to. I though Zach was an alright character. He seemed like a really stand up kind of guy, thoughtful, funny, and cute (which is always a bonus!) A bright spot for me was Liz's brother, Josh. I liked him and I think he was the most interesting character by far.

I thought the story was predictable, but it was interesting enough to keep me reading and keep me mildly entertained. Since it's a story about first love and second chances, I was expecting more angst and emotions in the story, but they just weren't there. The writing was pretty good, and I probably would have enjoyed the book more if I hadn't felt so indifferent about the characters. I am disappointed that the characters weren't very well developed. Overall, (Never) Again wasn't terrible, but there wasn't much that I liked about it. This is noted as being NA, but it's pretty clean and reads more like YA.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. haven't heard of this one. It seems New Adult is starting to really take off. Great review


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