Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review Tour: Again by Lisa Burstein

How far would you go for a second chance?

Eleven years after flunking out of college, Kate has finally hit rock-bottom. Losing her job and boyfriend in one drunken night, she’s determined to fix her life by going back to the moment when she let partying and sex take over and do things right. At twenty-nine, she heads back to freshman year of college, with a catch.

Pretending she's nineteen with a new roommate and full class schedule is easy. When she meets her shy, sexy and seven-years-younger RA Carter, following her self-imposed sobriety and celibacy rules is proving to be anything but.

A senior enduring years of regret, Carter is more than ready to graduate. He’s anxious to move on from the party his freshman year where he witnessed his frat brothers about to commit a sexual assault. Instead of doing the right thing and stepping in, he looked the other way and left. His guilt has made for a lonely four years.

When he meets the new freshman on his floor, spunky and confident Kate, he wonders if his time as an outcast has finally come to an end.

Kate and Carter’s growing friendship and undeniable attraction make it harder to hide the demons from their respective pasts. But when their secrets are finally revealed, will their chance at starting over together still be there?


Again by Lisa Burstein is a heartwarming story about second chances, and starting over to strive to achieve the life that you have always wanted.  This tale has the emotions of guilt and love intertwined in a way that I haven't read before and tugged at my heart-strings on more than one occasion.  I would give this story 4 stars and definitely recommend it to others.

"I was strong enough to hold her and she seemed strong enough to hold me right back.  Maybe I didn't have to be afraid of what other people would say to her, maybe she was all I needed.  Maybe she was all that mattered"

Twenty-nine year old Kate decided that a do-over was necessary.  After indulging in too much alcohol, a normal occurance for her, she lost her job and her married boyfriend all in one night.  Determined to make something of her life and fix the endless amount of bad decisions she has made throughout her life, she lies about her age and doctor's her transcripts and enters college as a nineteen year old freshman for the second time in her life, when she meets her sexy RA Carter.  Carter is running from his own demons and feelings of guilt.  Closed off from the world, with the exception of his best friend Tristan, he is drawn to Kate for reasons he is unable to comprehend.

Kate is determined to have the full college experience without drinking and Carter is determined to stay away from her for more reason then just being her RA.  Constantly being pushed together in situations that are often beyond their control, Carter and Kate start to fall each other.  Each of them convinced that the mistakes of their past will send the other one running if they are revealed, they continue to hide the darkest parts of themselves, they continue to fall for each other.

It is only when Kate is faced with her past, literally, during one of her classes that everything comes to a head.  Kate is forced to reveal the truth of her age and what she did to gain admission to the school in the hopes that being truthful will be one of the first good decisions she has made since coming up with this crazy scheme.  Carter accepts her truths, and tells her that he loves her anyway and wants to be with her no matter what, that he will stand by her through it all.  Kate doesn't feel any differently about Carter after hearing the events that he did nothing to prevent his freshman year at a frat party that have plagued him all this time.  She doesn't treat him any differently than she had before and the reader is able to feel his relief knowing this.

Although the end of this story is an extremely happy one, it is not the typical gift wrapped happy ending that you would expect.  Both characters are both working towards bettering their lives, together and they have each other to draw strength from, as well as their love. 

Lisa Burstein is the author of the Young Adult Novels: Pretty Amy and Dear Cassie, and the New Adult Novels & Novellas: Sneaking Candy, The Next Forever & The Possibility of Us. She is also a contributor to the essay collection, Break These Rules: 35 Young Adult Authors On Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Again is her self-publishing debut.

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