Reviews Standalones

Review | Again, but Better

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Author: Christine Riccio.

Length: 373 pages.

“It’s weird how we have to get a little older to realize that people are just people. It should be obvious, but it’s not.” 

Goodreads Synopsis

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

My Thoughts

Christine Riccio, aka PolandbananasBOOKS, aka xtinemay, is a very well known booktuber. So, of course, I had to read her book. And let me tell you guys… It’s not bad.

We’ve seen time and time again book tubers write books that turn out to be not that great. However, I think that this has made us predisposed, making us automatically expect something bad from one of these authors. But, let me tell you, this book is good.

First of all, I think we can all agree that Christine Riccio has a great sense of humor, and this blatantly shines in the novel. It is incredibly fun to read and I laughed hard several times. BUT, this wasn’t the best part. If you’ve watched her videos, you know that Christine hates spoilers, so she refused to give us any real information about the plot of her book and I’m glad. I don’t about others, but I was surprised by the twist that this story had because I was not expecting it. I thought this would be a nice, simple contemporary novel.

What I loved:

I loooooved the main storyline, I think it was very well done and made the story incredibly more interesting. I enjoyed watching Shane and Pilot grow and learn from their mistakes. The author did a very good job in creating two different voices for the main character, which shows how much she matured and learned from the beginning of the story to the end. It is evident that Christine included much of her personal experience in this novel, which I also think is great because many people will identify with how Shane feels and how she struggled to fit in — I know I definitely did.

What I didn’t love:

I understand why the author decided to include so many references, and it makes sense with the plot, but… I think it was a bit much. There were soooo many pop culture references that it was kind of hard to keep up and notice all of them. Also, some scenes were kind of long and had some unnecessary dialogue. It is evident that this is part of Christine’s style, and it really isn’t that big of a deal. This is something that she can get better at with her following novels. There is a lot of room for growth here.

This is book is definitely not for everyone. It has a magical touch (literally) and that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I consider it to be a good debut novel and I’m excited to read her next book.