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(Never) Again by Theresa Paolo
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(Never) Again

by Theresa Paolo

Series: Again (1)

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(Never) Again is a sweet romance that has some intense, serious moments. When Liz runs into ex-boyfriend, Zach, on her college campus, she panics. After all, he's the boy who broke her heart. Her first love, the boy who left town and stopped calling. She's understandably pissed and wants nothing to do with him, except he keeps showing up everywhere. He doesn't seem to care that she has a boyfriend. A boyfriend she loves. Except her love for Joe is vanilla compared to the double-dutch chocolate goodness that was her love for Zach. Was being the key word. She's over him, right?

Yeah, not so much. Zach is always there for her when she needs him, annoyingly so. It's clear these two belong together, but Liz isn't sure she's willing to take a chance on Zach again. She isn't sure she can survive another Zach-induced heartache, and she really, really loves Joe. She thinks.

Plot
I love romances about lost loves and second chances, and (Never) Again has all of the ingredients of a really good one. Liz was devastated by Zach's leaving and she doesn't understand why he just suddenly stopped calling her. Zach tries to pretend nothing is wrong, but Liz isn't afraid to let him have it every chance she gets. Liz knows she never really got over Zach, but she's sure he's over her. Why else did he abandon her? It's obvious to everyone but Liz that Zach still has it bad for her. I knew these two would end up together, I just wasn't sure how it was going to happen. I definitely enjoyed the story and it's a fast read.

World Building
Set on the campus of a small college, I felt the world-building was solid. The characters acted and spoke like college students and the settings were authentic.

Characters
All of the characters were very likeable, even Joe. There was minimal growth by Liz and at times, I thought she was being stubborn for the stake of stubbornness, but overall, all the characters were well developed for the roles they played.

Top Five Things I Enjoyed About (Never) Again
1. Liz's love of baking. It's definitely something I can relate to.

2. The bromance between Zach and Liz's older brother, Josh.

3. The party from hell. It was pretty much every bad party I've ever had, rolled into one.

4. The tragic event that brings Zach and Liz together. I won't spoil anything, but it was really well done and I never saw it coming.

5. Tanya. She could easily have been portrayed as the stereotypical bitchy girl, but I love that she was much more well-rounded.

Bottom Line
(Never) Again is a sweet romance about lost love and second chances.

Disclaimer
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  THHernandez | Feb 11, 2015 |
When a story is told in first person I really need to engage with the narrator for it to work for me. Sadly, I didn't connect with this narrator at all. That kind of killed the story for me.

Though I enjoyed the basic premise - high school sweetheart turns up at college and wants girl back - it wasn't executed as well as I'd hoped it would be. Liz, the heroine, was on the immature side of young, which made for some contradictory thoughts and actions. I had a hard time putting myself in her shoes, so I couldn't really understand why she made a lot of the decisions she did.

Though I finished the story, I never really engaged. Not a terrible read, but not a great one either. ( )
  cranberrytarts | Sep 22, 2013 |
Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Associate Reviewer - Marta C:
*eARC received from the Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

My first read from this author and most definitely not my last! I loved it! The emotions just tore me apart; yes I even cried.

(Never) Again is a story told in first person about Liz Wagner and how she's starting life in college. At eighteen she knows all about heartbreak, as the boy she loved moved away and never kept in touch. Falling into depression, she let her school work slide and misses out on going to the college of her dreams. Now she's rebuilt her life and has even managed to find happiness with Joe. Then, one day everything changes. Zach Roberts is back! Feeling like life is kicking her in the teeth, Liz is expected to just smile and carry on as if her world didn't fall apart when he deserted her. To make matters worse Zach is constantly around and just so perfect!

Struggling to balance her feelings for Joe while avoiding Zach is not an easy task. To add insult to injury, Liz's own brother,Josh, is all friendly with him as well. Then one day life changes. Tragedy strikes, and Liz needs support more than ever. Can she trust Zach or will he let her down again? What about her relationship with Joe? Will it stand up to the pressure that surrounds them all?

I am speechless with admiration at the sheer depth of this book. The author has written a story that while aimed at a young adult market is full of heart. The heroine Liz is just a dream to read about, as she struggles with coming to terms with her adulthood and the complications that romance can bring. She's bright and funny, and her opinion that life just bitch slaps her is one that will resonate with a lot of readers. This story is full of well written characters and humor. It's impossible not to care for Liz and Zach. When tragedy strikes, it's a shock, and written in such a way that the reader cannot help but feel emotionally involved. Truly moving.

Well done Ms. Paolo, and... more please. ( )
  LITERALADDICTION | Sep 4, 2013 |
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