Book Review: "And Again" By: Jessica Chiarella
This book centers on four characters, each of them have a terminal illness that will lead to their deaths. A new program called SUBlife comes along; it is a cure of sorts. It is a program that clones you by giving you a new body with all your memories and characteristics. The book follows the characters after they have been cloned.
This novel allows readers to really think about what they would do if they were in this situation. The story centres on Hannah, David, Linda, and Connie, each one of them is trying to figure out what to do with their second chance at life.
This book is about second chances, a chance to redo everything. But if given a second chance, can a person really change? The exploration of this topic is what will keep you reading. The book is like a long indie movie, that might seem boring to a reader if they don't understand the intricate aspects of the human body and mind. It is interesting to see these characters re-live their lives.
Linda is an interesting character, she is the person I relate to the most. She is so timid and scared of the world around her. Her life was taken from her and now that it's back, she has no idea what to do with it. She is so fearful of everything, spending so much time alone and creating her own world. Linda exemplifies what happens when you can't be an active participant in your own life. Even when give the tools to actively live her life, she shows you how scary it can be to take an active part in embracing a second chance. She is a great lesson on fear and what it can do to you. Linda teaches us that old habits die hard, even when given a fresh new body and a whole new chance at living.
Connie is the beautiful one. When her illness takes away her beauty, it sends her into a very dark place. When all that is given back to her she vows to make a change. I admire her for trying to get her life back without making the same mistakes. When everything is different including your body and brain, yet everything is the same, change is a tricky thing. Connie reminds us how difficult it is to move forward and to move toward change when everything around you is literally the same but you are so completely different.
Hannah is you and she is me and she is the perfect example of being given a second chance, but wanting everything from before. She makes huge mistakes that all of us would make, because given a second chance, we might just follow the same path as before.
David is the typical person who gives no fucks about second chances, someone who can't change even if everything around him, including every cell in his body is biologically different. He is the perfect example of old habits dying very hard.
I love this book because it is a human story. It's how we build webs in our lives and how we will do anything for a second chance. It is about broken promises, regrets, mistakes, and starting a new life. This book allows the reader to examine themselves and what they would do. The author is constantly asking us what we would do, how we would correct ourselves. Jessica Chiarella wants her readers to examine themselves and what they truly fear. This books is dark at times, often very uncomfortable to read, but I think Chiarella does that on purpose to poke at your habits, your insecurities, your fears, your hope, and dreams. Chiarella wants to examine every piece of you as she does with her characters.
This is the kind of book that changes you after you read it, you don't notice the change right away but after you have finished it, you look at the world differently, the world suddenly has a different color to it. The characters feel real, like people you know or people you can bump into.
"And Again" comes out January 12th, 2016, go pick up your copy. I promise it will change the way you look at your mind, body and soul.
Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5.
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