Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

I might have been one of the only reviewers that went into this book without knowing anything about the author (apparently a famous book tuber). I mostly asked for an ARC because I adored the cover and was interested in the blurb.


Again, but Better

by Christine Riccio

Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2019

Again, but Better – Christine Riccio


Again, but Better – Christine Riccio



I might have been one of the only reviewers that went into this book without knowing anything about the author (apparently a famous booktuber). Clearly I’m not into the whole booktubing enigma.

Even though I had no expectations I was expecting the book to be at least noteworthy.

Unfortunately Again, but Better ended up feeling more like the musings of a teenager than a truly memorable story. It ended up sounding shallow, two-dimensional, and nothing special. Actually the book was missing a heart and soul, a purpose if I may say so. Because the more I got into the novel the harder it was to see the goal of the story.

But maybe a different generation, mostly teenagers I imagine, might enjoy this story.

It started with the pop culture references that riddled the book. Every page had at least one references to music, literature, or movies/TV. From Lost to Harry Potter, on to the Beatles, it went on and on. If all of the references would have been retracted, the book would have been a fifth thinner.

And I’m not sure if that’s something a younger generation does as well, but the heroine named her laptop and notebooks. Something that would have been a Mac or a computer in any other novel, was suddenly called Sawyer (from Lost) and a notebook – wait for it – was now a Horcrux (HP). And don’t let me get started on the main male character, his name was Pilot Penn (like a Pilot pen) – and she gave him the nickname Pies.

It didn’t help either that the heroine, Shane, came across as annoyingly uninteresting. Neither her speech, or thought process was captivating. Actually none of the characters were standing out in any way, positive nor negative. Without anyone having a unique personality this novel ended up neither character nor plot driven – so what’s left?

All of this gave me the feeling that a sixteen year old wrote this book. And at this point I would also suggest that a teenager would be a good audience for this book.

In all honesty, the writing wasn’t bad, it just needed some help. It felt and sounded at times juvenile, and was a book that screamed debut novel more than others, but I’ve read books that sounded way choppier. The author went to great length to change up dialogue tags. And often forgo them entirely which I loved. Sometimes not all action words made sense, but all in all the book wasn’t badly written. Just the story needed some help.


ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

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Again, but Better – Christine Riccio



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.


Christine Riccio has been on a quest to encourage more humans to read since the third grade. No one really listened until she started making videos about books on Youtube in 2010. Now her channel PolandbananasBOOKS has over 390,000 book-loving subscribers. She makes comedic book reviews, vlogs, sketches, and writing videos chronicling the creation of her own novel. She’s also one of the three YouTubers behind BOOKSPLOSION. Originally from New Jersey, Christine graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in Film and TV and now lives in Los Angeles, CA. Other hobbies include hot yoga and oatmeal.




Again, but Better – Christine Riccio

About corina

I’m a blogger, photographer, and unapologetic book addict. I love strong female characters, major jerks, and Happily Ever Afters.

3 thoughts on “Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

  1. Corina, my daughter reviewed this book on my blog she also received an arc. To say she was disappointed is an understatement. After I read your review, I realized it was similar to hers in how disappointed she was.

    1. Oh no!! I’m so sorry! At first I thought it’s maybe me and not the book, perhaps I’m getting too old for these kind of stories. But it seems we are not alone with our opinions! Maybe in this instance it just means the author needs more time to hone her craft. Or she should have never gotten a book publishing deal in the first place. It’s hard to say!

  2. I didn’t know anything about the author either. I recognized her after someone pointed out to me who she was after I read this book. I had the same feelings about this book as you did. It was so immature.

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