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Why “Again, But Better” by Christine Riccio Actually Was The Story “I Needed” – zoëtalksbooks
- December 7, 2020
- Posted by: Aradhana Pandey
- Category: Education
I was supposed to be writing my final research paper for my first year seminar. It was due in less than 48 hours and I had not nearly enough words on the Google Doc to reasonably be taking breaks. But I did.
Never in my life has procrastination payed off so much.
In my usual, “deflect the stress (major stress in this case)” approach, I grabbed my phone and resumed playing the audiobook for Booktube’s Christine Riccio’s debut novel, Again, But Better. I was about halfway through, just around the climax when the title starts to make sense. At some point, I paused the audio, but I still didn’t return to the sparsely filled Doc.
In an interview, Riccio had said, “Her [Shane’s (The main character)] story is the one I needed in college”. I could not describe it better myself.
In that moment- after seeing Shane struggle with all the regret she felt about not having done college “right”, and feeling unfulfilled in her loveless life while on her way to a career she hated; you know, all of that scary adulting shit- I needed to brain dump the revelation I’d just had. Inside, I could feel myself shifting from anxious to…excited? at peace? I guess I’m not quite sure, but it felt good.
“I don’t want to regret life, or want to do it again because it wasn’t good enough. There’s no point in stressing about this or that assignment bcuz 6 years 4m now I won’t even remember it”.
Zoë’s Journal, 11.13.2020
I ended this journal entry by reminding myself to “create moments, live life, and don’t regret!”
I took a deep breath. Then I asked myself, was this stress going to change the fact that I had to write the paper? No. Does stressing about writing this paper add anything to my life? No. So why was I stressing? The only thing I could do was try my best and keep on moving.
I finally opened the Doc and started typing again. I was so calm, and yet so hyped up on my determination to not hate life, that I kinda had fun writing. I felt proud of the work I did, of myself.
Again, But Better has a simple message, but acts as an importantly profound reminder: Life has no do over button. Today is only as good as I make it.
On a more personal level, it was a reminder to not fall into the same high school routine: fixating on everything I needed to do so much that I forgot to enjoy life, to take care of myself.
All of a sudden, the 3 and a half remaining years of college seemed fast disappearing. And I vowed to make them the best they could be by being good and true to myself.
Yes, the character names are kinda stupid (in a charming way I guess), the jokes sometimes corny, but the internal conflicts feel real. It is because of that relatability that I wholeheartedly recommend Again, But Better by Christine Riccio.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.