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Better Together: A Novel Kindle Edition
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"Thoughtful and entertaining." ―Kirkus
Praise for Again, But Better
"This funny, poignant debut by a popular BookTuber is full of life and honest reflection, and it’s packed with adventures that will charm readers, whether they’ve traveled abroad or not. Give this to anyone who enjoys tales of self-discovery and first love." ―Booklist
“Half wish fulfilment, half cautionary tale and full of charm." ―Kirkus
"Again, But Better is a fantastic debut novel! Entertaining, clever and impossible to put down." ―Colleen Hoover, New York Times bestselling author
"A story of finding love and finding yourself. Prepare to be completely charmed." ―Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling authors of Autoboyography
About the Author
- ASIN : B08FZ9DDFZ
- Publisher : Wednesday Books (June 1, 2021)
- Publication date : June 1, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 3319 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 438 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1250760062
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #105,919 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Better Together centers around two separated sisters, Jamie and Siri, who cross paths while they are both struggling to find themselves figure out their futures.
I really liked the dynamics between the two sisters; whether they were bonding or fighting or learning more about each other, their interactions felt very real and reminded me of growing up with my own sibling. I especially identified with Siri. Her social insecurities and her fight to overcome them were very relatable to me personally. Her journey to figure out what she wants to do in life and what really makes her happy was very fulfilling to read and follow along with. I also really liked the two romances with each of the main characters, and thought those were handled and resolved really well.
There are some really funny moments, especially between the two sisters near the start of the book, but it can also get very serious, especially when they are dealing with their parents and the trauma their parents put them through. Whether it’s being silly or serious though, it never loses its heart, which is the journey of Jamie and Siri bonding together as sisters.
Overall I had a really fun time reading Better Together, and would definitely recommend it, especially to anyone growing up/grew up with siblings.
Now, you’re probably wondering why I wasn’t a fan of this book. There are several reasons. The way the two main characters are written felt over the top. Riccio purposely makes them opposites in every single way to the extreme. One curses a lot. The other uses weird placeholders like “excrement” and “intercourse” instead of using curse words. Every time Siri cursed I cringed. It was too much for me. Another reason why it was hard for me to connect to the story is the fact that I didn’t like one of the main characters. Her character annoyed me to no end. My third main issue with this book is the premise. This story is inspired by The Parent Trap. The movie is cute and well-loved. But, writing a whole new story with that plotline is hard to do. I couldn’t believe how each parent handled their divorce and splitting up the girls. I don’t want to spoil anything, so let me just say that I don’t think this plot was executed well. It didn’t work for me.
I hate writing negative reviews because I understand how much work goes into writing a book. You put your heart and soul into it. Better Together wasn’t the book for me, but it may be for you. If the synopsis sounds good to you, then I encourage you to pick up the book!
Honestly, the first 100 pages of this book were getting introduced to these characters, setting them up for this camp thing, the meeting, and all that jazz. I was not interested. It wasn't until after they met and made their plan to switch places that I began to care at all for these characters.
This was going to be a 1 or 2 star review, but after they took each other's places and the Freaky Friday body switch happened, then I got really interested in the plot. And somehow, their characters improved. Like, the beginning of this book versus the end is dramatically different, almost like it was meant to be two different books. The changes these characters went through were extensive and saved the entire story. Instead of being annoying, we also get to see Jaime as vulnerable and fearful. Siri loses her pretentious attitude and becomes more open minded and accepting. It was like a day and night difference.
Once I started enjoying this book, I started seeing all the things I liked about it. We have bisexual and disability representation through Siri. As well as interracial relationships for both Siri and Jaime. Therapy is mentioned in a positive light and we have anxiety rep, depression, and more mental health representation. But, even with all that goodness, this book has a lot of issues.
For one, Siri's work around for cussing is SO FREAKING ANNOYING. And it's not explained WHY she does this until the book is almost over! Like how hard is it to explain why she doesn't curse and says these stupid substitutes like "excrement" or "intercourse". I also had an issue that this book is being marketed as YA, but Siri is 18 almost 19, and Jaime is 20 and turns 21 in the book. Like, this is most definitely a New Adult novel and if it had been written a little more maturely, then an adult novel. Like these characters are renting apartments and working, which teenagers can do, but I'm not sure how relatable this is to a 15 year old picking up this book. It just felt like it was meant to be an adult novel but was "written down" for teenagers. It doesn't sit right with me.
And while I loved Jaime's journey to begin accepting people in her life and opening up, Zarar deserves so much better. As her main love interest, Zarar is strung along for days by Jaime and she's honest about not wanting to date, but then agrees to date him. And then ghosts him. It's clear he's smitten with Jaime but lets her walk all over him until the end. I was getting so frustrated, because he was such a sweet and considerate character and partner. And Jaime all together is very cold and manipulative. This is discussed in the book, but it was kind of agonizing watching her push her loved ones out of her life to try and protect herself, while simultaneously hurting everyone around her.
And while Siri was awful to read in the beginning, I began to prefer her POVs after she arrives in California. The 180 degree switch was intense and much needed, but also surprising. I liked reading Jaime's POVs originally but after she began to string Zarar along, and Siri got a personality makeover, I was done with Jaime.
I can't even put into words how strange this book was. Like it was good, but not that good. I enjoyed most of what I read, but also hated certain parts and characters. There were good life lessons, but a lot of filler in between. I have to rate it three stars because it's just so "eh". I've seen a lot of people DNFing this book and not enjoying it, which is fair, but I don't want to convey that its bad. It's not - it's just not great.