Begin Again by Emma Lord ~ 352 pages ~ to be published by Wednesday Books on January 24, 2023
As usual, Andie Rose has a plan: Transfer from community college to the hyper competitive Blue Ridge State, major in psychology, and maintain her lifelong goal of becoming an iconic self-help figure despite the nerves that have recently thrown her for a loop. All it will take is ruthless organization, hard work, and her trademark unrelenting enthusiasm to pull it all together.
But the moment Andie arrives, the rest of her plans go off the rails. Her rocky relationship with her boyfriend Connor only gets more complicated when she discovers he transferred out of Blue Ridge to her community college. Her roommate Shay needs a major, and despite Andie’s impressive track record of being The Fixer, she’s stumped on how to help. And Milo, her coffee-guzzling grump of an R.A. with seafoam green eyes, is somehow disrupting all her ideas about love and relationships one sleep-deprived wisecrack at a time.
But sometimes, when all your plans are in rubble at your feet, you find out what you’re made of. And when Andie starts to find the power of her voice as the anonymous Squire on the school’s legendary pirate radio station–the same one her mom founded, years before she passed away–Andie learns that not all the best laid plans are necessarily the right ones.
What I Thought:
*I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for this ARC!*
Emma Lord has become one of the authors that I will read without knowing anything about the book. This book was no exception, and it has turned out to be absolutely fantastic, unsurprisingly. Begin Again is a lovely story about the journey to becoming an adult, finding out who you are, and making your own way in the world for the first time.
Andie was a wonderful character to follow through this story. She reminded me very much of myself when I started college, so I was easily able to picture her and her various struggles. I loved getting to watch her learn about herself and grow as a person throughout the book. She begins the story very excited about her new adventure, but incredibly cautious and more willing to help others with their problems than acknowledge that she has any of her own. #relatable
The supporting characters were all so fantastic! I loved Milo and Shay. While the romance in this book was wonderful, I feel that the friendships in the story were the real shining stars. The friendships you make in college are, at least in my experience, some of the most important in your life. The “found family” trope is one of my favorites, and Begin Again does it exceedingly well.
I also really enjoyed seeing Andie’s journey with her biological family. Her grandmothers were a hoot, and I love them to death. Seeing her relationship with her father change as she personally changes was bittersweet and a joy to witness. Even her relationship with the memory of her mother grew as the novel progressed, which I really enjoyed.
Begin Again has all of the warm, fuzzy feelings you could want from a contemporary romance, but it is about so much more than that. It is about finding who you truly are, and being willing to begin your journey again once you figure it out.
I gave Begin Again 5 Stars!
Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below!
Some other Emma Lord books that I have reviewed are:
Have you read any of Emma Lord’s other books? Are you a fan of books set in college? What are some of your favorite found family books? Let’s chat in the comments!
Love and happy reading,