…He moved back.
When college freshman Liz Wagner hears her ex's voice for the first time since he moved clear across the freaking country, she does what any respectable girl would do: Dive into the girls' bathroom.
Zach Roberts—the Zach Roberts—is back. And he’s everywhere Liz looks—infiltrating her friend group, buddy-buddy with her brother. It’s enough to ruin college altogether. But what choice does she have but to put on a happy face and pretend he didn't leave her vulnerable and alone in a pile of emotional wreckage?
Pretending works, until tragedy strikes and the only person available for comfort is the one person she wants to stay away from. When Zach turns out not to be the jerk she convinced herself he was, but the boy she used to love, Liz needs to decide whether to open her heart again to the boy who tore it out.
I had to read this book because the title is awesome, the cover is super adorable and of course the NA addiction I have that calls me to books like this. (Never) Again was full of angst, drama, and the sweet surprise of revisiting a first love. A lot of NA novels really deal with testing the boundaries of a new world completely outside of high school. Most characters barely reference high school or really even talk about it. Which makes sense, this book kind of deals with what happens when a piece of your high school comes back to haunt you.
I've mused before about how NA makes me nostalgic for college in a way that YA has never made me miss high school. And this book just totally brought me back - with the stress of hosting parties and the group of friends who all kind of have their own thing going on and, and of course the way you think you've left high school behind but it's not really that far away. Because, I had people from high school popping in and out of my life in college, and the way Zach crashed Liz's new world hit close to home. I had a ghost from my past resurface, but not quite in the same way Zach did and I couldn't help but wonder how I'd react in Liz's situation. And I just can't help but love books that completely transport me into the MC's shoes.
I was lukewarm about Liz, she didn't pop as a unique character, but in some ways that was great because I was able to project myself into her. Zach, on the other hand, was definitely worth reading this book for. I couldn't wait to hear his explanation about the way he left Liz in high school and I couldn't wait to see how he'd redeem himself. He was just so adorable and sweet - but not too much - and he's just a good human. There's a tragic event that totally blindsided me. It got a little crazy and maybe too dramatic, but it got my emotions running. And it was definitely during this crisis that Zach totally solidified himself as the best guy ever.
I actually didn’t mind this book’s tendency towards the melodrama, but really what bothered me the most was the fact that Joe was such an awful boyfriend. I know that sounds crazy, but I’m just a little tired of books where the girl has a new guy come into her life, and the dude she’s currently with is just so terrible that you almost like the new guy by default. I feel like this has been the case more often than not, particularly with cheating books, and it’s starting to get to me. Sometimes you fall out of love or get bored, it doesn’t necessarily have to be realizing that the dude your with is an ass to push you into someone else’s arms.
That said, I really did adore (Never) Again. It's a book about second chances and I just loved seeing how Liz and Zach would work things out. I kind of fell in love with them together. Even my hang up comes from outside annoyances, so this is definitely a book I'd recommend for both old and new fans of NA.