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All booksYoung adultAgain, But Better
Again, But Better by Christine Riccio
Young adult

Again, But Better

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Christine Riccio, on your first book!

by Christine Riccio

Quick take

When you’re a straight-A student, but you’re failing at life, sometimes a trip abroad is all you need.

Good to know

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Why I love it

Siobhan Jones
BOTM Editorial Team

“I’m leaving the country because I have no friends.” So begins the sweet, honest, and utterly relatable debut novel, Again, But Better. While not all of us have jetted off to a foreign country in hopes of traversing our troubles, we’ve definitely all experienced those feelings of being adrift and alone.

Meet Shane, a 20-year-old college student who’s a wiz in the classroom (pre-med, anyone? oof), but lacking in social skills. Her dating life sucks, she has no friends, and instead of partying it up with her classmates, she spends weekends at home with her parents (womp). Taking matters into her own hands, Shane embarks for London with her eyes on a new internship, a smooch or two, and maybe even a sip of alcohol. Naturally, nothing goes as planned. But maybe that’s a good thing??

Readers anticipating this book likely know as much about its author as they do about its synopsis. Christine Riccio is a talented content creator with a fervent YouTube following. She’s also been a fierce advocate for reading since she was a very small human, so it’s extra exciting to welcome her—and her sparkling, inventive debut novel—to the BOTM YA community. But whether you’re reading to keep up with the convo on Twitter, or simply looking for your next favorite romantic comedy, you won’t be disappointed. Again, But Better is a knockout.

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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.

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Member thoughts

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All (587)
Love (282)
Like (228)
Dislike (77)
608 ratings
  • 46% Love
  • 38% Like
  • 13% Dislike
  • Brainerd, MN

    I wasn't so sure about this book at first, but it picked up and I couldn't put it down! Each character is constructed purposefully, and the added element of magic to the plot truly makes it sparkle.

  • Whitinsville, MA

    This brought back so many memories of my own college & study abroad experience. I loved reading about Shane and her brave choices. Tots relatable! Looking forward to whatever Riccio writes next!

  • Davenport, FL

    I loved how this was a story of new beginnings, and new beginnings within that, and second chances within those. This is ultimately a story of finding the courage to go after the things you want.

  • Ammon, ID

    I totally can relate to Shane’s college experience and how she acts. I’m an introvert, but an extrovert with friends. I can be awkward. I was that girl in college who did not take chances.

  • Fort Wayne, IN

    Wonderful character arcs with a compelling storyline. I was hooked from the beginning. Many people can relate to Shane. A story of finding love, second chances, & not wasting any opportunity.

  • West Babylon, NY

    So relatable, Shane was literally me. It was funny, real, and a great read. The amount of Harry Potter references alone made me love her even more, just perfect. Definitely recommend it.

  • Troy, MI

    Having received an ARC of this, once I saw BOTM had a finished copy, I immediately ordered! Such a raw, powerful, and romantic story that I 5-starred! Absolute magic, you have to get it!

  • Kuna, ID

    I can't believe that I waited so long to read this! Quirky, funny, and romantic. I am now a life long fan. I love the unexpected time travel and making bold, challenging choices <3

  • Oquawka, IL

    This book had me guessing and wondering what was going to happen. It broke my heart a few times, and made me crack up at times also. Absolutely loved it, and the characters too!

  • Omaha, NE

    I loved the magical elements, the college-aged protagonist, and London setting. It was a hilarious, thrilling, and well-written read with a romance that warmed my heart!

  • Winona, MS

    I’m not out of high school yet. I already love traveling anywhere and want to do a program like this in college. I loved the combination of romance and self discovery.

  • Laie, HI

    It's a quick read, and very easy to get sucked into. The characters are amusing and easy to love. Not a lot of character development but still a fun read regardless!

  • tivoli, NY

    This book was so fun. I stayed way too late 2 nights in a row because I just needed to know what happens. I missed the characters when the book was done. So good.

  • Jacksonville , IL

    I’m literally a college girl reading this novel with a deep yearning to travel. This story just clicked with me in more ways than one. Shane & Pilot forever!

  • Wayland, MA

    The narrator was a little unlikeable, but I loved the ending and the journey she took to get there! Definitely a fun and quick read with an unexpected twist!

  • Cayce, SC

    I love that I have listened to Christine for years on youtube and now I got to read her book! It was cute, charismatic, funny, and engaging. 4.5/5 stars!

  • Winterville, NC

    A little slow moving, but overall an adorable story. Love seeing the main character's evolution throughout the story. Made me wish I had studied abroad.

  • Rock Falls, IL

    The big twist threw me off, but as soon as I finished I went went back to the beginning and started reading it again. This has become a new favorite!

  • Pontoon Beach, IL

    Devoured this!!! I found Shane super relatable in so many ways. 5/5 will recommend and read again. Can’t wait to read more from Christine Riccio!

  • Lakewood, CO

    As a coming of age woman myself, the content is relatbale and helps me abstractly look at my own life. This is a beautiful and down to earth story.

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