3 star, YA

ARC Review: Begin Again by Emma Lord

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.

Filled with a friend group that feels like family, an empowering journey of finding your own way, and a Just Kiss Already! romance, Begin Again is an unforgettable novel of love and starting again.

Overall Recommendation:

As college stories go with a coming-of-age trope, Begin Again made itself unique with its fun, personable characters that feel like your friends and an intriguing ribbon hunt organized for freshmans in their second term only. It made me reminiscent of my own college days (though with not quite so much drama). I thought the themes and message were great, but the pacing sometimes was a little slow to the point it became a struggle to push to the end. Otherwise, a solid book by Emma Lord although not what I consider her finest.

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2023 Bookish Goals

This is technically a Top Ten Tuesday topic but I’m behind so I’m just going to post it on a Saturday so we can still share and discuss reading/bookish goals of the year!

I don’t typically set New Year’s resolutions as it gives extra unnecessary pressure to meet them. Instead, I like the idea of an encouraged goal for the year. Something to think about but not absolutely required to do within an allotted time. Do any of you ever feel that goals just sound better with less weighty expectations?

Anyway, here are my 5 reading-related goals for the year! Counting down from 5 and in no particular order…

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Let’s Talk Bookish – Collecting Books

Aria @ Book Nook Bits is the new host for Let’s Talk Bookish! If you aren’t following her yet, good check out her blog and give her a follow!

January 20: Collecting Books (Zahra The Owl)

Prompts: Do you enjoy collecting books? Do you feel like physical books are overpriced? Do you buy books after you’ve read them to add to your collection? Do you buy special edition collector sets? How invested are you in your book collection? 

Welcome to another week of LTB here at DTRH! Today’s topic is about collecting books, which I’m sure many of us can relate to. I’d actually be more interested to see if there are bookish peeps who don’t at least want to collect books. Can’t wait to see what you all have to say.

I enjoy collecting books. But like I said, I don’t think that is surprising given the community we’re in here. I would say I’m not an avid book collector though. I have seen people get the works and really go all out on collecting very nice books and creating extravagant bookshelves. If finances weren’t a concern (and space!), I would certainly have more books. I certainly enjoy buying and collecting books, but I wouldn’t place myself at the top of the list of being the most avid book collector though.

I feel like not all physical books are overpriced, in which case, what criteria makes pricing go out of whack? Is it supply and demand? I honestly have no idea and have never looked into the economics of book pricing, but I don’t feel like books are always overpriced…though maybe I have just gotten used to it. I have seen some crazily overpriced books though, but maybe there’s a good reason for them.

I usually buy books before I read them, but if it’s a book I really like I’ll buy it after to add to my collection too. Or if there’s a special version with a new cover, that’s always a good reason to add something to your collection too. It’s not always the right time to be buying a book, so I do pick and choose my moments.

I haven’t really gotten into special edition collector sets. That being said, I have seen some in person and they are gorgeous. But I’ve checked some prices and they’re also exorbitantly expensive. I’m just not sure I can justify at this point in time. It does look ultra nice though, and had I the means, I’d probably consider it. It really is the ultimate decoration on the book shelf (and of course functional too!)

Ultimately, I am currently not overly invested in my book collection. It is something for my bucket list, and something to create as my career progresses, but I am not currently too bogged down in it. I am getting good ideas from my friends who have nice bookshelves and collections though!

How about you all? I know many of you read e-books or listen to audiobooks, but does that preclude a book collection? Let me know in the comments below!