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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Begin Again by Emma Lord is the story of Andie Rose, who transfers from her local community college to the competitive state college to follow in the footsteps of her mom, who died seven years ago. It's a coming-of-age story with fun friendships, humor, a sweet romance, and loads of pop culture references in the mix. The setting is a college campus, and there are several general references to drinking. The main characters drink wine a couple of times.. There's frequent swearing, including "s–t" and "f–k." Strong friendships and enduring family relationships are highlighted. Characters demonstrate compassion, perseverance, and teamwork.
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What's the Story?
In BEGIN AGAIN, 18-year-old Andie is an ambitious and energetic transfer to competitive Blue Ridge State. She has her whole life planned out -- her boyfriend, her major, her career, and beyond. Andie's mom, an accomplished Blue Ridge alum, passed away seven years ago. Andie's not sure if she can fill her mom's shoes. Things are complicated by uncertainty about her boyfriend Connor, a rocky relationship with her dad, and a tough statistics class. But Andie's new friends, Shay and Valaria, and her R.A., Milo, are there to support and cheer her on in her studies, her part-time job, and her role as an anonymous advice giver on a campus radio show. When certain relationships take a turn and secrets are revealed in a very public way, Andie has to ditch her well-laid plans and see what comes next. Will she be able to begin again?
Is It Any Good?
This is a fun coming-of-age story, with strong friendships and a sweet romance. In Begin Again, Andie is a busy go-getter who thinks she knows exactly what she wants but has to reconsider when things don't go as planned. Andie faces a variety of challenges yet perseveres with friends and family to help her along the way. Andie is an endearing character, although at times her antics are frustrating and over-the-top. Readers may identify with some of Andie's struggles, such as adjusting to a new school, making friends, and trying to balance too many activities. Readers will learn about compassion and teamwork from the friendships between Andie, Shay, Valeria, and Milo. There's a lot of humor, which is often funny but sometimes just corny. The book will appeal to readers who enjoy stories about relationships and romance and who appreciate the frequent pop culture references throughout.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about friendship in Begin Again. Andie's childhood friends treated her differently after her mom died, but she's excited to make new friends at Blue Ridge State. How do Andie and her new friends show compassion and support each other?
Andie thinks she has her whole life planned out - including college, career, and romance. When things at Blue Ridge don't go quite as planned, Andie has trouble adjusting. How does she persevere and find her way?
Andie likes to help people solve their problems. She even wrote an advice column in high school. How do you feel about giving and receiving advice? Have you had good experiences with advice from friends or family? Why or why not?
- Author: Emma Lord
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Perseverance, Teamwork
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Wednesday Books
- Publication date: January 24, 2023
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 18
- Number of pages: 352
- Available on: Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle, App
- Last updated: January 27, 2023
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