Book Reviews

BEGIN AGAIN BY EMMA LORD // spoiler-free book review: you 1000% need this friends-to-lovers NA contemporary romance that’ll also make you cry in your life!!!


Had to start this one off with a Taylor Swift reference, I just couldn’t pass it off hehe

Let’s dive right in!

Title: Begin Again
Author: Emma Lord
Page count: 352
Date published: 24 January 2023
Genre: New adult contemporary



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.




Big thanks to Macmillan International for the eARC via Edelweiss! And to Pan Macmillan for the physical review copy! All thoughts and opinions are my own.


STAR RATING: (5 out of 5 stars)

It’s Emma Lord’s world and I’m just living in it. Shoulda moved in a while ago but gimme some credit for finally getting there.

Gosh dang it she’s a freaking WIZARD AND I AM ENVIOUS OF HER POWER!!! She has no right to be THAT talented with every book she writes. Actually, she does, I’m just sensitive when I relate too close to the sun okay? What do you mean I’m emotional? Don’t I look completely normal to you right now? #prayforruby


Anyway, lemme dive into all the thoughts I had. First of all, I should reiterate that this should have been read when I was still in college but I must say it was fun revisiting school as a new graduate. Weird part about growing up amirite? I was curious about moving out of Lord’s NYC but as expected, she nailed the campus setting and I loved every minute of living in a dorm with characters that I adored.

Speaking of, I related a bit too close to the sun when it came to Andie,,, and I didn’t sign up for that thank you very much. My heart didn’t ask to be ripped out of my chest and all my deepest darkest secrets laid bare for everyone to see. I don’t have a fix-it-over-caring agenda, what do you mean? Maybe I have a death wish, who’s to say? But here I am, living with the after-effects. So uh yeah Emma Lord can write and I,,, am speechless k bye *hides in shame*

Video gif. On a brick walkway with fallen leaves scattered around, a child in a red coat lies on her back and flails around in a tantrum.

I’m kidding. Course I have more to yell some more. We’ll start with this friendship group who were also on a quest to stomp on my heart? But I loved it. Nobody said I didn’t invoke this death wish on myself.,,, Okay, I’m going off track here! The friendship!!! Gah I loved them and how supportive they all were and ugh so true when you go to uni and I loved that for Andie <3<3<3

And uhhh THE GRIEF ALSO GETS ME EVERY TIME NOBODY TALK TO ME!!!!! I hate it here. Stupid freaking book making me feel sad things for fake people. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. I TAKE IT BACK. But I do have a bone to pick with Emma Lord who is on some sort of mission to punch me in the gut, by not only dealing with grief but also PARENTS *cue nervous laughter*

To end on a high note, let’s take a second to sigh about the romance together!!! First of all, Connor sucks so bad and he can be pushed off a cliff. What I really liked about that whole plotline was the way I saw the childhood-friends-to-lovers foundation but Emma Lord came to deliver something completely unexpected and it was *CHEFS KISS* However, we can all swoon about Milo who is the grumpy sweetheart I didn’t know I needed in my life and I loved him. And his coffee addiction. Not 100% relatable but we’re quite close. And they were SO CUTE EEEEEP we love grumpy-sunshine friends to lovers,,,,

Video gif. Man stands in a shower in a white robe. He holds up a huge mug of coffee, larger than his head, and at first makes it seem like he’s going to drink from it, but instead he pours his right over his head.

Omg! How could I forget to talk about the radio aspect of this book?!?!? Because it was so cool and so refreshing and personally I never cared about the radio until right now but gimme the recs so our relationship can ~BEGIN AGAIN~ lol see what I did there? I know, I’m also a writing wizard *wink wink*

Okay, I think that about sums me up. Could talk for hours but I gotta move on to the next EL book on my tbr. Once you’re on the train, you just can’t get off hehe. If you’re looking for a gut-wrenching but heartwarming new adult contemporary romance about healing your grief, making new friends, and this may sound cliche, but finding yourself with a splash of friends-to-lovers and radio love, you’ve come to the right place xoxoxo


“Like—getting a new start doesn’t mean you have to wipe the slate clean. Just pick up the pieces. Begin again. Go make the most out of it, because every day is a chance to begin again.”


“Anything worth doing starts with a mess.”


“The kind of moment that forms a tattoo in your heart before you even fully understand how much it means to you, living in it and outside it at the same time, making it a part of your story before you know how the story ends.”


“For these heart-stuttering, breathtaking moments when you realize that if you carve us all down to our barest parts, we’re all the same.”


“It makes my chest warm in this familiar way, like when you spot a face you don’t just recognize, but have started to know well.”


“As if we’re both thinking, in that moment, of the pieces we’ve been trying to leave behind. The ones that will never really leave us. The ones that will only pull us back the longer we try to pretend they don’t exist.”


“I just—I like situations I can control. Writing things down alone in my room is a situation I can control, but a live show is something else entirely. And I feel like there are already so many things we don’t get to control.”


“Because the truth is, knowing I can be helpful means that I’m not a burden.”


“People with problems so personal but so universal that it reminds me, the way running an advice column often does, that at our cores we’re all more alike than we think. Hung up on the same worries, wishing on the same stars.”


“Because there is a part of me that genuinely enjoys giving advice and helping where I can.”


“I want to love and be loved without ever having to wonder if it’s conditional. I want a life that is sometimes just my own, without feeling like I’m responsible for anyone or anyone is burdened with being responsible for me. I want back what I lost—at least however much of it I can still get.”


Leave a Reply

Skip to content