27 September, 2016

REVIEW: AND AGAIN by Jessica Chiarella

Title: And Again
Author: Jessica Chiarella
Series: -
Genres: Science Fiction, Adult
Publisher: Touchstone
Source: Audiobook
Pages: 320

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BLURB: In the spirit of Station Eleven and The Age of Miracles, this exciting literary debut novel imagines the consequences when four ordinary individuals are granted a chance to continue their lives in genetically perfect versions of their former bodies.

Would you live your life differently if you were given a second chance? Hannah, David, Connie, and Linda—four terminally ill patients—have been selected for the SUBlife pilot program, which will grant them brand-new, genetically perfect bodies that are exact copies of their former selves—without a single imperfection. Blemishes, scars, freckles, and wrinkles have all disappeared, their fingerprints are different, their vision is impeccable, and most importantly, their illnesses have been cured.

But the fresh start they’ve been given is anything but perfect. Without their old bodies, their new physical identities have been lost. Hannah, an artistic prodigy, has to relearn how to hold a brush; David, a Congressman, grapples with his old habits; Connie, an actress whose stunning looks are restored after a protracted illness, tries to navigate an industry obsessed with physical beauty; and Linda, who spent eight years paralyzed after a car accident, now struggles to reconnect with a family that seems to have built a new life without her. As each tries to re-enter their previous lives and relationships they are faced with the question: how much of your identity rests not just in your mind, but in your heart, your body?

So because I really loved Everything I never told you by Celeste Ng and it was one of favorite books of Joce from ScribblesReads I decided to pick up another of her favorite reads - And Again.

THE WORLD: The world that surrounds us plus advanced medicine where human cloning is happening. This actually still in trails and so a few people who are very sick get to try it out. I don't even think this book is set in the future much, I mean okay it is weird how they do it because they basically grow a clone on hormones and then transfer 'you' into their brain. So when I say cloning I don't mean just identical DNA which is a pretty standard definition for clones today but literary I mean a human body in which you reside. When I think about it now it reminds me a little bit of Jodi Meadow's YA series Newsoul. Unfortunately to my great disappointment they do not go into science much so we just going to take it for granted.

CHARACTERS: There are quite a few characters that have their own POV in this story: Hannah, David, Connie and Linda. Hannah is an artist, a woman who had lung cancer and is now struggling with her lose of fame. Frankly, Hannah was just awful. Basically she gets a new life, a healthy new body but because her friend gets famous and she cannot paint anymore she starts to hate everybody and cheat and just yeah...it took me about one chapter of her POV to start hating her. Next we have Connie, a once upon a time actress who managed to contract HIV. Actually I did not get why exactly was she chosen, HIV is not lethal, not even close. With today's medicine people with HIV give long and good life. Beats me really why she was in this program. Also her post-cloning life was just...well she did what she did before, she went back to sleeping with people for a role in a movie. To my surprise David was the only male of who's POV we got to see. He was a congressman and it is not clear how he got the place other than that he manipulated and used his power. But once again, after given a brand new body and a new chance he goes back to his old life - cheating, manipulating and just being a plain jerk. And then we have Linda - pretty much worst of them all. She has spent 9 years paralyzed in the hospital bed which does qualify her to be a worthy person of new chance. But what she does with it? She hates everything and everybody, instead of trying to connect with her family she decides she want to leave. Her husband spend 9 years of his life caring for her and raising their children alone and what she does? She wants a life without all that burden. Well I am sorry but what about her husband? I mean I get it, when she says she doesn't want to be pregnant again it's actually understandable, children do take your life away, especially while they are young. But the rest...the reason she even did get into an accident that paralyzed her was because she was cheating and was on her way to run away with her secret lover...mother of the year. So yeah, you know these books where characters are messed up and just plain horrible but in the end they realize it and try to redeem themselves? That did not happen here. They were cheaters, liars and just horrible people and so they stayed that way. 

LOVE: This book is full of cheating, manipulation using sex and just eww, there is no love. Love is dark and twisted in this book. Even the parental love.

PLUS: As a scientist I like the idea of cloning I guess.

MINUS: I was shocked how horrible this book was. I mean the writing itself was good but characters...just a plain nightmare.

OVERALL: I truly regret reading this book.

What do you guys think about AND AGAIN?