Thursday, March 06, 2014

Review: Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

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Review: Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas
Ask Again Later
Liz Czukas
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: March 11th 2014
by HarperTeen

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Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there's only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.

Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother's best friend really be?

Tails: The theater geek...with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart's interests--even if he wants to share all his feelings?

Heart's simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all...
-A copy was provided by HarperTeen for review-

Holy cuteness overload, Batman! I went into Liz Czukas’ debut novel, Ask Again Later, with some pretty high expectations after seeing some love for it from friends of mine. The novel delivered in every way I could have expected it to and then some. This is good ol’ teen drama, fluffy fun!

As soon as we meet our MC Heart her personality starts to bleed off the page. We meet her in a rant about how much she hates her name which leads her into some weird ramblings about talking fish and what it’s like to breathe air/water. I knew from page one that I loved this girl. She was snarky, honest and downright hilarious. Sure she could be a bit oblivious at times but that just made her even more endearing! She’s faced with quite a predicament when her plans to go to the prom with a group of friends are interrupted by her getting asked to go by not one, but two guys. So, not only do we get a fascinating character at the heart of the story (haha see what I did there? Because her name is Heart *snickers*) but we get a whole cast of characters in her friends that become people we care about and who have their own little stories going on. I really loved Ryan and even came to be a fan of Heart’s brother’s girlfriend, Tara, who is the popular girl at school.

One of the coolest things about this novel is the way in which it is told. It’s given to us in 3 parts, in part 1 we meet our cast of characters and are presented with Heart’s predicament regarding prom night. At the tail end of that part we see her flip a coin to make the decision about who she should say yes to. Here’s where part 2 starts, we see how her night will play out whichever way the coin lands. The chapters in part 2 alternate between heads and tails chapters, heads being her going with her brother’s recently dumped friend, Troy, and tails is her going with the tech guy from drama, Ryan. I loved the way that the two stories were so tightly bonded to each other. You would see some of the same happenings in both view points but they would happen in a completely different way and have different results on Heart’s night. There were also instances where she gets weird sensations of deja vu which was really cool because deja vu is just super weird to begin with but here it made so much sense!

All of this leads up to part 3 in which we see that no matter how her night went she still ends up at the same place and that what this really is about is the romance. Heart had closed herself off to being in relationships because her mother had abandoned her family and we see Heart begin to get past that and open up. I was a huge fan of how the romance played out in this story and I had a serious case of the swoonies through most of it. Filled with equal parts hilarity and awkward teenage romance; Ask Again Later is the perfect kind of fluffy read. What makes the story is our MC Heart, she is magnificently sarcastic and so blunt that it sometimes takes you off guard. Definitely pick this one up when you can!

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

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Hi! I’m Jenni and I am a book-a-holic. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and more than anything, I love reading. I mostly read within the YA genre though I do venture into middle grade and adult from time to time. I was big into reading in high school but then when I had my children I stepped away from it for a bit. Now that my brats are a bit older and I have more time on my hands I have jumped back into it head on.
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25 Responses to “Review: Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas”

  1. Rashika

    I’ve seen the positive reviews for this one too but the whole alternate timeline thing has burned me perviously so I was kind of vary but I kind of want to read this now after reading your review.

    A girl whose rant some how wanders off to talking fish? She kind of sounds like me :P (I have a tendency to be incredibly random and wander off topic).

    Great Review, Jenni!! :)
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  2. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    Haha I totally agree! I love love loved Heart’s snarky personality and how she was someone who told it like it was. The different parts were also super fun, because I loved how the two different perspectives paralleled each other and how sometimes the same thing would happen but there would be different consequences or a different way of narrating it. Fantastic review, Jenni, I’m glad you liked this one! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…February RecapMy Profile

  3. Jasprit

    Jenni I’m so glad to see that you enjoyed this book too, in contrast to you I actually didn’t go into this book with really high expectations, so was really happy with the book I ended up with. Heart was a fantastic character, and one who I could easily relate too! Also I adored how the author decided to write this book, it was really different, but also made this book for me! Lovely review as always! :)
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  4. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I like the whole flip-of-a-coin thing. It’s a bit reminiscent of the Choose Your Own Adventure stories, without actually choosing. I’m so going to have to pick this up!! Sounds adorable.
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  5. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    This one sounds fantastic! I love light, realistic, relatable contemplates – and this sounds like just that! Plus, as a theatre fan, the acting aspect definitely sounds intriguing!

    Definitely going to have to pick this one up ASAP. As always, fabulous review Jenni and thanks for sharing!
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  6. Nitzan Schwarz

    Okay, so I’m going to admit I never even considered this book… because of the cover. It just didn’t attract me so I never even read the synopsis.
    After reading this review, I think I will definitely pick it up. The dual realities of part 2 strongly remind me of Pivot Point by Kasie West, which I ADORED. I’m curious how things will work out and, honesty – fluffy books are one of my favorite types of books.

    Thanks for writing this great review and opening me up to this new book! :)
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