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Book Review

Come Again by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees - Book Review


Come Again
Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees
William Heinemann

Fiction-Net Rating 3 Star Rated Book

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Cover Story

Friends. You can't live with them - and you can't live without them. Or so Matt is discovering. His best mate is getting married, leaving him high and dry. No flat-mate - and no girlfriend. Then he remembers Helen (H. to her friends).

H. has no life outside her brilliant career but she isn't even sure she likes her job and all her best friend Amy wants to talk about is her wedding. Which suits Stringer, because catering the wedding is his first real chance to prove himself. The last thing he needs is to fall for one of the bride's friends, Susie, particularly because she's sworn off men while she sorts out her life.

We Say

Written as the sequel to the brilliant, five-star rated Come Together by the same authors, Come Again is asked to deliver a lot. The original set new standards with a great recipe where two main characters each take turns to tell the story. Chapter one him. Chapter two her. Chapter three him, and so on. It may sound simple but it worked to perfection in telling the story of Jack and Amy in the original book.

Come Again is based around the wedding of Jack and Amy though you never hear from the two directly. This is a mistake by the authors, Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees. Many readers will have purchased this book, hoping and expecting to hear again from the two characters they became so fond of. Not to hear a word from them except through their friends, can only disappoint.

In the case of Come Again, the story is told from the point of view of Matt (Jack's flat-mate from the first book) and H (Amy's best friend from the first book). We are also introduced to two new characters who join in the story-telling, namely Stringer (friend of Jack) and Susie (friend of Amy). Confused yet?

The story is split in three parts. Part one deal with general introductions and the build up to the stag-do and hen-night (both of which kind of become one event). Part two deals with those events themselves and part three the couple of days surrounding the wedding.

Part one is a huge disappointment. I cannot stress enough how appallingly part one hits you. After the initial shock of realising that you are not going to hear directly from the main two characters, Jack and Amy, you have to deal with those two characters having totally changed in the time since the first book. Amy has become a bubble-head with no personality and Jack a seedy and crude loudmouth. Quite where these traits came from is hard to fathom. Come Together had portrayed them both as thoroughly likable and worthwhile characters.

It is perhaps beneficial then that part two deals mainly with the four friends and less about Jack and Amy because if part one of Come Again borders on being awful, part two borders on perfection. Quite where the transformation arrives from is unclear but the characters develop depth, feelings and become likable. You begin to care just as you were about to switch off.

Part three, the wedding itself, is quite short and tails off a little in the interest stakes but part two should still be fresh enough in your mind to leave a sweet taste. With any luck, you will have forgotten the bitterness of the opening chapters.

Review by: Rob Cook

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