Book Review: Begin Again by Emma Lord

Posted January 23, 2023 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 26 Comments

Begin Again
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Emma Lord
Publication Date January 24, 2023
Published by St. Martin's Publishing Group
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Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings
Pages: 320
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

Most Anticipated by Goodreads, Popsugar, BookRiot, E! News, The Nerd Daily, and More!

An Indie Next Pick

Filled with a friend group that feels like family, an empowering journey of finding your own way, and a Just Kiss Already! romance, Emma Lord's Begin Again is an unforgettable YA novel of love and starting again.

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.

"A gratifying romance." - Publishers Weekly

Begin Again by Emma Lord is a delightful Young Adult book about a young woman navigating her life as a transfer student in college.  This book is delightful, and I loved it.  

Story Recap:

Andie Rose is a planner.  She is transferring from the community college to Blue Ridge State to their prestigious psychology program to fulfill her lifetime goal of becoming a self-help guru.  It also helps that her boyfriend, Conner is also enrolled at Blue Ridge State.  

Once she arrives, she finds out that her boyfriend, Conner has transferred back to the community college because of his grades.  Her carefully laid plans are already in disarray as she works to navigate her life at the university as a transfer student.  

However, she finds life at Blue Ridge State exciting.  Her roommate Shay is welcoming, but not the resident advisor, Milo.  Being a fixer, Andie is determined to help Shay find a major, but that becomes more difficult than she expected.  Soon she finds herself part of the pirate radio program, The Knights Watch.  And her grumpy RA is the Knight, and she eventually becomes The Squire.  The radio show is a legacy that her mother was part of many years ago.  Andie finds her place at Blue Ridge State and starts to settle in, and then everything goes wrong and she’s wondering about her new life, and her expectations.  

My Thoughts: 

Emma Lord is such a talented writer and she understands and communicates the angst and insecurities of young adults expertly.  In Begin Again, she has organized, planner, Andie and sleep-deprived, grumpy Milo in a slow-burn romance that was just what I wanted.  

The friend group of Andie, Milo, Shay, and Valeria was wonderful. They worked at a local bagel place called Bagelopolis, and during the very early mornings, produced and performed the pirate radio show, The Knights Watch.  

This book tells the story of what it’s like to start in a new college and make friends and find love. 


I highly recommend, Begin Again to anyone who enjoys young adult romances.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Emma Lord

Emma Lord is the NYT bestselling author of YOU HAVE A MATCH and TWEET CUTE, a BuzzFeed market editor, and dessert gremlin living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, a whole lot of love, and copious amounts of grilled cheese.

Have you read Begin Again?

26 responses to “Book Review: Begin Again by Emma Lord

  1. This sounds really good! I don’t read much YA but I like that the characters in this book are college age. That appeals to me way more then books about high school age kids.

  2. I like it when there is radio show in books. I like the concept and theme. I’m sure adding this to wish list. Amazing review, Wendy!

  3. I’m seriously SO excited about Begin Again. I love all of Emma’s books so much and this one sounds like it’ll be right up my alley. Plus, it’s fun that it’s *potentially* set near or around where I live in Virginia. So cool! I can’t wait to give it a read soon!