[608]: And Again by Jessica Chiarella


 I’ve been looking for a novel that will challenge the way most of the cloning novels are being written. I want to see a story that shows them as more than a product of a successful lab project. Neither mechanical nor sterile; definitely not automatons devoid of human emotions. And Again delivered that for me.

This book was surprisingly fast and easy to read. Jessica’s writing felt comfortable, like a warm blanket or a comfy chair. And even though the story revolves around four people and four different perspectives, each character told their stories with ease. There’s Hannah who has lung cancer; David, a Republican congressman with a brain tumor; Linda who’s paralyzed from the neck down; and Connie a once big-time Hollywood actress who was dying from an aggressive strain of HIV. All four of them won the lottery and were chosen subjects for SUBlife. Cloning or in essence, a second chance at life. This is their story. Four narratives seamlessly connected to show us that tricking death might just be borrowing another set of troubles.

Each one of them grapples with the new life that they were given. A fresh start it may be, but they all felt awkward and uneasy. Their train of thoughts was full of doubts like they’re uncomfortable with their new bodies. This book is a bit more thoughtful rather than scientific. It didn’t ask me what my moral stance is on cloning, nor did it question the religious and social implications when one messes with the natural order of things. It’s the introspective process that these four characters went through as they try to pick up the pieces of their old lives. They couldn’t run away from the flawed life that they used to live no matter how perfect they all seem.

This book was such a lovely surprise; unexpectedly captivating in a sense that a reader will be ensconced in the characters’ new lives. I wanted them to move forward as they were before their illnesses and accident, but I saw and felt their struggles as they try to reacclimate to their surroundings.

GOODREADS | Touchstone | January 12, 2016 | Amazon | Chapters !ndigo