*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: And Again
Author: Jessica Chiarella
Publication Date: January 12, 2016
I love reading books that raise questions of ethics and morality in regards to altering the human body to defy death. Not only are these books prevalent in today’s world where we have discussions of printing organs with 3-D printers, but they speak to the future as we move further and further forward with scientific advancement. Chiarella’s story presents a world just like our own with 4 people chosen to test out a new program called SUBlife. These patients were terminally ill or had totally ruined bodies. They and their families would give anything for a second chance at life. Through the SUBlife program, they defy death and gain their lives back. However, in gaining back their lives, they lose themselves.
Each of subjects in the SUBlife project were about to lose everything, but this second chance brings everything they’ve ever known into question. They have to deal with families who have already accepted their death, they need to relearn the skills they’d mastered in their previous bodies, and they need to learn how to navigate the everyday lives they’d previously inhabited as totally remade people. I loved the in depth scrutiny of each character’s life. We see how their relationships change, grow, and are compromised in their new lives. Their introspection gives us insight into how they handle the change, what they feel and how they think. We get to know the characters in an intimate way.
What I would have loved to see more of is the struggle to gain FDA approval for SUBlife–the success or failure of the program and the anger of Christian protesters making a stand again the “unnatural” program. The book touches on these points, but really chooses to focus on character development rather than these subplots. I know what you’re thinking, I’m the girl that always harps on character development. Yes, this book does an excellent job of exploring the character changes–growth and setbacks. But there are such interesting subplots that arise, I wouldn’t have minded an extra hundred pages or so to explore these further.
Overall, I’m glad this was the book to kick off my 2016. I hope you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did. 🙂