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San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

The King's Page

The King's Page

February Book Reviews

Hi, and welcome back to book reviews with Anna! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to recommend some of my favorite romance books that I’ve read lately.

Have some fun reading over Valentine’s Day!
(Anna Jacobsen)

AGAIN AGAIN by E. Lockhart

GENRES: Romance, Realistic Fiction, Coming-of-Age


“If you could live your life again, what would you do differently?”

After a family’s near-fatal issues and serious romantic problems, Adelaide Buchwald finds herself thrown into a wild summer of crazy possibilities. One where she falls in and out of love a hundred times, and where she will try to confront the secrets she keeps and her ideas about love.


I’ve loved all the books by E. Lockhart that I’ve read, so once I discovered this one, I knew I had to read it. At the start of the book, you meet the main character, Adelaide, after a heartbreaking breakup and as she deals with conflicting feelings about her family.


Something that really caught my attention when I picked up the book was how unique the writing was. It shows the “what-ifs”, in snippets of what never happened, what might’ve happened, what could’ve happened had Adelaide made different choices. At the beginning, it was sort of confusing and hard to follow, but I really grew to love them. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone with its formatting and writing, but it was a really good read and kept me engaged. It made the story all the more heartbreaking. There’s something about all the things that might’ve happened that makes the plot that much more sad. 

For a fairly short book, there’s a lot going on, and that really kept me wanting more, and to see what could happen. Lockhart portrays grief and emotions as they are in real life, showing how complex they are and how they affect decisions. Overall, Again Again was a short but fun read, and it shows that there are good and bad things, as well as wins and losses, in every universe, no matter what choices you make.


A FAR WILDER MAGIC by Allison Saft

GENRES: Romance, Fantasy, Magic


The day Margaret Welty spots the legendary hala, the last living mythical creature, she knows that the Halfmoon Hunt is on the horizon. Whoever wins the hunt will earn unfathomable riches and fame, and, for Margaret, attention—from her long-gone mother whom she hopes to bring home. 


The problem? To enter, Margaret needs a partner. She needs an alchemist.


Weston Winters isn’t an alchemist—yet. Fired from every apprenticeship he’s gotten, his last chance is if Master Welty will take him in. Yet when he arrives at her manor, he finds nobody except her daughter, Margaret. As he has nowhere else to go, she begrudgingly allows him to stay, if he will join her team on the hunt, that is.


Although they may not get along, the two make an unlikely team. Wes, in awe of a girl who has endured living on the outskirts of a town that doesn’t want her, and Margaret, drawn to the fact that someone else knows what it’s like to be on the outside. But as the hunt looms closer, dark magic surfaces—and it may be their only way to winning the hunt. If they can stay alive for that long.


This book was such a good read. Everything about it was really beautiful, from the writing to the characters. The setting, too, was stunning—similar to the 1920s, but with alchemy, magical creatures, and interesting new religions, and it’s very atmospheric. As soon as I started reading, I was captivated by all these aspects. Everything about it really draws the reader in, and I could’ve finished this in one sitting if I’d had the time.


But the book is more than just the magic and its setting. The characters’ relationships with one another are a very vital part of the story. Firstly, the romance! It unfolds so naturally and develops with the characters’ own personal development. Nothing feels rushed, and the interactions and growth in relationships between the characters feels so normal, and I really liked the progression of the story. Not only was the romance fun to read, the other relationships were too! The family dynamics of Wes and Margaret, while so different from one another, are so interesting to read. The author develops them in such a way that each subplot feels like its own story.  


Not only are the relationships intriguing, but the characters were amazing too! Each and every one of them was compelling, and I always wanted to know more about them, no matter if they were a background character or not. They all affected the story in some way or another, and they felt so real—they were all flawed yet trying their best. Margaret and Wes are such amazing characters, and their development and character arcs were something that kept me wanting more.

All in all, of the books in this review, I think this one is my favorite. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s an incredible book, and I’d love to reread it again.


And that concludes my book reviews for this month. I hope you enjoyed it, and I wish you a happy Valentine’s Day (and happy reading)!

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About the Contributor
Anna Jacobsen, Staff Writer
Anna is in 10th grade at San Marcos High School. She has been a part of The King’s Page since her Freshman year. Her favorite section to write in is A&E. Her favorite subjects in school are History and English. Anna is a part of the water polo and swim team, and she likes to read and spend time with friends in her free time.
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