Review: Ask Again Later

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

Review: Ask Again LaterAsk Again Later by Liz Czukas
Published by HarperTeen on March 11, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: YA Books Central
Amazon β€’ The Book Depository
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four-half-stars

Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there's only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.

Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother's best friend really be?

Tails: The theater geek...with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart's interests--even if he wants to share all his feelings?

Heart's simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all...

Dear friends, I want to push this book on you if you love fluffy things. And banter. And ships. And adorableness. If you do not like those things, you should probably turn around because you would hate this book. However, those of you who are like me, YOU WANT THIS. Ask Again Later is the sort of fluffy, slow burning, bantery goodness of which I will never tire.

First things first, let’s discuss something: the main character’s name. It is, in fact, Heart LaCoeur. If you know me well, you know that I HATE all the stupid YA character names just to make a bland character stand out. While I’m sure that’s at least some of the motivation, I’m okay with it, because Heart abhors her name and she actually got picked on for it, which is way more realistic than most YA novels where Hiohefoqhn is treated like a totally ordinary name. So, yes, her name is Heart LaHeart, but it’s totally fine.

See, the real thing that makes her name okay is the ship. Well, that and the fact that she actually has a personality. Anyway, I boarded a ship on page 12, when the boy she calls Schroeder calls her spleen because “he never called [her] by [her] real name, always by some other internal organ.” While, in general, nicknames annoy me in books, clever ones like this are the beeeeest. The Schroeder nickname is great too. So yes. I knew on page 12, which was the third page of actual text. I regret nothing.

Heart is completely hilarious. I know that the reactions to this book have been somewhat mixed, and I get it. Ask Again Later is the sort of first person contemporary that is heavily dependent on whether you are amused by the main character and understand her way of thinking. I’m sure she could be endlessly frustrating if you don’t get her, but she is totally a kindred spirit for me. I especially love that, though she’s a good friend and sister, she will tell someone off when that needs to be done. Oh, and, she’s a YA heroine who wants to be single; how awesome is that?

“I’m telling you, there’s no way to make this decision. Even fortune-telling toys won’t help me.”

Heart gets three offers to Prom her junior year: her friend group (the No Drama) Prom-a, Ryan, and Troy, her brother’s friend. The above quote is Heart’s indecisiveness, as is the entire book. Essentially, all three are friend options not date options, and she doesn’t want to let anybody down, so she can’t choose. I feel your pain, Heart. Choosing things is hard.

On top of the awesomeness of Heart, I love the big group of friends in the novel. She’s got a whole passel of friends from theater, and they are wonderful. They make fun of one another and bicker and banter constantly and it’s magical. With such a big group, the dynamics aren’t perfect, but they’re all watching out for one another and able to get through fights healthily. Also, yay for an adorable, non-stereotyped gay character!

Sort of like a non-depressing Post-Birthday World or even fluffier Split Second, Ask Again Later runs through two scenarios for Prom night: if she’d gone with Troy or if she’d gone with Ryan. This framework was actually my least favorite part, with its odd fatalism. I loved reading every bit of it, but the hook of the novel really didn’t add to the experience for me.

If you’re on the fence, go to Amazon and check out the free preview. Check out th voice and see if you love it. If you do, GET THIS BOOK. If you ask again later, my answer will be unchanged.

Favorite Quote:

“You’re having . . . thoughts?”

And feelings. Damn it, Ryan. Feelings! This is not on my agenda.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

so fluffy

17 responses to “Review: Ask Again Later”

  1. YESSSSSSSSSSS THIS BOOK. Page 12, I was there with you sister. 3rd page of the actual text but THE SHIP SET SAIL WAHOO. I do have to also agree with you though that the hook of the novel, the two different paths, they didn’t really add much. *sigh* I like that there was that fate thing, but I would have been totally fine if it was just one or the other timeline. OH WELL IT WAS FLUFFY AND ADORABLE SO LOOK WHO GIVES NO SHITS πŸ˜€
    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…Book Review: Scarlet by A.C. GaughenMy Profile

    • Also A+ GIF usage, A+ quote and this, “If you ask again later, my answer will be unchanged.” brb dying of laughter.
      Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…Book Review: Scarlet by A.C. GaughenMy Profile

      • Christina Franke says:

        PAGE 12. Much as I hate nicknames usually, those were perfect. A cute, personal nickname gets me. I blame Gilbert with “carrots.” So much swoon.

        Yeah, I didn’t mind much that the two time lines were kind of pointless, because I liked both. But yeah. It was delightful either way. I just want to hug this book like that little girl with her stuffed animal.

        I was proud of that line, ngl.

  2. Stormy says:

    I felt like Heart and her friends acted like pretty normal teenagers, which was refreshing. Sometimes they said dumb things, some times they said smart things, etc. Sometimes I laughed along with Heart, a few times I rolled my eyes at her(mostly when she was talking to Ryan and saying some more stereotypical things. I know they were friends and it was mostly all in good fun, but I still rolled my eyes quite a bit). Heart’s friends were wonderful! It’s so rare to see large friend groups in YA–at least in the books I’ve read–and they were great to read about. And I totallllly ship it. Completely.
    Stormy recently posted…Re-Examining a Genre: HorrorMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      That’s true too. I appreciate realism and being different from most YA. The friendships were awesome! A lot of people aren’t in big groups, but I’ve had some large friend groups in the past. I too rolled my eyes at Heart with her stereotypes, but I felt like she was learning, so that’s good. And some of her insensitivity was mostly because she didn’t think it was a big deal. The stereotypes are probably because she’s young or maybe to razz him? I’m not sure.

  3. This sounds awesome FLUFFY. Get it for me for my birthday? Please? πŸ˜‰
    Lenore Appelhans recently posted…I Have A Serious Series ProblemMy Profile

  4. I’ve been craving lighter, funnier reads. Ask Again Later might be just what I need. I will be sure to check out the free preview to make sure I get Heart.

    Also, I love smart nicknames, too!!!!!!!
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Review: One Dance with a Duke by Tessa DareMy Profile

  5. You sold me with “fluffy, slow burning, bantery goodness.” This sounds so cute! And haha perfect gif πŸ™‚

    Heart LaCoeur is a very strange name but I can see how the nicknames make up for it.

    Can’t wait to read this!
    Lucy @ The Reading Date recently posted…Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote Audiobook ReviewMy Profile

  6. YES YES YES I LOVED THIS BOOK! It’s so fluffy and I was super annoyed at first at how Heart was named Heart, but I agree, the fact that she actually had a personality was enough to totally change my opinion about her. She’s so witty and hilarious it’s hard not to laugh while reading because it just brings a huge smile to your face. I don’t judge you for shipping the two characters on page 12, because I definitely did the same. The adorable nicknames sealed the deal for me. And now I’m remembering how amazing and great the romance and their friends were *happy sigh* Fantastic review, Christina! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…The Cellar by Natasha PrestonMy Profile

  7. Jessica R says:

    This sounds so CUTE. I love the clever nickname and the perfect-sounding ship. Books that are so dependent on the main character’s voice can be tough to widely recommend but Miss Spleen LaHeart sounds like someone I’d get along with splendidly so I’m now really looking forward to getting to know her. And Schroeder, of course. Plus the author is rather entertaining herself, so I had a good feeling about this one to start… glad it seems to have been correct!
    Jessica R recently posted…Blog Tour Guest Post: Ask Again Later by Liz CzukasMy Profile

  8. Second review of this book I’ve read in the last *checks watch* 15 minutes and I’m SOLD. Even if I’m as unfluffy as it gets, I has a heart too (bad pun).
    Kat (AussieZombie) recently posted…Review: The Deepest Secret by Carla BuckleyMy Profile

  9. Ebony says:

    This book sounds so fun, can’t wait to give it a read!

  10. Lili says:

    So my review of this goes up later this week and I’m laughing so hard about the similarities. The GIF really made the book perfect! <3

  11. Kyra says:

    LOVE this review! It’s fantastic! I seriously want to read this now, it looks utterly amazing πŸ˜€

    PS. So glad I discovered your blog, I love it!
    Kyra recently posted…Discussion: Do You Review Every Book You Read?My Profile

  12. I love your GIFs.

    I also really loved this book and agree with you about Heart and her name. Like, usually I roll my eyes at dumb names, but with this book I felt like Heart and I were on the same page about her dumb name.

    ALSO! Yes, that ship and the nicknames..

    As for the framing, I didn’t mind it because of how the two storylines connected and crossed over, ya know? Like, I thought that was really neat.

    Methinks more people need to read this book!
    April Books & Wine recently posted…Half Bad by Sally Green | Book ReviewMy Profile

  13. Fida says:

    LOL! I love the gif at the end. I love fun nicknames. This sounds like a good book. Thanks for sharing an awesome review!

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