You know those people who peak in high school and spend the rest of their lives looking back with bittersweet fondness on their glory days? Sure, you do. They populate the songs of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits, the fiction of Salinger and Palahniuk, and the films of the Coen Brothers. They’re a pitiful lot, forever looking to recapture something that’s long gone…if it was ever there at all.
But don’t pity Nate Evans, hero of Larry Brill’s DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN. Sure, he’s a down-on-his-luck screenwriter, but his break is right around the corner. It comes in the form of an errant Air Force missile which blows up Nate’s mobile home, driving him to move back in with his aging parents, and adopt the carefree skate-punk lifestyle he enjoyed as a teenager.
Part of Nate’s “do over” plan is capturing the heart of his long-lost high school sweetheart, Julie Cooper. Good news: Julie teaches at their old high school now, and Nate just landed a job their too! Bad news: Julie’s engaged to the dashing—but ultimately dastardly—school principal, Russell. Watching Nate and Julie reconnect—and Julie and Russell unravel—is half the fun of DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN. The other half is watching Nate attempt to recapture his youth; not just the fashions and fads, but the mindset of being young and bold.
DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN is an engaging and enjoyable read; a romantic comedy where both the romance and the comedy is well executed. There’s a humorous, PG-rated “Momus Interruptus” scene that spoils Nate and Julie’s high school hook-up, as well as tender moments as the pair contend with Empty Nest Syndrome and caring for aging parents. Nate and Julie endure a series of twists, turns, and betrayals—both real and imagined—before reaching a sweet, satisfying resolve. In DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN, middle-aged foreplay is a platonic beach weekend filled with long naps and snuggle-time. Sound fantastic…bring me a blanket!
DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN, Larry Brill’s romantic comedy, hits all the right notes in this literary ode to first love, second chances, and high school humor.
~Rob Errera for IndieReader