And Again, It’s You: A Memoir

September 1, 2021

Is it besh­ert, or just coincidence?

The most attrac­tive boy she had ever seen, spot­ted across the hos­tel din­ing room on a USY Israel Pil­grim­age trip. The world­ly and cap­ti­vat­ing Israeli man she met while work­ing at a Jew­ish sleep­away camp in Con­necti­cut. The dark­haired mys­te­ri­ous stranger who played gui­tar in the hall­way of her New York Uni­ver­si­ty dorm. Each a chance encounter dur­ing for­ma­tive moments in Jes­si­ca Shorstein’s life who all some­how wove their way back into her future.

Embark with Jes­si­ca in this alter­nat­ing­ly humor­ous and poignant mem­oir against the back­drops of Israel, New York City, and Wash­ing­ton, DC. Trav­el along as she rides the highs and lows of young love, nav­i­gates missed chances and inop­portune tim­ing, and ulti­mate­ly embraces clo­sure, all while grow­ing into a young Jew­ish adult in the time of AOL Instant Mes­sen­ger, when cell phones were not yet ubiquitous.

And Again, It’s You is a cozy, ever-relat­able, and nos­tal­gic jour­ney to find mean­ing in unex­pect­ed recon­nec­tions with faces from the past.

Discussion Questions

Cour­tesy of Jes­si­ca Shorstein

<p>1. There are sev­er­al instances in the book where Jes­si­ca runs into a per­son from her past in an unex­pect­ed place. Have you ever had some­thing hap­pen in your life that made you won­der if there was more at play than mere coin­ci­dence? Share your experience.
<p>2. Do you think that Jes­si­ca and Jared’s sto­ry would have turned out dif­fer­ent­ly if Jes­si­ca had trans­ferred to Boston Uni­ver­si­ty? Why or why not? 
<p>3. There are sev­er­al occa­sions when a phys­i­cal book is ref­er­enced in the sto­ry — one car­ried by Jared, one lent to Jes­si­ca, one redis­cov­ered years lat­er. What do you think the book could sym­bol­ize in this story?
<p>4. Did AOL Instant Mes­sen­ger play a role in your life as a teen, col­lege stu­dent, young adult or at any oth­er phase of your life? If so, what role did it play?
<p>5. How did the inter­net fac­tor gen­er­al­ly into your dat­ing life (past or present)?
<p>6. Dis­cuss Jessica’s change in sen­ti­ment toward Jared that she first expe­ri­enced in New York. Why do you think it occurred?
<p>7. Why do you think the sec­tion on Rob — the mid­dle school crush met at a bat mitz­vah par­ty who showed up lat­er on — was includ­ed in Chap­ter 7? How did that plot line con­nect to the over­all story?
<p>8. Why do you think that Jes­si­ca react­ed the way she did on her date with Sam, the boy with the gui­tar, in Chap­ter 8
<p>9. Why do you think that Jared stayed in the back of Jessica’s mind for so many years?
<p>10. This book touch­es on the theme that we, as peo­ple, are tru­ly con­nect­ed. Do you believe this is true? Why or why not? 
<p>11. Did you ever have a rela­tion­ship or roman­tic inter­est and lat­er won­dered whether things would have been dif­fer­ent if tim­ing had more appro­pri­ate­ly aligned? Share your experience.
<p>12. Do you feel like there was some­one who came into your life at a spe­cif­ic time for a rea­son suit­ed to that par­tic­u­lar moment? Share your experience. 
<p>13. Did you have an ear­ly love or crush who you car­ried as an ide­al in your mind until you actu­al­ly recon­nect­ed with them lat­er in life? Share your experience. 
<p>14. Did any oth­er aspects of this mem­oir relate to your own life? If so, please explain. 
<p>15. What, if any, were (or are) your expe­ri­ences try­ing to date Jew­ish­ly as a young adult or young professional? 
<p>16. How did you main­tain (or find) your Jew­ish iden­ti­ty once you left home and were on your own?
<p>17. How did you feel about the book’s ending?