All Over Again by a-Dziko Simba Gegele A Review

Published: Tuesday, 12 May 2015 Written by Deniece Joseph

All Over Again

By A-Dziko Simba Gegele

Blouse & Skirt Books

ISBN: 978-976-954-361-4

Review by Deniece Joseph


All Over Again is the debut novel for A-Dziko Simba Gegele.  The story takes place in Riverland, Jamaica where a twelve year old boy faces many challenges and obstacles which are typical for the child on the brink of teenage-hood.  It is a charming story with a humorous and introspective plot that leaves the reader satisfied but also wanting the author to continue the tale of this clever and cunning child.


The unnamed male narrator is from the “sleepy village” of Riverland where he suffers from many pubescent issues such as taking advice from parents, winning over your crush, having an enemy, discovering various life facts and lessons, feeling ashamed on behalf of other people and the worst of all, dealing with younger siblings who just don’t seem to obey. The novel starts off with the narrator seeking revenge against Mary Janga, his six year old sister and Daddy, his father reprimanding him. Throughout the novel the reader is introduced to the narrator’s mother who encourages him to do his school work, Grandpa who provides him with words of wisdom and his cousin Delroy who assists the male protagonist in achieving his goals on performing excellent in his studies along with other minor characters.


The use of second person narration allows the reader to enter the world of the story and relate to experiences and events in the novel to their own personal ones. Furthermore, even the chapter titles persuade the reader to dig into their memory and to conjure up various events and experiences in their life that can be summarized by those five or less words. The use of dialect also makes the book more realistic as it is set in Jamaica.

At the beginning of the story,  it seems as if Mary Janga is the antagonist but later we find out who truly is and for those who have younger siblings, she represents an exaggerated portion of their troubles. The book maintains the cliche school drama which is the protagonist vs Kenny whom he refers to as “Big Head, Big Mouth Kenny”.  Kenny is arrogant, rich and spoiled while the narrator is not and he absolutely despises Kenny. It is the same “Big Head, Big Mouth Kenny” who is the antagonist.

Life lessons are prominent  in the novel when the narrator learns to forgive and to refrain for blaming someone for something that was out of their natural control. In addition, the book also introduces three important principles that elicits an introspective element of the book.  They are “Friends & Family”, “Love is Love” and “If you love someone, you don’t hurt them”.  The male narrator introduces a fourth principle which is the connection between principles one, two and three, a problem we all face sooner or later in life. Principle four is “ that’s about saying goodbye to someone even though you don’t want them to go because you understand they need to do what they need to do. It’s about letting them go like that but not letting them go because you can always call them or text them or write to them because Principle One and Principle Two and Principle Three.”


Moreover, the real life component of the novel continues by the author’s use of “This Voice” and “That Voice” are classical references to the representation of the angel and the devil on each shoulder. Somehow in the book and in real life, for most humans i.e “That Voice” outweighs “This Voice”.

The novel holds aspects of childhood adventure and the need to do some of the exciting and exhilarating things viewed on television.  Classic family fun occurs even though the narrator may feel the need to run away when it seems like no one is listening to his call for help.  While growing up one may believe and be of the view that your parents may be trying to prevent you from enjoying life but most may only want what’s best for you but typically, by being a stubborn child their guidance is denied. For example, it is seen in the novel that the twelve year old wants to learn how to drive but his father denies him access to his pick-up truck even though that in nine days, he’ll be thirteen, a teenager. However, the narrator responds to this ban by performing stereotypical teenage behaviour when he tries to drive the vehicle as soon as he is told to wash it by his father.

In continuation, family life and sibling rivalry is a major sector of the book’s plot which can be seen when Mary Janga falls into a gully and her brother has to drag her up from it with the help of Delroy and others. Here it is revealed, the true bond between siblings of a well balanced family; even though they may anger you on a daily basis, you’ll still help them in their time of need.  Even the mild distraction that siblings provide when one needs a stress reliever is something that we should be grateful for.


Conclusively, the cliche continues as we come to the end of the novel and the narrator gets his girl though he had to prepare to overcome his obstacle and major opponent, Kenny. In a nutshell, All Over Again is a magnificent book which highlights many daily situations that are often overlooked and magnifies them to a point that they’re like the glaring sun on a day when there is no protection against the rays of the ball of fire Earth rotates around.  


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