Title: First & Then
Author: Emma Mills
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Synopsis: “Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.
Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.”
I love, love, loved this book. Honestly, it may even be my favorite book of the year (so far) It was adorable and heart-clenching at the same time and I desperately feel the need to quote the sentence on the front cover:
“First & Then is like first love:
profound and stirring, surprising and funny, and utterly delightful.”
-T. Michael Martin, author of The End Games
I normally don’t start reading a new book until I post the review of the previous one but because of an unexpected change in my plans, I had to choose my next book way earlier. I wasn’t even expecting to finish this in so little time, but I managed to finish reading First & Then in, like, 4 hours or so. It’s a very quick and fun read and I’m almost a hundred percent sure you’re not going to get bored while reading this.
The events in the book are quite predictable, I’m not going to lie but that was not a problem for me as I love books, it doesn’t matter if they are clichéd or predictable, as long as it has romance & fluffiness in it, I will read it. That was the case with this book, too. You know, the girl is in love with her best friend, the best friend only sees her as a friend and their whole relationship is almost one-sided because the girl is the only one trying to make their friendship work, then the girl befriends the guy her best friend hates, etc. As I said, the events are quite predictable.
Our main character, Devon, is obsessed with Jane Austen and is also obsessed with talking and thinking Austen-like. Throughout the book, you can find her thinking, “What would Jane do (or write) in this situation?” or “How would Jane make her character express herself if she were in my position?” To be honest, I was completely okay with this obsession of our main character and I even liked the Jane Austen references.
“‘You read Pride and Prejudice, too?’
‘I thought it was, like, a sequel or something.’
No one had ever read a book for me before, let alone two.”
I looooooved Ezra. I just want to wrap my arms around him and hug him so tight that he won’t be able to breathe properly for the next few days. :’)
My only problem with this book was that sometimes the descriptions were not enough or they were too broad. There were some very easy situations to understand but because the author chose a more… hard and figurative way of writing her sentences, you could only understand what the author and the characters were talking about in the third or fourth paragraph. The same goes to the background stories of the characters. The descriptions just weren’t enough, smh. For example, who was Emir? What is his story? Why was he in the story?
And I also found it weird how Devon didn’t have any close friends besides Cas, that jerk. I don’t know, it just seems weird.
Lastly, I loved how at the end of the book, Devon comes to terms with the fact that Foster will just stay with her and her family for the rest of their lives, maybe. In my opinion, accepted this a long time ago but she just needed a little push to say it out loud.
“A thousand electric cars could run on how you feel when you know that the person you like likes you back. It feels incredible. Like it shouldn’t be possible. Of all the happy coincidences to ever exist, it’s one of the happiest.”
All in all, I can say that First & Then was a very quick and fun read, full of romance and friendship and the importance of family strings. It’s definitely in my “favorites” shelf, and I’d recommend it to anyone without a doubt.
Where to Buy: Amazon