Book: First & Then by Emma Mills
Release Date: October 13th 2015
Tags: Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance / High School / Football / Friendship / Family / Adoption / Jane Austen / Trigger Warning / Addicted Parent of the Page
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.
Well surprise, I am reviewing a contemporary. I know. It is a rare sight. Are you all shocked? First & Then is a book I won from the author on Twitter a few years ago. I was so pleased but it never felt like it was the right time to read it until the end of June when I read through it really quickly.
First & Then is very loosely inspired by Pride & Prejudice but not in a way that you need to know anything about this classic. The main character is clearly a Jane Austen fan and refers to her characters quite a bit. In part I enjoyed this and in other parts I wondered how fitting it really was for the situation. Even so having a main character that was a reader, at least Jane Austen, without also being social inapt was great. While I know some of us are socially awkward, me included, there are plenty of readers who are quite sociably and extraverted. They always seem to get passed over when it comes to characters that read. The stereotype is that readers are introverts. So I was pleased to see that differently.
Beyond that however I really enjoyed our main character Devin. She was wonderfully sarcastic. And searching for what she wants to do with her life. She doesn’t really know what to do with her college app but as the story progresses she starts reaching out. I liked that she found what she wanted without it being something overly emphasized in a certain scene. She just started doing things and found what she enjoyed. Something she could do in the future. Finding out what you want to do at college doesn’t have to be some kind of soul searching effort and a lot of times when you are at college you will find out a lot more things. So I liked that too.
Next to Devin I fell hard for her cousin Foster. My gosh that kid is literally the cutest. And I felt for him so hard. His situation has to be so hard. But he goes to therapy to deal with things and there was no stigma put on that.
But of course you want to know about the romance. You know I am a harsh critic there most times but for me the romance here was cute. It was a bit of a slow burn. Talk of feelings and liking but never I love you or I am in love with you or any of that sort. That was especially what I liked about it. There could have maybe been more moments together with the two and the end had perhaps a bit too much drama padding but I overall enjoyed it quite a bit. And I think the two of them are well suited together.
So yeah as someone who rarely reads contemporary I totally recommend this one if you want a fast and cute read.