Review by Paola
by Emma Mills
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (October 13, 2015)
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Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy 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, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive jock, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them--first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.
With wit, heart, and humor to spare, First & Then is a contemporary novel about falling in love--with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.
This novel is like Pride and Prejudice on steroids. It has the drama from the original plus a few modern twists and turns. It's all about falling in (and out) of love, finding yourself, and family drama. If this sounds good to you then you will fall in love with First & Then.
To say that I devoured this novel is an understatement. I didn't think I would read the entire book in one sitting but I did. Every element came together so well that I was captivated from the very first page. Even though the entire novel is witty and fun, that takes a backseat to the characters. I loved the main character, Devon, and her development. I thought her struggles were very relatable and I really enjoyed her voice. However, a secondary character stole the show. Devon's cousin, Foster, quickly became one of my favorite characters ever. The different sides of his personality are fascinating and I would love to read more of his story. I'm willing to beg to make this happen.
Since this book has so many Pride and Prejudice parallels, the author went ahead and included a ton of Jane Austen references. Now, one thing you should know about me is that I'm a huge Jane Austen fangirl. So, obviously, the references scattered throughout raised the novel to a whole new level. I couldn't contain my excitement every time I spotted anything Austen so my reading experience was the equivalent of a room filled with unicorns, kitties, and Theo James. Basically, I was in heaven (thank you, Emma Mills).
I've been extremely disappointed with YA Contemporaries lately but novels like First & Then remind me why I love the genre. I still read YA because I want to feel this overwhelming sense of happiness. So, if you're looking for something light and sweet, read this book. You can thank me later.