Author: Emma Mills
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Publication Date: October 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Devin’s cousin Foster has come to live with them, and introduces new and exciting changes into Devin’s life. Including which are football and Ezra, the high school’s star football player. As she is pining away for her best friend Cas, Devin discovers that maybe unexpected relationships may be the best ones of all.
Love Love Love.
What is there not to love?
I am not a football fan and sadly, I have never seen Friday Night Lights. But I hear it’s good.
First & Then is a fabulous contemporary story of Devin who’s life changes drastically when her cousin Foster comes to visit. Devin is a great narrator. She’s nice enough to want to be her friend, but not a pushover. She’s sympathetic to her cousin Foster’s feelings, but still feels annoyed and sometimes embarrassed by his awkwardness, resulting in these two quickly taking on sibling roles more than cousins. And of course, who can’t relate to poor Devin’s ultimate crush on her best friend Cas. Star, handsome and not into Devin at all like that.
Foster is sweet and weird and my heart really twisted for him. He’s stronger than people thinks he is and I liked his development as a character the most. It starts with a new school, a new family and then new friends and expectations. His journey is handled with care and finesse.
Of course our Ezra is perfect for Devin, even if she doesn’t know it. Socially awkward, yet popular due to his athletic achievements, Ezra is abrupt and guarded and just plain grumpy. Mills adds nuances to Ezra’s character that makes him stand out as the perfect Mr. Darcy in her world, but also adds a touch of heart early on by playing into Ezra’s vulnerability at being a public figure.
The story is more than a Pride & Prejudice retelling. It’s heartwarming and charming, adding the excitement of homecoming and football and discovering family means many things to many different people. The characters all go through organic changes, allowing them to find their own way through the book, misunderstandings and all.
I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy so I can read it again!
(Also, that cover is eye grabbing! I wanted to read the book based on cover alone!)
Rating 9 Ridiculously Awesome like Cookies and Ice Cream