Review: First & Then by Emma Mills

SYNOPSIS:First & Then

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.


*Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*

I have very mixed feeling on this book, and let me tell you why. The first 80% of this book is stale and stagnant, those are the two words that popped into my head. I was just living out Devon’s boring life, day in and day out. Nothing crazy happened, nothing exciting happened, nothing except reading about high school and learning about college. Honestly, things that were happening on page 178, could have happened on page 78. I felt like things were dragged out.

Now, the last 20% of this book…why couldn’t the whole book have been written like this? I loved the last 20%, there was action, romance, and an unexpected laugh out loud moment. Lindsay was an extremely fickle character and then she had me laughing with a soup metaphor in the last 20% of the book. Why couldn’t I have seen that Lindsay throughout the book?

So the book left me wanting more, the story definitely thrived at the end but the beginning was very slow going for me. I mean give me something to work with, something in the beginning or middle to keep me wanting more…the wanting more for me was wondering if anything was eventually going to happen then a ridiculous amount of Jane Austen references. If you can hold out for the last 20% then you are golden but I feel like a lot of readers won’t wait that long…


“Close your eyes, real tight, and then count to three hundred. That’s all you have to do. You just count to three hundred, and when you open your eyes, five minutes will have passed. And even if it hurts or things are shitty or you don’t know what to do, you just made it through five whole minutes. And when it feels like you can’t go on, you just close your eyes and do it again. That’s all you need. Just five minutes at a time.”


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