Review: First & Then


About First & Then

Release Date: October 13, 2015

Recommended in John Green’s Book Giving Guide for the Holidays 2015

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 novel, a contemporary YA romance about love―for the unexpected boy, for a new brother, and for yourself. First & Thencomes from Emma Mills, the YouTube vlogger and co-creator of the popular “life skills” channel, “How to Adult” which currently has over 160,000 subscribers.

With a comparison between Pride and Prejudice ands Friday Night Lights, I knew I was going to want to pick this book up right away. I read through this book in two days while home on break, which was great because I haven’t had time to read non-homework books since school began back in August.

Devon Tennyson is a senior in high school with no idea what she wants to do next. She’s perfectly content watching her best friend and long-time crush, Cas, on the sideline while he plays football. But life doesn’t always go according to plan. Over the past summer, her younger cousin, Foster, moved in with her and her parents. Now she’s dealing with freshman Foster following her around at school. But when the town’s star running back, Ezra, discovers that Foster is a natural at kicking, Foster is suddenly put on their small town’s varsity football team.

I loved watching Friday Night Lights even though I don’t enjoy football. I guess it turns out I do enjoy watching the politics of a small town football team unfold! I loved how football was a major part of this book but that it didn’t overtake the plot. There was just the right amount for fans and non-fans of football to enjoy. The main football part of the book is the politics of a small town football team.

One of the best parts of First & Then was the relationship between Devon and Foster. I really did like the development between the two. At first, Devon is annoyed by her younger cousin and doesn’t really want anything to do with him. It was great seeing them grow closer and Devon trying to understand him. By the end, I was cheering them on when they became adopted siblings.

I’m not the biggest fan of the best friend turn lover trope. If it’s done well, I can enjoy it, but most of the time I’m left wanting something more out of it. I’m glad that this book didn’t take that route. Our protagonist, Devon, does have a crush on her best friend, but, to be honest, I didn’t even like that friendship too much. I did enjoy watching Devon’s relationship with Ezra progress. However, just as Devon complains about Jane Austen, I wish there was more about the actual getting together part!

The main flaw with this book is the lack of development of secondary characters. There were so many characters whose point I didn’t understand in the overall plot. I would’ve liked to see more out of them. Actually, there are a couple who should just be taken out all together. I think that would fix some of the awkward places in the storyline and plot.Also, there a couple storylines that could have been developed more.

Overall, this was a cute contemporary read. I would recommend this to fans of Miranda Kenneally’s Catching Jordan.

My Rating:

3.5 Hearts

*This ARC was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

More Reading

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *