Monday, November 9, 2015

First & Then by Emma Mills

Hardcover, 267 pages
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Published by: Henry Holt & Co. (BYR)
Source: Library
For fans of: Jane Austen, Football, Romance, Humor, Contemporary, Chick-lit, Realistic Fiction, Stand-alones, 

     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.


      This book flew under my radar for some reason. I'm not exactly sure how because I LOVE anything to do with sports and having this one about my favorite sport too, so I should've known about this one as soon as the description was released. What ever the case may be, I'm so glad I didn't miss out on the wonderful book. 
"Secret crushes went out of style in the seventh grade."
pg. 56
     Devon has a pretty normal teenage life. She watches her school's football games, she has an amazing best friend (who she also has a crush on), and doesn't care about anything besides that day. Until her younger cousin Foster comes to live with her and a football superstar come to their high school. Devon begins to see not only her life, but Foster's life changing before her eyes. All because of the football superstar, Ezra. 
"When I was a freshman, I had braces and more pimples than I could count."
pg. 14
    The number one thing about this book I loved was the humor. All the sarcastic responses and funny. real thoughts that ran through Devon's mind made her feel authentically awkward. I say this because I know first hand how awkward people act lol I often say things that people don't understand or try to get out of bad situations with awkwardness, so it was awesome to see someone a little like me. It made her significantly easier to relate to. And with all that she kept saying, I remember literally laughing out loud and getting weird stares as I read this book at work during my lunch break. (For example: "Prostitots" was hilarious each and EVERY time I saw it in the book lmao) 
"You can't really oppose something until you've researched it properly, can you?"
pg. 68
     I also loved the characters. Foster and Marabelle were my FAVORITE. I loved how awkward they were together. And then there was of course Devon. She was judgmental in the beginning, but she changed so much in such a short time. So many people had an influence on her and it was obvious it was for the best. And last but certainly not least, there was Ezra. Anyone could see that there was something bad that once happened to him. But for him to still be so sweet, strong, courageous, and loyal, that boy deserves the entire world. Together, this cast of characters made for quite an entrancing read. They made up an amazing partnership that made this story. 
"You don't always want what's better. Sometimes you just want, the familiar, the dependable, the accessible."
pg. 76
     As for the romance, I thought it was super sweet, but I wanted more. Maybe it's just the romantic in me that wanted more, but I did want to see more of the two of them together before they began to fight and also after it. I think I just wanted to see more of the two of them being happy after all the things that happened to them and their families. I also liked that there was so much of the romance that depended on Jane Austen and all those old time romances, but they didn't make you feel out of the loop if you haven't read them. And trust me, I know about that first hand. Because I've never read one lol But I loved this book so much I added Pride and Prejudice to my TBR lol 
"Why are any of us friends with the people we're friends with?"
pg. 135
     Last but not least, there's the football. I loved that it wasn't all cliche like most other sports books are. They didn't win every game and even though Ezra was portrayed like the king of football, he didn't always have an amazing game. This again made the characters and the book seem more real. 
"When you love something, you can't be happy all the time can you? Like that's why you love it. It makes you feel all kinds of things, not just happy. It can hurt, it can make you fucking mad, but... it makes you feel something, you know?"
pg. 139
     This book will obviously land on my favorite books of 2015 list, and right now I can't think of a more deserving book or author. Emma Mills has written an unforgettable debut with the best combination ever: Football, Reading, and Romance. 
Overall, I give this


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