October 15, 2015

"Fools in Love" • First & Then

First & Then book cover
First & Then by Emma Mills
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Source/Format: Publisher || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]

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.

First & Then is easily one of the most enjoyable novels I've read all year. It's not only a really easy read, but it is fun, cute and it is certainly going to leave you smiling by the time you reach the end. The novel centers around Devon Tennyson, a decidedly average gal who is content with her unrequited crush, small town traditions and sorting everyone around her into their own categories. When her cousin Foster and football star Ezra become unexpected fixtures in her life, everything starts to change, and Mills captures it all with her straightforward prose.

I just really adored this book! I really liked Devon, a gal after my own heart and someone I could see myself being friends with in real life. I really liked the variety of secondary characters - Cas, Foster, Ezra (!!!!!), Lindsay, Jordan, to name a few - who are all portrayed in slightly stereotypical ways, but also revealed to be more than just a stereotype. I really liked the ordinariness of the story, particularly against the backdrop of high school and football. I really liked all the Jane Austen references (which reminded me so much of my friend Hannah), and how the plot is inspired by Pride & Prejudice. I also really liked how the relationships shift over the course of the story, family and friendship and romance alike. Everything about this story was just so right for it that, even though I do feel like there could have been a touch more development (especially for the characters and certain plot points), it was still a really good read.

I honestly can't stop myself from grinning whenever I think about First & Then, especially when I remember the last few chapters! It's just one of those stories that will make you feel good while you're reading it. If you're on the hunt for a fun, easy new contemporary to check out, then I'd 100% recommend giving this one a shot.

What is your favorite Pride & Prejudice adaptation?

There are quite a few adaptations I considered mentioning in this post (the 2005 film and Bridget Jones' Diary, particularly), but my favorite at this time is The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I cannot tell you how obsessed I was with this YouTube adaptation when I was first alerted to it (I literally watched Episodes 1-91 in one night, and I've watched Episode 98 waaaaay more times than I care to admit.) It's such a clever modernization of the original film, and I really enjoyed it!


  1. I just brought this book home yesterday. I'm really excited to read it because PRIDE AND PREJUDICE! My favorite adaptation? I love so many. Of course The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It was done so cleverly. I started watching it when there were less than 10 episodes. And when Ep. 59 came out and you see Darcy for the first time (albeit only his chest) I freaked out. And couldn't wait for ep 60, which is probably the one I watch the most.

  2. I'm SO excited to read this one. I'm not a Jane Austen fangirl (although I would like to get into her work!) but I've been binge-watching Friday Night Lights lately... so I think this will be perfect for me! I preordered it and can't wait to dive in.

  3. Gosh, I'm such a sucker for easy, fun contemporaries! I was looking at this one at the bookstore just yesterday and now I regret not grabbing the copy. I'm a huge fan of Austen-inspired stories (like Claire LaZebnik's even though I've yet to ever read anything by Jane Austen) so I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed and adore this one, Alexa. Officially need it in my life!

  4. Yes, I couldn't agree more! First & Then was just a delightful read from the start to finish, and I adored the combination of P&P + football. It had me grinning like a fool! And how adorable were the boys? Ezra and Foster are my heroes! :)

  5. I just started this one today (and by that I literally mean just started, I'm only on page 5!) and I'm so glad to know it's an easy read, as I'm working on getting back into reading after a hiatus due to a busy work schedule and being on vacation. Even though I was an English major in college I somehow never had to read Jane Austen, so funnily enough, this book will be my first exposure to Pride & Prejudice!

    -Cristina @ Girl in the Pages


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