First & Then by Emma Mills

“A thousand electric cars could run on how you feel when you know that the person you like likes you back. It feels incredible. Like it shouldn’t be possible. Of all the happy coincidences to ever exist, it’s one of the happiest.”

I’ve been in a small reading slump for the past week since i haven’t made trips to the library. If I wasn’t in a slump, I definitely wouldn’t have rated this book this high, but because it pulled me out of my slump I decided that 4 stars would be my rating. I think this book is just cute. That’s really it. It isn’t very complex in terms of characters and plot, but it’s just an entertaining read. That said, I do have problems with this book as I do with any book, but I still enjoyed this nevertheless.

This biggest problem I had was the main character of this book, which is Devon. She was just so boring. There was nothing interesting about her since she was pretty much completely average at everything. She also didn’t seem to have a personality either; like the traits and such she has are present in practically every other classic contemporary novel I’ve read. She was just completely stereotypical. Also (spoiler alert) there is the part in the book that just doesn’t make sense to me. At first, she doesn’t forgive the love interest (Ezra) for what he did. But all of a sudden, towards the end of the book, she pretends like absolutely nothing happened and just goes on with it. UGH. It just doesn’t make any sense. I don’t get why she just pretends nothing happened; like shouldn’t she still have some sort of grudge against Ezra?

The other characters were okay, except Foster. I actually really liked him. Even though he was really weird at the start, it was something I could relate to. The awkwardness he had around all these popular football stars is something that I could definitely see myself in, since I’m a pretty awkward person myself. His character was definitely my favorite even though he could be annoying at times.

Ezra was okay. But the biggest thing about him that bugged me the most was the fact that he didn’t make sense at times. He’s a pretty introverted and quiet person, but it doesn’t seem like he has any reason for liking Devon. It was terrible instalove. He was the guy she hated, so it would be like a cool plot twist if he was the love interest. But they had no chemistry, or relationship qualities at all. It was a pretty bad romance in all honesty.

Besides the characters, I also didn’t really see a plot. In many of Emma Mills’ books, she has like a main plot, but then a few other smaller plots that could pose as the main plot. I had this same problem in this book. I don’t exactly know what the intended main plot should be, since I saw several contenders for this. For one, it could be that Devon is sort of contemplating her life, with her cousin living with her and her crushes and enemies. It could also be just about Foster, or just about her crushes. I really am unsure.

The ending was an awful cliffhanger. We could predicts thousands of things that could happen to her, Ezra, Foster, and everyone else. I mean, I’m usually okay with a small cliffhanger, but man this one left absolutely no clues or left us satisfied. It seems like we are missing something really important to the story with this terrible cliffhanger.

This review may give the impression that I didn’t like this book, but I did. It pulled me out of a reading slump, which is honestly hard to do. I read this at a time that I needed this type of book. Do I recommend this? Eh. I don’t know. I just don’t think this book will work for everyone.


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