REVIEW: First & Then by Emma Mills

by - 9:36 AM

"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."

Back of the book blurb:

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.

Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781627792356

Available for Purchase:

A message from the cosmos:

My rating:

There is something extremely special about this book. Go beyond the surface of what it gives you and you will find that it is so much more than you would originally expect. Like the description says, it is not just a book about a Jane Austen-loving girl who falls in love with a football god. It’s about learning to go outside of your comfort zone and experiencing new things and falling in love whenever you can. (Sorry, I just watched Practical Magic last night and Sally always gets stuck in my head for days afterward.)

I’m going to go ahead and get out of the way the main reason why I enjoyed this book so thoroughly and even if it is trivial, I don’t care. I like what I like and I’ll never apologize for it. EZRA LYNLEY IS PRETTY MUCH THE HIGHSCHOOL FOOTBALL VERSION OF DEREK HALE. (He’s from Teen Wolf if y’all aren’t familiar with the perfection that is Tyler Hoechlin’s werewolf-y character.) Ezra is quiet, brooding, mysterious, and underneath that hard shell of masculinity is a very sweet, very caring guy. He might not be able to articulate his feelings very well, but he makes up for it with his actions. The way he constantly protected Foster from the get-go and totally loved to be near Devon was just what I needed to crack the ice that surrounds my heart.

I did enjoy Devon, don’t get me wrong. I did. I just… I never really enjoy the characters that believe the world is out to get them. Probably because I see myself in them way too much. Devon just believed she had no talent, had no direction, yet she didn’t do anything about it until she was forced to. Besides that, she was super witty, caring, and hilarious. I’m so glad her and Cas never got together because he was so annoying. She deserved someone like Ezra. (It still seems like the author was trying to live out a fantasy with Devon. I’m not sure if the author really enjoys Jane Austen, but the whole thing where Ezra reads a book for Devon… like, come on. That is so fucking cheesy that I think I might have gotten a little constipated.)

I’m not a big fan of sports; however, I love the whole drama that surrounds Friday night football. It was really fun to relive high school memories like that. I do not miss high school whatsoever, but I like the sense of belonging and the rightness you feel at Friday night football. That was really fun to experience again.

This is an extremely eloquent and witty novel that will make you laugh, ask what the fuck is going on in Foster’s head, and make you fall in love with the perfect boy who might not capture you with his words, but will forever keep you in love with how he shows he cares. Definitely pick this up.

Happy Reading!

The Cosmic Reader

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