Title: First & Then
Author: Emma Mills
Published: October 2015
Summary: Devon is beginning her senior year of high school expecting her unexceptional life to continue as per usual. When her cousin Foster comes to live with her family and disrupts her only child status, she finds her quiet life getting a little louder, including his brutal honesty and his new, brooding best friend.
Why I Am Recommending: Goodreads included this magical phrase when describing this book, “Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights…” That’s really all it would take for me to hop to it and read a book. Combining perhaps my all time favorite book with my all time favorite tv show? Yes, please! It didn’t disappoint–I loved this book in all of its YA glory! It was a great trip down nostalgia lane and I think there is something about how Mills wrote Devon and the story line that felt more authentic to me than other YA books I have read. I could easily imagine the scenarios and the characters in my own high school experience. When reading through Devon’s thoughts it felt like I may have been reading my own angsty, melodramatic journals during my high school years. Devon’s relationship with her cousin Foster was so sweet and heart warming. I was over-the-moon and pleasantly surprised by Devon’s own devotion to all things Jane Austen and the frequent references made throughout her own story. And then there’s Ezra. He was everything a romantic lead in a YA novel should be, brooding, mysterious, misunderstood. I just think this story was really well-done and mimicked what I remember high school to be like (albeit quite a bit more interesting than my own experience). I would classify this as a nice cotton candy read.