Author: Emma Mills
Published: October 13th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Rating: 4 Stars
Summary: 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.
I got this book as Uppercase Box subscription pick of the month, and I just couldn’t be happier with the selection. This book is described as Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights and honestly it is everything I hoped for and more. I’ve tried to read Pride and Prejudice but Old English is so hard for me to read that I had a hell of a time, but (and I am going to say this with a straight face) the movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen is one of my favorites. So going in to this book I had high hopes for it. This story follows Devon, a young girl who is in love with Jane Austen, whose cousin, Foster, comes to live with them after his mother can’t take care of him. I related so much to Devon. She was spunky and funny and in love with her best friend. I just connected to this character. I thought she was very interesting to read about. She wasn’t always the nicest but I think that’s such a great thing that she wasn’t. I was horribly judgmental when I was in High School and looking back now if I could go back and change I would. But it’s who I thought I should be and seeing parts of me in Devon was extremely insightful. The love she felt for Foster was also something I related to. He was family and although he was annoying at times, seeing the relationship and the bond that grew as the story went along was one of my favorite parts of this book. Now when I read books that have a ton of miscommunication or misunderstanding it drives me insane. I hate reading books like that because all it takes is for the characters to turn to each other and say what’s on their minds. Emma though just handled it amazingly. Every miscommunication or misunderstanding added to the story. I mean I was clearly thinking come on all ready just kiss! I do have one negative and that’s that Ezra and Devon don’t get a whole lot of kissing time together and I just wish that they did. That being said I was still happy with the scene!
One of the things I want to mention, that I really really didn’t see coming but loved that it happened, was between a character Lindsey and Devon. I won’t give to much away because I don’t want to spoil it for you guys, but let me just say that I was waiting for Lindsey to become the mean girl or to hurt Devon or to do something that would tear Devon and Ezra apart, like I said Emma handled the miscommunication’s quite well, and the fact that she didn’t was just amazing. I am so glad she didn’t take them down that path or make Lindsey in to some petty character. It’s one of the reasons I absolutely loved this book. There was no mean characters, which I know that is not always the case in High School, but I am so over the girls being evil or the best friend turning on each other over a guy. It just made no sense to me and I am so glad that it wasn’t the case in this book. Even though Lindsey and Devon aren’t best friends. I just thought I would point that out.
Now Foster, Devon’s cousin, was another amazing character! He was just the kind of character you want to take care of. The little weirdo brother you have that you want to protect. He was always just saying whatever popped in his head and he didn’t bother beating around the bush. He was blunt but it was part of his character that I just loved him for it. I don’t think we got enough of Foster in this book, and I would seriously read a story about just him, with maybe some moments of Ezra and Devon thrown in. Just saying! I said earlier, but I am going to repeat, the bond that grew between them was just one of the great things in this book. I think the thing I loved about this book was not just one thing. It was a mix, of the great characters, amazing relationships/friendships, and hard lessons. Devon was a character who really didn’t care/think about college. It just wasn’t on her radar. She just didn’t really care all that much, and I think that’s a really great thing to see in a book. In high school I didn’t care about college. I didn’t think about it. And to see a character who acted the same way was interesting. I wanted her to care and get in to school, don’t worry guys she gets her act together.
Overall I thought this book was just really cute and well done. It’s not a long read. You could definitely do it in a day but I highly suggest going to pick it up. I enjoyed the characters, even swoon worthy Ezra. But if you’re looking for a cute cuddly read for these cold days, look no further than First & Then. It’s honestly got everything you could want in a book! I gave this one four stars (I definitely could have used more kissing). But other than that this one was a definite hit for me! So go on and check it out!
Until next time!