Review & G!veaway: First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

Publication Date: May 8th, 2012
Thomas Allen/HMH
Format: ARC, 198 pages
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl always searching for what’s next, seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving and besides, opposites attract.
What starts as friendship, turns into admiration, respect and caring, until finally these two lone souls find they are truly in love with each other.
But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they’re going to have to work at it. And learn that sometimes love means having to say you’re sorry.

Gray – Loner. Angry. Caustic.

Dylan – Vagabond. Genial. Happy.

Told from alternate POVs, this is a story about two opposing personalities who learned the intricacies of human relationships;  from the sensibilities of new found friendships, the adrenaline rush of falling in love, and the complexities of making a fragile relationship work. It’s not going to be easy and it would take a lot of brutal honesty, never-ending soul searching, compounded by difficult sacrifices. At the end of the day, would it all be worth it?

This book had me by the title right off the bat. I’m a big romance reader (believe it or not) and First Comes Love comes at a perfect time when I needed to get back to my love of reading. I fell in love with Gray’s and Dylan’s light and dark, yin and yang personalities.

Going in, I knew there would come a point when I had to break out a box of tissues. I was misty-eyed on some parts but it also had enough comic relief to balance it all out. Dylan’s quirky rose-coloured take on life and the simplicity with which she found the goodness out of everything and everyone gave a whole new meaning to optimism. It was fun reading her character.

This book was a beautiful story about two people who had to see themselves through each other’s eyes. Gray needed to see himself the way Dylan sees him in order to accept and face the irrefutable reality that his family remain frozen in their grief and what he had to do first before he could help everybody else. She managed to show him that moving on from a tragedy doesn’t mean he was disrespecting a person’s memory but an act of honouring their legacy.  Dylan, on the other hand, had to learn through Gray that sometimes, finding oneself means letting a piece of yourself go.  It’s not about surrendering or changing who you are. It’s about making room for another person in your constantly moving island.

Gray’s response to a tragedy that has befallen his family was to hide and cut himself off from any forms of social interactions. Dylan, on the other hand, thrived on being seen and heard and felt in such a way that people would remember her. The differences in their personalities was not the only highlight of this book but the writing itself was, in a word, pretty. I have no idea how Kate did it but she made every mundane human activity seems so beautiful here. Never have I ever wanted to grab this book and book a flight to Arizona simply because I wanted to be where the characters were.

Verdict: Heartwarming story about life and family. Realistic, sweet, borderline-frustrating romance. What else could you possibly want?

Big, HUGE, thanks to Thomas Allen and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for hosting this giveaway!
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