[584]: First & Then by Emma Mills


First & Then \ Emma Mills

R  E  V  I  E  W

I have wanted to read this book since it made its rounds in the blogosphere. With a cover that speaks of a fun contemporary read, how could I pass up the opportunity? While the plot itself isn’t all that ground-breaking, I thought the book was had its moments.

Falling in love with your best friend

Kind of a tiresome story arch, isn’t it? Especially knowing before hand that there’ll be another person in the picture sooner or later. Well, Devon Tennyson finds herself in this situation. Pining for her best friend Cas is such an inconvenience. Considering Cas has always treated her like his buddy, and have flaunted his ability to attract any girls that he wanted in her face. But such is her life. You can say that Devon is a tired, 18-year-old who was going through the motions of high school life until she can get the heck out of dodge.

With her fourteen-year-old cousin moving in to their house permanently, she also didn’t want to be saddled with a boy who trails her like a shadow. All that is about to change after the star of their football team took a shining to Foster, her cousin.

Friday Night Lights

Football is a big deal in their town. and with Ezra Lynley at the helm of stardom, the madness is amped to another level. When he took Devon’s cousin under his wings, Foster becomes an instant celebrity. But Devon can’t stand him. He’s surly, under appreciative of his celebrity status, and his drive to succeed hopelessly annoys Devon.

Pride & Prejudice

If you’re going into this book thinking it’s a retelling of Austen’s P & P, you’ll be disappointed. It is not a retelling. It may be loosely based on P & P, but you won’t find similarities between Ezra and Darcy. With that being said, I thought Mills made a good decision not to give us yet another retelling of P & P. Goodness knows, there’s a whole slew of them out there. Though, come to think of it, Ezra and Darcy were both socially awkward, so in that regard, I can agree. Devon shares Lizzie’s frankness from time to time, but she is not completely opinionated as Lizzie ever were. She’s got a dry wit, but she’s so quick to judge.

In Retrospect

It was a mildly enjoyable book. It wasn’t nearly as wonderful as I’d hoped it would be, but it was still cute. It had some scenes that made my chest ache, but not to the point that it conjured up tears. Devon was a little hard to take at first – I was never a fan of characters who can’t seem to find anything to be happy about in her milieu. And like a said, her judgement against the other girls who are not like her was a bit tiresome.  She did grow up a little, and I especially enjoyed it more once she’s accepted Foster as her brother.

Henry Holt & Co. | October 13th, 2015 | Hardcover, 272 pages | Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars



  • I think that I’d enjoy this one. It sounds like it was done well.

  • It sounds like a cute book, but not something that will blow me away, especially since it is contemporary, and has to do with football (sorry, I do not like football much). So I might have to pass on it! Thanks for the review Joy 🙂

  • I have seen this one around too. Sorry it wasn’t a better read for you!

  • Jazmen

    I’ve been eyeing this one. I feel excited about it but maybe I shouldn’t be. Nice review!

  • Ksenia

    I want to read this book, though
    I should probably lower my expectations a bit. Wonderful review, Joy!

  • Only this week did I actually realise this was by elmify on youtube. I remember hearing a year or two ago she was publishing a book, but I’d seen this around and never realised. I’m actually a little disappointed to hear the P&P element isn’t stronger, since I love a Pride and Prejudice retelling, but I’m also happy that factor actually worked better for you, since I don’t know whether I’ll be reading this one at some point. IT HAS SUCH A PRETTY COVER THOUGH. Ah, lovely cover. I think it’d be winning me over if the P&P element was a lot stronger. Neat review, Joy. xx

  • Awww, sorry you weren’t wowed by this one, Joy. Although I loved it myself, I can definitely see where you’re coming from. 🙂

  • That is such a lovely cover, it’s a pity the story inside didn’t quite live up to it though. Thank you for the helpful review 🙂

  • i got this one due to its cover too, sorry that it did not blow you away, but its great that you still enjoyed it

  • Gorgeous review Joy. <3 I'm sorry this book wasn't as perfect as it was supposed to be : Ugh. That sucks. But yay for it not being awful, lol 😀 I'm glad you ended up enjoying it a lot. I won't read it, it seems too boring for me, lol. But yeah, the cover is pretty awesome 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it sweetie. <3

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I’ve heard mixed reviews of this one, so I think mildly enjoyable is a good way to put it. I don’t think this is up my alley but thanks for such a helpful review, Joy! 🙂

  • Melliane

    yes it sounds nice but not that awesome either. Maybe one day.

  • Loving the fun cover. I’m having mixed feeling about reading this though. I have a bunch of pros and con’s but eh we’ll see. Thanks for giving us your thoughts on it 🙂

  • I am jaded by the name Ezra (re: E. Miller) and his role in We Need To Talk About Kevin. Maybe if you read this book from that perspective… LOL.

  • The cover is really cute! I don’t think this is the book for me, though. I can’t stand constant doom and gloom heroines!

  • Sara Walker

    I have to say- I am sort of in love with this cover! It’s lovely. I am a contemporary junkie so I feel like this one would be right up my ally. I love when hard to swallow characters come around. I think I shall give this one a go.

  • Cute is better than horrible. This isn’t for me though, I’m too bitter to appreciate cute lol

  • I’d seen the cover floating about, but I never read the summary. Your review has convinced me to put it on my TBR. I mean, what’s another one when you have 600+ already? Hahahaha*cries*

  • Devon sounds like a bit of a frustrating character, amd although inspired by P&P at least it isn’t too similar. Great review Joy!

  • I’ve seen rave reviews for this one in le blogosphere – I enjoyed reading your more critical opinion! It’s annoying that it was promoted as a P&P style book, when it doesn’t seem to have much resemblance. (Though I totally agree with you that there are way too many subpar retellings out there!)

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    I agree on the judgement part, I got a little worried when Devon referred to the girls in her gym class as prostitute-somethings (I can’t remember the exact word), but I loved her relationship with Foster and eventually Ezra. Foster just made me happy:) Glad you enjoyed this for the most part Joy!

  • shootingstarsmag

    Aw, sorry you didn’t LOVE this book as much as you wanted. I really do like the cover. I’m glad there were still enjoyable moments throughout though.


  • Why is this my first time hearing of this?!?! A sorta retelling of P&P, I’m all over that! It sounds like a really cute book. It sucks that the MC is a bit difficult.

  • kindlemom1

    Oh man, I was looking forward to this being a P&P retelling of sorts. I’m not sure what to think about it now.

  • I am not sure about this book. I was one of those people who didn’t like Pride and P at all – in fact, that makes it as one of the worst books I have read. So I was pretty glad to hear it was only loosely based xD But when characters are quick to judge I tend to dislike them. I have found that is the one thing I can’t stand in a book, or too much in real life either actually, so I am still not sure. But I am glad that this was a decent read for you!

  • I’m sad you didn’t love this one more, but I can see where you’re coming from. Devon definitely wasn’t the easiest character to enjoy at times. I did adore her bond with Foster. They were adorable as siblings. 🙂

  • RO

    As always, totally love your review, but this is probably not one I’d add to the evergrowing pile.(lol) Hugs…

  • I can’t see any similarities from that blurb no