Monday, October 3, 2016

Firstlife by Gena Showalter (Review)

YA, Fantasy
Publication Date:February 23, 2016
Published By: Harlequin Teen
SeriesEverlife #1
Review copy:Purchased 
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Chapters


Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

  The stress is the biggest obstacle.  My limbs shake.  My stomach twists.  sweat drips down my spine.  At least I'm not cowering.
  I'll never cower again.
  Pick one.  Pick all.  Gimme.  But too bad for her.  Myriad makes the same promises.
  You don't know his heart.  He's capable of change   we all are.  Give him a second chance, Archer would probably say.
  Remove his junk and stuff it in his mouth, Killian would definitely say.  He can eat his own candy bar.
  The explosion echoes from the sky, and again, it sounds as if fireworks have been unleashed.  a battle is happening up there at the same time one is happening down here.  Maybe... Archer's friends are throwing down with Killian's?  Is that how it works?

  I'm a fan of Gena Showalter's writing and her consistently stunning covers, but this book created its own brand of cover love within me.  It was also hard not to go into this one interested due to the synopsis and its seemingly original plot.  I am super conflicted now that it is time for me to review this one.  I struggle between telling everyone it was extremely addictive, or that it was slow to the punch.  Somewhere between the start and finish I became invested but I could not tell you exactly when/where it happened. Regardless it happened and I shall attempt to properly express everything to you guys.

  I think when it comes to good and bad there are always such blurred lines.  With Firstlife, there are two very different choices offering up what they consider 'Utopia'.  Thing is they are both flawed, or at least Ten thinks so.  Isn't perfection a matter of perception?  You then go to questioning what place is 'evil' and what one is 'good'.  Once again, hard to tell when you are basically missing that area that greys between the two.  Then I began to think maybe it wasn't about good and bad, it was about the choice.  However, the choice is barely a choice because if you don't go with your families choice, you end up their enemy and that means forever.  There were even cases (including Ten) that families took the matters into their own hands trying to force the choice.  You could remain undeclared... but that meant going to a place that no one really had any idea about.  This may have been the point (no full disclosure in order to avoid spoilers), where I found myself stuck in the story.  The part in which things started coming to light and all around the plot and pacing picked up.

  Ten as I mentioned was undecided.  Undecided and desired by both sides.  Why?  Well, she's special of course but she doesn't know that.  At times her indecisive ways and attraction to the guy from 'the dark side', was a little too much and predictable.  Though I must say that part of her journey was not making the easy choice or the quick choice, it was quite simply learning to ask questions before you leap.  Ten was good at it and I did admire her ability to stick to her guns no matter what.  She was stubborn and smart about things that I think normally characters would be accused of being aloof or quick to the go about.  Her thoughts were fun to follow and I found myself spending much of the book trying to decide where she actually fit.  Then I began to think maybe she didn't fit anywhere... But we all fit somewhere don't we... Ten was just original enough and unique in her thinking and behaviors that she will stand out for me.

  For so long I dreaded a love triangle with the guys from warring sides.  Please don't get me wrong, I don't hate them I just fear them upon showing themselves.  They are one of those things that either work or end up flailing around in your face while you wish it would just die.  Okay, harsh I know but honestly some of them need to stop before they start.  Anyway.... moving on...  The thing about Archer and Killian was that they were alike without actually being alike.  They each had their own motives to start but wound up caring far more than they had ever expected when it came to Ten.  Same as each boy meant something different to Ten but neither one really meant less than the other.  Killian was the bad boy that she fell for and yet there was something good about him, and Archer was the friend that she couldn't overlook to make that jump to where Killian wanted. 

  Overall guys I do have conflicted feelings but I really did enjoy it when it all ended.  I think there is a lot of potential when it comes to the up coming books.  I do however recognize that this will not be for everyone but feel that some maybe end up like me, enjoying it but taking a twisted route to get there.  When recommending this to people I'm really not sure where to go with it.  I would like to say fans of Showalter's writing should because her writing is still wonderful but this is so different from the other two series I've read by her.  Basically the safest bet would be to say if you are looking for something fantasy/dystopia I would give it a go.  I will continue on with the books because basically there was a big twist at the end and I want to see where it goes.


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  2. Will surely add this book on my TBR. Great review. :)


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