Review: First & Then by Emma Mills

First & Then by Emma Mills
Publication date: Oct. 13, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received ARC from publisher (Thanks!)
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. (
The Good
First & Then is utterly charming! It’s been pitched as being Pride & Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights (which I agree with!) but I must say, I was unprepared for just how cute this combination would be. Devon is a modern day Jane Austen heroine, often lost in the pages of said author’s books. She’s a senior in high school but isn’t quite sure what the future holds for her and instead is content to hang out with Cas, her best friend and the object of her unrequited love. (Did I mention he’s a football player?)

Things are starting to change though. Her younger cousin Foster comes to live with her and her family. At first glance it’s easy to assume he’ll be picked on or sit pretty low on the social ladder but he seems perfectly content with who he is and most surprisingly of all, can play football. In a lot of ways, I felt this story is just as much his as it was Devon’s. We learn the reasons for why he’s come to live with them and Devon isn’t quite sure how to handle his presence in her life. Again, she initially acts like she has to baby-sit him but then slowly and genuinely they form this sibling like connection. Because I’m an only child who considers her cousins like siblings, the development of this relationship completely warmed my heart. And in part because of Foster, Devon gets to know Ezra, star running back of their school’s football team. She thinks she’s got Ezra all figured out but at every turn, he surprises her. And just like Devon, every time he showed up, I was sucked in to his quiet charm and intensity. I could not wait for the moment when Devon would be hit the realization of how great he is but I’m glad the author took her with each character and relationship. We got to know them and the pay-off was well worth the wait!

(No) Reservations
None! Just prepare yourself for the cuteness.

Do I recommend?
I do! Comparisons to P&P and FNL definitely sets the bar high and I was happy that this exceeded my expectations! It was fun and light and exactly what I was in the mood for.

Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

What's your favorite Pride & Prejudice adaptation?
I still love the movie adaptation with Keira Knightley. Granted, I've never seen the Colin Firth version which I should probably fix sometime in the nearby future. But for now, I'm gonna stick with this answer!

1 comment

  1. FIRST & THEN is just a completely adorable novel! I honestly enjoyed it form start to finish, mostly because I was constantly smiling over what Devon (and co) got up too. So glad this one was a hit!


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