First & Then by Emma Mills: Review

Posted October 5, 2015 by Emily in book review / 0 Comments

First & Then by Emma Mills: ReviewFirst & Then by Emma Mills
Published by Henry Holt and Company (BYR) on October 13th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Sports & Recreation, Football
Pages: 272
Format: Advanced Review Copy
Source: Macmillan

I received this book for free from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy 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, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive jock, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them--first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

So, what we have here folks is a mashup of Friday Night Lights and Pride and Prejudice. I’ve never seen Friday Night Lights, so I don’t know what that half of it means. Basically, we’ve got football, bad first impressions, and a bunch of romantic tension in high school.

I love a good Jane Austen spinoff. I really do. So having an Austen backdrop automatically increases the chances I’m going to like a book by quite a bit.

And I did like this book. It was funny, sweet and satisfying.

But, it falls into the category of safe read. It’s the kind of book you pick up on a rainy Saturday and say, hey, I just want to sit down and read something. The plot is smooth; it will take you away very nicely. And before you know it, you’ll be finished with it.

That being said, the romance is no Darcy and Elizabeth.

There is some good banter and some initial bad feelings. But I felt like the stakes just weren’t high enough between Devon and Ezra to give that payoff that all P&P fans get when they read the book or watch the movie(s). Also, there isn’t the great interaction with the other characters, and it’s often not clear who they are supposed to be parallel to. For instance, this retelling doesn’t have a Lady Catherine scene, which is just a complete tragedy.


The takeaway is that this is a light Austen spinoff. It’s got a few of the same elements and themes, but doesn’t have the complexity of or a significant connection to its source material. If you’re looking for a fun, easy read on a Saturday afternoon, pick this one up!


First & Then by Emma Mills is Friday Night Lights meet Pride and Prejudice. This book is a perfect Fall read if you're looking for a sweet romance and a story about second chances.

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