First & Then

April 19, 2018

Author: Emma Mills

Genre: Contemporary, YA, Sport

Blurb: 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 - first into her gym class and then into every other aspect of her life.

First, I will talk about the characters and then, I'll talk about the other stuff. #bookishpuns

Emma Mills knows how to write interesting characters. Let me tell you one thing: it doesn't matter how beautiful the writing is, if your characters are not developed or intriguing to me, it's hard for me to be fully invested in the book.

I was definitely not a fan of Devon at the beginning. I thought she was trying too hard to be funny. I was also irritated when she called Foster's Future Science Revolutionaries Of America Club 'moron club', as if she was some sort of gifted genius. Thankfully, I could tolerate her as the novel progressed. I also found it great that she was a bookworm. Jane Austen references are sprinkled throughout the book. However, Austen isn't my favourite classics writer, so I didn't find the references superb or anything.

Foster was the cutest. Honestly he's too precious and adorable and I just wanted to protect him when I read it, okay? 

"Stop talking about sex, Foster."
"Why? Does it make you uncomfortable? Does Cas make you uncomfortable? I could punch him, you know. I know how to punch."

Speaking of Cas, WHAT DID DEVON SEE IN HIM?! Sure, I can get that some people might find him funny but he's so... bleh. Spoiler:[Also, he went out with a minor for Homecoming. Luckily, he didn't try anything with her]

Ezra is probably the most interesting brooding male character I've read about. He's pretty relatable. 

"How come you don't smile for real?" I asked.
"My teeth are crooked."

He kinda reminds me of Mr Darcy, which was probably the point, but still.

I just love how there's this attractive guy called Jordan and Devon only sees him in a platonic way. 

Their interactions were THE BEST.

"My pal Jordan," I murmured. "Champion of my heart." 
"No, you're the champion of my heart."
"Can we be each other's champions?"
"Yeah."He smiled. "I'd like that."

The book definitely had its sad moments and odd moments where Devon would recognise Foster's humanity.

It was endearing, in that way that almost ached sometimes... they wanted Foster to be normal. For me, being normal meant fitting in. For them, I think, it just meant being happy.

And I'm not gonna lie, if this novel weren't about American football, I would've probably planned to read this again.

3.5 stars out of 5

You Might Also Like


  1. IT HAS A BROODING MALE?? oh haha I'M CONVINCED!! Here I come tbr!!!!

  2. This looks like a super cute book! Maybe I'll try to pick it up during the summer when I get in the mood for YA contemporaries.

    1. Hopefully, you'll enjoy it more than I do :)

  3. I'm so glad you liked this! it's just a really cute book. I was kinda turned off by all of the football too but in February when I had my Emma Mill phase, I reread it and ignored the football and lived for the story. I LOVE FOSTER INSANELY YES

  4. Ah, yeah, I agree: characters will either make or break a book. These sounds so good though! Foster and Jordan already intrigue me.


    1. Yes. I hope you like those characters as well!


Keep it all clean, man. Well, if you really wanna curse, use minor swear words. And I mean the minorest of minor ones.

"Or what?" you ask in indignation.

"Or else."