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Firstlife (An Everlife Novel) Hardcover – February 23, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—A creative mash-up of dystopian science fiction and otherworldly fantasy. In Tenley "Ten" Lockwood's world, everyone has a First Life, which sets the stage for a Second Life after their first death. There are two main realms one can go to during Second Life: Myriad, a place of indulgence and bliss; or Troika, a place of structure and justice. The divisive factions bring to mind the Peloponnesian War, in which the immoderate Athenians clash with the battle-hardened Spartans. Similarly, Myriad and Troika engage in an epic melee for the souls currently in their First Life. Those who do not choose sides, the Unsigned, are trapped in the Many Ends, a place of constant pain and punishment. Ten currently resides in Prynne Asylum, retained there by her parents since she refuses to choose sides. Friends-turned-foes and recruiters for the Second Lives Killian (Myriad) and Archer (Troika) both come back to the First Life to recruit Ten. Ten is a precious commodity because she is the fusion of multiple spirits and therefore very powerful. As the inmates escape the asylum, Ten undergoes numerous trials and tribulations. Still, she refuses to sign with a specific side. When Ten finally, and unexpectedly, meets with her first death, she ends up in the place she least expects. While the contentious sides of the underworld are interesting, too many convoluted details bog down the narrative. VERDICT An additional purchase for larger YA collections.—Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX
"Utterly unique and absolutely riveting-I couldn't put it down! What a marvelously cool world." -New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas
"Firstlife is a nonstop thrill ride that will stop your heart...and shock it back to life. This book is #1 on my keeper shelf!" -#1 New York Times bestselling author P. C. Cast
"Firstlife illuminates the depths of human resilience and the power of love, even in the darkest hours." -Kresley Cole, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Arcana Chronicles
"I couldn't stop rooting for Ten, an unforgettable and powerful heroine who is obsessed with numbers, creates the coolest reverse poems, and fascinates the baddest bad boy Showalter has ever written." -#1 New York Times bestselling author Kristin Cast
"Raw, edgy and dark-Firstlife weaves intricate threads of intrigue, adventure and romance that will leave you craving more." -Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet series
"Firstlife delves into the power of a single decision-and the consequences that come with it. Every word grabs hold of your heart and leaves you breathless. Don't miss this incredible journey!" -New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Roxanne St. Claire
"Showalter creates a vividly unique and edgy new world in Firstlife with characters who won't easily be forgotten." -Katie McGarry, critically acclaimed author of Nowhere but Here and Pushing the Limits
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Top Customer Reviews
This book idea sounds wonderful. I watch the video about it on the YouTube channel, Epic Reads, and many of the books from their channel that I've read did not disappoint. But I just don't know if I can read all of this book.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned this and maybe it's just me, but the dialogue and character actions feel so awkward and fake at times. I mean guy says, "Never pity me," and she blows a kiss? I understand she's being sarcastic, but there is so much sarcasm from ALL of the characters until I just cannot get into the story. I just keep getting jolted out of it when I think it's getting good because I'm constantly questioning the characters' believability. Like when I hear, "Hate to break it to you, but nutrition is just another word for feces." Is it, really? It just seems unlikely that ALL of the characters have the SAME exact sarcastic air and sense of humor except the main character who, with the exception of her ridiculous unbecoming violent temper, seems completely unsure of herself at every turn and is constantly questioning everything. Maybe he likes me. Maybe he doesn't. "How am I ever to know?" Some thoughts can be expressed with a simple, "I wasn't sure of his intentions." Everything doesn't have to be awkward internal dialogue.
Maybe the characters seem fake because many phrases and words are repeated SO much, like the constant awkward one-word sentences. "Gimme!" happens a lot. Are the characters 17 or 7? "Zero!" Happens a lot. The number of exclamation points is distracting at times as well.
I am going to force my way through to the end of this book because I paid $10 for it. Hopefully the writing gets better or at least the story is as good as Epic Reads made it seem. It does have potential. I do enjoy the poetry and many of the memorable quotes throughout the story. They definitely leave an impression and keep me reading...though I will admit to skipping through parts here and there when they get particularly clunky and strange.
In some ways even the good side is like a church with some powerful narcissists at play, so even if you're not into traditional Christian fantasy, there's kind of a twisted pleasure in seeing all the flaws laid out--and it certainly makes the book intriguing rather than predictable and stale. In a similar vein, the dark side includes some tormented souls who really want to be helping others but are contractually blocked from doing so. So the book overall is adventurous, fun, sexy (wha? I guess it *is* produced by "Teen Harlequin"), and unpredictable in a way that is very enjoyable. And even if the schmaltzy stereotypes get under your skin occasionally, they're never flat but paired with enough contradictions and twists to keep you reading and even enjoying the book, whatever your typical feelings about Christian fantasy may be... you'll either see enough good in the good to appreciate it, or enough bad in the good for schadenfreude, and enjoy that instead :)