Friday, July 20, 2012
First Comes Love
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
Source: Received an ARC from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.
I read this author's debut Awaken and ended up really disliking the romance. Thus a book focused on romance may not have been the wisest read for me. But contemporary YA is my genre so I wanted to give her another try. It also helped that this was short-I figured it would be a nice, quick Saturday afternoon read :)
It was a very fast read and I actually really enjoyed myself. This is partly because it is told in alternating perspectives between the boy and the girl-I love the chance to get in to multiple characters' heads and see how they view each other. In this case, we have Gray, frozen in time after a horrific event and Dylan, the free-spirited girl who impulsively acts and blows with the wind. Together they experience a variety of firsts and build a deep relationship.
We are introduced to Dylan through Gray's perspective first. He sees a girl seemingly oblivious to the heat of Phoenix who is unable to sit still and is without the constraints that so many of us feel in society. Dylan meanwhile sees someone with hidden depths and decides to befriend him. She is especially instrumental in challenging him and helping him move on with his life.
Probably my big difficulty though was in understanding Dylan's point of view. She doesn't want to be tied down. She thinks it is great to travel without a plan and she wants to go everywhere and try everything. I'm much more like Gray, more tied to a place and people. Thus the later chapters when she succumbs to the lure of adventure while Gray longs for her to stay were hard for me. I agree that they are both very young (probably about eighteen or nineteen, high school graduates, making this book technically New Adult, I guess) and I don't want Dylan to give up herself and just wither away with Gray. But I am a more settled person so I also kind of didn't understand why she wouldn't want that. It's a very personal feeling. Also I tend to think of Dylan as a boy's name so I had to keep reminding myself that she was female.
Overall: A fine entry to the YA romantic contemporary subgenre; recommended for those who are already fans. Not necessarily for paranormal readers.
Cover: It's very plain: just the faces and the dark background. I like a cover with a bit more going on although it does clearly signal romance. I don't think you'd pick this up and expect a thriller.