Friday, July 20, 2012

First Comes Love

First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky
4/5 stars
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
198 pages
YA Contemporary

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.


  1. Yay, I'm glad this surprised you with being better than Awaken! I haven't read that yet although I was pretty intrigued when I learned it was dystopian, but this seems a little bit more up my alley! :) For one thing, I just LOVE reading books from multiple perspectives too because seeing how they view each other and themselves in contrast is ALWAYS adorable. Second, impulsiveness makes Dylan sound like a girl I can relate to! x)

    Amazing review as always, B! :) <3

  2. Totally with you on the use of the name Dylan. I hate when authors go for cute or interesting names at the cost of confusing the reader! And they seem to do that a LOT with names for girls!

  3. i've seen this one around but i never really stopped to read anything about it. i thought it was another Simone Elkeles-like novel (prefer my YA contemps in the style of Kody Keplinger or Stephanie Perkins, if that makes sense). but it doesn't sound half-bad and like you, i'd probably be torn about the decision dylan makes in the end.

  4. I enjoyed this one -- I read Awaken too but this is more my kind of book.
    I'm also more Gray than Dylan. I'm a planner!

  5. I am not a free spirit so I'm not sure I'd understand Dylan's view. Still it is probably a good thing if someone that young doesn't tie herself down. People sometimes need those years to finish growing up and really find themselves so maybe I'd like that part of the book after all.

    I think it is hard to write realistically about romantic relationships for teens because the characters are so young. On the one hand the reader wants a happy ending and on the other, the characters are not mature enough yet to have a long term commitment-except in Twilight of course ;) I wonder sometimes when I read contemporary YA romance if my reaction would be different if I were reading the book as a teen as opposed to a more jaded adult in her 30s.

  6. Glad to see you liked this one! I've had doubts on picking it up. But since I'm a fan of contemporary, this one seems to be a good read to try. And I love the fact it alternates in perspectives between the guy and the girl. Great review :D


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