A group of friends start a secret society in this “intense page-turner” (Kirkus Reviews) from the author of The Telling and The Creeping that examines the all-consuming love of lifelong friendship—and what someone is capable of when they’re afraid of losing it.
Izzie loves nothing more than her three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry, and the bond the four of them share. And she’s terrified of their friendship falling apart next year when they go off to college. To bind them together, she decides to create something that will belong only to them, a special thing that they’ll always share between the four of them. And so they dream up the Order of IV, a secret society devoted to mischief that rights wrongs and pays back debts. At first, it works like a charm—but when the Order of IV’s escapades get recognition beyond their wildest expectations, other people start wanting in. And soon, what started as a game of friendship is spiraling into something dangerous and beyond their control—and before it’s over, they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers|
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.70(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Alexandra Sirowy is the author of The Creeping and The Telling. She was born and raised in Northern California, where she attended a women’s college as an undergraduate and received her MA at the University of San Francisco. She is a voracious reader, the oldest of three children, an avid traveler, a record-holding high school long jumper, a gourmet cook, a feminist, and forever grateful to her parents for reading to her as a child. Alexandra lives in Northern California with her husband.
Read an Excerpt
First We Were IV
By the time the police arrived, there were three of us left. Three originals. Three best friends. Architects of what was once a secret society.
The difference between leaders and initiates was evident. We designed it that way, dictated that initiates wore the white of sacrificial lambs and us bloody red. No confusion over who appeared to be in charge.
There was a chaotic minute under the star-choked sky. Volleying accusations and bodily threats. I tried to kick out of the arms of an officer because I still hadn’t had my fill of revenge. Never would I. And you know, the dagger tipped in blood didn’t exactly help our case for looking faultless.
They herded the initiates into a line, ordered them to keep their mouths shut. Still, those kids, those snakes, whispered stories and secrets in the way the dying confess, anticipating forgiveness. Good little boys and girls, eyes innocent saucers, except they’d terrorized a whole town.
Our dagger lay a little outside the ring of fire. There was the truth serum, a few muddy, crimson sips they’d dredge up from the bottle to test. And the idol on a pile of rocks, her smile calling out from on top of her burial mound. No sense would be made of her origins.
Police circled the meteorite, probing the scene, coming up short in front of us three, searching faces for clues. Accident or murder.
They would ask the wrong questions later on, after the ambulance left without its sirens wailing, when the three architects and our six recruits were in the police station.
There was lots of hand-wringing and Make me understand. Parents arrived. Our initiates had been shaking their fists and snarling at authority just an hour before. The rebellion had drained out of them and they buckled with relief at the sight of their moms and dads. I didn’t acknowledge mine. All the adults needed help understanding how the night happened.
“October happened because September did.”
An officer warned me to stop being snarky.
“I’m not,” I whispered, voice all cried out.
“Then answer,” he demanded.
“Because August. Because July. Because June. I can keep going if you need me to.”
That was the only answer they’d get from me. Afterward, I stopped talking. For a few weeks. I sat in my room, on the top of my desk, watching the Pacific battle the shore. I sketched the four of us. Together. Hardly needing to watch the progress of my pencil. There was something unnerving in our eyes when the pictures were done. A glimmer of foreshadow that I hadn’t noticed was present before. Had it been? My best friends. The loves of my life. Strangers. Reeling. Ferocious.
I held my tongue and the lesson sunk in.
No matter how much you see, there are bottomless seas you don’t.
What I am certain of is the heart of it.
First we were four.
Now we are three.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Alexandra Sirowy's First We Were IV is a difficult book to sum up. On one side, I really liked it - it was thrilling, dark, and even a tad bit chilling. The perfect Halloween read. On the other side, some parts just didn't work for me. So lets start with what worked... 1) The prologue/flash-foward - Prologues are always a tough sell for me. I like them when they're well done and serve a purpose by either setting the scene or inducing intrigue. I don't like them when they feel unnecessary. Here the prologue was done well, very well in fact. It was chilling and thought-provoking. Some things were revealed while others were not. We knew that something had gone wrong - very wrong - but other than that we didn't know much. 2) The characters - They're complex. An interesting combination of likable and unlikable. When the story begins, the four best friends want to do something exciting, something to make their senior year incredible. I could understand that; however, what I liked the most was how close-knit the group was. They seemed completely unbreakable at first. 3) The mystery - There's a couple of different mysteries at play here, and all of them were well developed. I also never could quite predict how everything was going to end. What I Didn't Like: 1) The pacing: It started off fast, but then dwindled down to a turtle speed. I actually read the first 100 or so pages and then put the book aside for a few weeks. I just didn't feel the need to finish it as soon as possible. 2) The romance: The romance here gives off a Juliet-and-Romeo feel. It's very do-or-die, and I'm all for high-stakes romance, but I just didn't feel the connection between the main character and her love interest. It felt more like a matter of convenience rather than passion. What I'm Conflicted About: 1) The ending - I don't want to spoil anything so I'll keep my comments short here. I understood why Alexandra decided to end the story this way - it was dramatic as well as impactful. However, at the same time I just wanted something different. It didn't even have to be more hopeful; instead, I wanted better for the characters. Here's these four best friends who have everything at first and then they end up with nothing. It just didn't feel right. Would I suggest First We Were IV? Yes, I would suggest it to fans of thrillers. It's not the best thriller in the world; however, it's still decent and it provides an interesting ending.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review this book! First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy involves a group of teenagers that make a secret society and a pact so they will always stay friends. Izzie, Graham, Viv and Harry create the Order of IV as their secret society and their reasoning for taking dares and beyond. The four teenagers want to right the wrongs in their community and make sure justice is received by victims and served by the perpetrators. Their relationships grow and change as they discover the guilty and find out who really caused the death of a Jane Doe that became known as Goldilocks and who caused Harry’s father’s accident. Tragedy takes away more than just a friend, it completely changes their lives. 4 stars for a twisting young adult story. *I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.
Realistically I'd give this book a 3.5 out of 5. I was given an arc copy of this book so I could give you guys my honest review. This book is about a set of four friends that create a group they call, in short, the order. They decide to prank people they think have it coming for their "movement". I don't really want to say much more than that. I have to say that I was really drawn into this book very quickly. There was a lot of mystery and I really liked the way the book was written. There was a great background story for the characters when they were younger as well. I probably read the first 75% of the book within a couple of days. Then it seemed as if the book changed a bit for me. I felt like there was less mystery and intrigue towards the middle although it was still written well. Then the main characters and their "order" they created started doing things I found hard to read. First off, there's animal cruelty in here which was a big shock and disturbing to me. Then the characters were doing things that were just crazy to me. I could never see myself being put in any situation in which I might do any of those things. If we were looking through the eyes of an "evil" character I think I may have been able to stomach it better...but these are ordinary teens that do some pretty bad things and I feel like they...sort of...get away with them too easily. The end was pretty good and I feel like things were explained well enough. I ended up giving it a 3.5 because I was definitely sucked into a lot of aspects of the story and it was a fast, fun read at times. A little hard to bear at other times.
Fast-paced, thrilling, and darkly entertaining. Come for the plot twists but revel in the delicious, gorgeous writing. This is my absolute favorite of Alexandra Sirowy’s novels!