I've been told history is written by survivors. But I know that isn't always true. My name is Tenley Lockwood, and very soon, I'll be dead. This is my storybut the end is only the beginning.
Tenley "Ten" Lockwood has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. She's earned her rep as the craziest of crazies, but that doesn't stop the torture. Ten can leave, but only if she allows her parents to choose where she'll liveafter she dies.
There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.
In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the boy she's falling for and the realm she wants to support. Who will she choose? Can she stay alive long enough to make a decision?
About the Author
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs. Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.
Read an Excerpt
"You are better off Unsigned than a slave to Troikan law."Myriad I've been locked inside the Prynne Asylumwhere happiness comes to diefor three hundred and seventy-eight days. (Or nine thousand and seventy-two hours.) I know the exact time frame, not because I watched the sun rise and set in the sky, but because I mark my walls in blood every time the lights in the good-girls-gone-bad wing of the facility turn on.
There are no windows in the building. At least, none that I've found. And I've never been allowed outside. None of the inmates have. To be honest, I don't even know what country we're in, or if we're buried far underground. Before being flown, driven, shipped or dropped here, we were heavily sedated. Wherever we are, though, it's bone-deep cold beyond the walls. Every day, hour, second, our air is heated.
I've heard friends and enemies alike ask the staff for details, but the response has always been the same. Answers have to be earned.
No, thanks. For me, the pricecooperationis simply too high.
With a wince, I rise from bed and make my way to the far corner of my cell. Every step is agony. My back hates me, but the muscles are too sore to go on strike. Last night I was caned just because.
I stop in front of my pride and joy. My calendar. A new day means a new mark.
I have no chalk, no pen or marker, so I drive the tip of an index finger over a jagged stone protruding from the floor, slicing through the flesh and drawing a well of blood.
I hate the sting, but if I'm honest, I'll love the scar it leaves behind. My scars give me something to count.
Counting is my passion, and numerology my favorite addiction. Maybe because every breath we take is another tick on our clock, putting us one step closer to death and a new beginning. Maybe because my name is TenleyTen to my friends.
Ten, a representation of completion.
We have ten fingers and ten toes. Ten is the standard beginning for any countdown.
I was born on the tenth day of the tenth month at 10:10 a.m. And, okay. All right. Maybe I'm obsessed with numbers because they always tell a story and unlike people, they never lie.
Here's my story in a nutshell:
Seventeenthe number of years I've existed. In my case, lived is too strong a word.
Onethe number of boys I've dated.
Twothe number of friends I've made and lost since my incarceration.
Twothe number of lives I'll live. The number of lives we'll all live.
Our Firstlife, then our Everlife.
Twothe number of choices I have for my eternal future.
(1) Do as my parents command or (2) suffer. I've chosen to suffer.
I use the blood to create another mark on the stones. Satisfied, I head to the "bathroom." There are no doors to provide even a modicum of privacy, just a small, open shower stall next to a toilet. For our safety, we're told. For the amusement of others, I suspect. All cells are monitored 24/7, which means at any given time during any given day, staff members are allowed and even encouraged to watch live camera feed.
Dr. Vans, the head of the asylum, likes to taunt us. I see and know everything.
A good portion of teachers scold us. Time waster!
Orderlies belittle us. Put on a little weight, haven't we?
Most of the guards leer at us. They hail from all over the world, and though their language varies, their sentiment is always the same. You are begging for it and one day I'll give it.
Just some of the many perks offered chez Prynne.
Not everyone is horrible, I admit. A small handful even strive to keep the others from going too far. But it's no secret every staff member is paid to make us hate our stay, to make us want to leave more than anything. Because, the more we want to leave, the more likely we are to do whatever our parents sent us here to do.
My friend Marlowe dared to pawn her mother's jewelry to buy groceries, and she needed help with her "kleptomania." My friend Clay, a drug addict, needed to get clean.
The institution failed them both. A few months ago, Marlowe killed herself, and Clay I don't know what happened to him. He planned an escape, and I haven't heard from him since.
I miss them both. Every. Single. Day.
I begged Clay not to risk a breakout. I tried to leave once, and I had help. My boyfriend, James, a guard high on the totem, arranged for cameras to be shut down, certain doors to be unlocked and other guards to sleep on the job. Still I proved unsuccessful.
For his efforts, James was shot in the head. While I watched.
Hot tears well in my eyes and trickle down my cheeks as I slowly strip out of my jumpsuit. Every motion comes with another blast of agony. When finally I'm naked, I step under a tepid spray of water. Modesty has long since been beaten out of meliterally!but I wash as fast as I can. We're given a small ration of water a day. If we run out, we run out. Too bad, so sad. Something we're never given? Razors. I keep my legs and underarms smooth with threads I've pulled from old uniforms. I already feel like an animal; there's no reason to resemble one, too.
Not that a well-groomed appearance matters. While we're allowed to socialize with the opposite sex during mealtimes, I'd rather dig my heart out of my chest with a rusty spoon than date again. Yes, the rewards are tremendous, but the risks are more so. When everything comes crashing downand it willI'll be shattered into a million pieces. I'll have to rebuild. Again.
I should have resisted James's pursuit of me, but I'd been at a low point, desperate for any show of affection. He'd risked his job every time he'd disabled the cameras to sneak inside my room. He snuck in so many times, in fact, his memory still lives here. Every night when I climb into my twin-size bed, I'm reminded of the way he teased me out of my initial shyness. Of the way he cleaned my wounds whenever I was hurt. Of the way he held me in his arms, offering comfort and kisses. He'd wanted to do more. I hadn't. Not here. Not with a potential audience.
Forget the past. Concentrate on the present. Right.
I shut off the water and towel dry as best I can. I step into a clean, peed-in-the-snow-yellow jumpsuit, but only manage to bring the material to my waist, my arms refusing to work properly, my shoulder muscles giving up.
What am I going to do? I can't leave my cell like this.
The door suddenly slides open with a quiet snick. My blood flashes ice-cold as two guards march inside my cell, a flailing girl between them.
I gasp, my surprise giving me the strength I need to lift my hands and cover my breasts.
No, I'm not modest, but this is a special kind of humiliating.
The guards release the girl and push her in my direction. The first thing I notice about her? She has unevenly cropped pink hair.
"New roomie," one of them says to me. When he notices my partial state of undress, he grins. "Well, well. Vhat we have here?"
His Russian accent is as thick as ever, one of the many reasons I refer to him as Comrade Douche. Though my cheeks burn, I strive for a confident tone. "Vhat we have here is an underage girl who, upon her release, will ensure you rot in prison."
His grin only widens as he takes a step toward me. The pink-haired girl kicks him in the stomach, surprising me.
He focuses on her, raising his hand to deliver a strike. "Sukal"
Bitch in Russian. A word that's been thrown at me, as well.
She smiles and crooks her fingers at him, the universal sign for bring it.
The other guard grabs Comrade Douche by the arm and drags him into the hallway. Both men frown at me as the door slides shut.
Without missing a beat, the girl waves at me, looking almost giddy. I blink in confusion. She's happy rather than scared? Really?
"Hello," she says, and I detect a slight British accent. "I'm Bow, your new best friend."
She's crazy. Got it. "I'm not in the market for a new friend." I hoped I'd remain solo. I don't like sleeping in front of another person but I have to steal catnaps to function. My last roommate told me I toss and turn, screaming about the torture I've endured or singing a number song my aunt taught me as a child.
Ten tears fall, and I call nine hundred trees, but only one is for me. Eight
Oh, no. I'm not getting lost in my head right now.
"Here." Bow stalks toward me, her stride long and strong. Up close, I can tell her eyes are the color of freshly polished pennies. They're odd yet captivating, smoldering with an intensity that should be too much to contain. "Let me help you."
Out of habit, I step out of range when she reaches for me. But zero! My favorite four-letter curse word. I don't think I can finish getting dressed without her.
She cups her breasts in a mimic of me and beams. "Boobs are awesome, yeah? Literal fun-bags. I don't know what you girls are always complaining about."
"Don't you mean us girls?"
Her hands fall away from her fun-bags. "Dude. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the equipment and getting a little some-some of my own goods and services. Seriously. I'm so hot even I want a piece of me."
Hot? Debatable. Bizarre, narcissistic and pervy? Unquestionably. She's the trifecta. In other words, I hit the probably-gonna-get-murdered jackpot this go-round. Yay, me.
"I'd rather not talk about your goods and services, thanks." Slowly I pivot, placing her at my back. This is a rarity for me. A low point, a moment of utter desperation. If she attempts a hit-and-run or a grab-and-stabanything dirtyI'll make sure she regrets it.
She inhales sharply, and I assume she's studying the wealth of bruises I'm sporting.
"Sometime today," I snap, horrified by the perceived weakness.
She gently works my arms through the sleeves. "I hope you're prepared for the Everlife. Another beating like this could kill you."
Doubtful. Dr. Vans has the torture thing nailed. He knows when he's about to push a body too far. "Trust me. Death isn't the worst thing that can happen to me."
"Of course it isn't. If you haven't made the right plans for the Unending, you'll wish you ceased to exist."
The Unending, where Myriad and Troikathe two realms in power in the afterlife aka the Everlifeare located. Where "real" life is said to begin.
Over the years, the world has been divided into two factions. Those who support Myriad, and those who support Troika. No one ever supports both. How can they? The realms are too fundamentally opposedabout everything!
Myriad boasts about autonomy bliss indulgence. To them, Firstlife is merely a stepping stone into the Everlife, everything happens for a fated reason and, when we experience Second-deathdeath in the Everlifeour spirit returns to Earth, the Land of the Harvest, to Fuse with anotherbrand-newspirit.
They are willing to negotiate covenant terms to win over a human.
Troika, on the other hand, is known for structure constant study absolute conformity. To them, Firstlife matters just as much as Everlife, fate is a myth and, when we experience Second-death, we enter into the Rest, never to be seen by human or spirit again.
Troikans refuse to negotiate covenant terms, offering the same benefits to everyone everywhere without exception. The same laws, too. To them, what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong, for one and for all. Everyone on equal footing.
If one realm says the sky is cloudless, the other will say a storm is brewing.
They've been at war for centuries, the other's destruction the ultimate goal. That's why they fight so hard to win souls. That's also why picking the right side is so important. Someday, someone is going to lose.
Here on Earth, the Myriad and Troika supporters aren't segregated exactly. They try to coexist, but it's in imperfect harmony and there's always an underlying hum of tension.
Sometimes riots break out, and the government is forced to execute martial law to prevent an all-out brawl.
A rare few people, like me, have no idea which side to back. We see merits to both sets of beliefs. We also see downsides.
We are called the Unsigned.
For us, there are rumors of a third spirit realm, the place we'll end up after Firstdeath. My parents used to tell me horror stories about it, stories whispered in the dark of night. The Realm of Many Ends, where nightmares come to life.
I've often wondered Is Many Ends a made-up place intended to scare kids straight?
"Do you?" Bow asks as she zips up my jumpsuit. "Have plans for the Unending, I mean?"
"I'm not talking Everlife with you."
Her features scrunch with disappointment. "Why not?"
"I'll be here another three hundred and fifty-two days."
3 + 5 + 2 = 10
And she will leave sooner rather than later. I recognize her type. Extremely optimistic until something goes wrong. After her first beating, she'll cave and do whatever her parents want, guaranteed.
"Forget the next life. What about this one? Tell me why you're here." I motion to our illustrious cell with a tilt of my chin.
"My guardian sent me." She strides to the second twin bed and sits, and there's nothing graceful or feminine about her. "Told me to be a light."
Ugh. What I hear? Absolute conformity. "You signed with Troika, then." Not a question.
Her nod contains a thread of pride. "I did."
We're going to clash so hard. "What is light, exactly?" What's she going to be pushing on me?
"Whatever is needed to help someone find a way out of darkness."
Darkness. "Meaning Myriad."
She ignores my dry tone. "Meaning a problem, any problem."
Well, I've got plenty of thosethough I tell myself this situation is fertilizer, and something good must grow from it.
"Why are you here?" she asks me.
"I refuse to make covenant with Myriad." Covenantthe equivalent of signing a contract in blood.
Sometimes, in an attempt to convince me to sign away my rights, I'm pampered. Isn't this nice? This is what awaits you in Myriad. Most times I'm tortured. This is only the beginning of what you'll endure in Many Ends. Not knowing what awaits me is the worst.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I just loved it. Period.
You won't want to put it down it is a great book
This book was outstanding. THERE ARE NO RIGHT WORDS ON HOW TO DESCRIBE THIS BOOK!!!!!! (Sorry my inner warrior came out of me) This book was hilarious, adventures and romantic. Most of all I loved the characters. Ten was such a good role model. (most of the time) She was also so strong, mentally and physically. GO TEN!! Killian was just awesome. In the begging of the book he got one my nerves. But through out the story with him spending time with Ten, he changed for the greater good. GO MYRIAD!! Archer was just as amazing. He was such a good brotherly figure to Ten. THe only thing I didn't get that he was much more funnier as Bow then his real self. Sloan was really mixed. IN the begging of the book she hated Ten then all of the sudden she and Ten become automatic best friends. That was so fishy to me. Then at the end of the book with her and Ten...... no I just can't, it was heartbreaking. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME!!! And the most saddest thing about this book was how it gave me a heart attack at the end, literally (ok not literally). So this book was amazing-bottom line. I think this book deserves ten stars. This was one of the best books I have ever read. (And I read a lot) So what are you waiting for go buy this book.............. NOW!!!!!! P.S I honestly think I will be pulling out my hair waiting for the second book to come. out.
Ok so if you read the sample it seems very boring. Yes theirs sarcasim but where is the plot. The depth. Well i took a chance and said ok il try this the sample was ok. But my goodness. I was drawn in so far into this book finished in two days. Couldnt put it down. I thought it would just be slow n yea it was at first but when you get the real details on what the realms offer and why she matters so much you dont know what to choose just as much as her. This book is mind blowing really had me thinking. Amazing cant wait for the next one.
There are no words right now to describe how much I enjoyed this novel. I felt so connected to the characters and their internal battles. As a romance novel addict Im always hesitant to read YA novels...but this story captivated me. It was smart, witty, and thought provoking. Showalter is truly talented
The beginning is hard to read due to the torture scenes. Stay with it the story is awesome, the series is deep and well thought out, and the plot is incredible. Best writing and characters I've read in years.
I wont get tired of saying how amazing this book was. I love it and highly recommned.
I hated havimg to put it down and wait till I could read it again... (life ugh!) I had also found how she works numbers into everything quite interesting... It is great to see how she grows towards her decision and it was enjoyable to watch as everything started to... I am afraid to give anything away. So read it give it a chance and see that it is a really good book.
The book Firstlife by Gena Showalter takes place in the time before death where your parents decide all type of choices you for like the type of school you got to go to and type of career to study. If you don’t choose the one your parents want you to be then you’ll go to a rehab center and stay there until you choose the one they want. Both of her parents are very successful and had already chosen a side. But this is different, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood, an average teenager obsessed with numbers, is in the Prynne Asylum because she has to choose where she wants to live, after she dies. Troika or Myraid. Both very alike but very different in so many ways. Both competing on being her choice. Both with some horrible secrets. In this journey to freedom she meets many different people but each who had already chosen where they are going to live and some souls that try to convince to choose, including two guys, one who she falls in love with. Both from different places. More obstacles like mysterious creatures after her and souls from both sides trying to kill her for she can choose which side. Both sides will do anything so she can choose they’re side. Which side is heaven or hell? She will never know until she chooses the side. Will she choose the side that has the boy she fell in love with? Will she choose heaven or hell?
This book was AMAZING! I enjoyed it so much!
This book is in a category all by itself. With an intriguing concept and the burning question of which side would you choose this book keeps you guessing. I definitely didn't see where the ending was going until it happened and that's a rare find with so many predictable story lines. I love the light verses dark aspect and who doesn't love a strong leading lady who's a true fighter. Can't wait to read the rest of the series .
This book was great, I loved the action, the love, the friendship, the realms, everything. I am always impressed by Gena Showalter.
Firstlife is a riveting novel that follows a compelling female protagonist as she struggles to center herself and figure out her identity both in her life and her afterlife. However, that is easier said than done because everyone around her is trying to pressure her into their way of thinking. There is a lot of realism in the novel because the theme of choice is very prevalent in reality and the way religions (no offense) try to convert others to their way of thinking. It’s a strong message to young readers that they have a choice, that no one can force your way of thinking. That is, essentially, what this novel is about, two groups trying to convert her to their side and her struggle to follow her heart or her brain. With a story that has such a strong theme layered within the story, it challenges the way of thinking that following the crowd is the way to go. Ten never changes; she just fights the struggle to follow what her parents want her to do versus what she wants to do. More importantly, though, Ten has no idea what she intends to do with her life, but that doesn’t stop her from fighting the oppression around her. Everyone thinks they know what’s best for Ten without actually knowing her. Showalter uses that to give an enormous amount of strength to her protagonist. That has to be Showalter’s strongest asset, her ability to write and create such strong female protagonists. This character does not pull her punches and given everything she has been forced to endure, giving up would be easy. However, giving up would also mean losing her freedom, losing her ability to choose a future for herself. She is a wonderful character to read, very sharp, very snarky, and her attitude is not off-putting. It’s so easy to read characters that are so strong that they are almost unlikable because their attitudes are incredibly off-putting. Thankfully, that’s not the case here. Ten has a charisma about her that stems from her strength that stems from her willpower to keep her freedom and identity alive. This novel has a powerful narrative to it as well as a fascinating plot. The characters grow, they are evolving, and that influences the plot, it develops the story and the plot drawing the reader into a fast-paced tale. It’s interesting to read about, and it gives an insight into multiple views of the afterlife that makes it relatable to many readers across the globe.
ARC kindly provided by Harlequin Teen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review 'Firstlife' was one of those novels that I believe I knew intuitively were going to be great – simply to die for! This is not my first Gena Showalter novel and this meant that I already knew what to expect: and that was superb writing, an awesome plot and an ending to cry for. I was totally "judging the book by its cover". I mean have you guys SEEN the cover?! As soon as it was revealed I went in search for a high quality version and literally analysed every single part of the cover. And don't you just love the hourglass? Don't you just love the cities inside? Don't you just love the colours? Don't you just love the blurb? Don't you guys just love the concept/idea? This was literally me to every one of my friends. I know. Pathetic… But seriously, the idea was pretty awesome, in my opinion. I loved how after life there was death and then life again but in a different form. This is one of those topics that gets everyone fascinated: is there life after death? I was extremely curious about how the author would explore the whole idea and I must say that she did not disappoint. How the author chose to start was just awesome. A series of emails: You'd think, boring right? But no. It was spectacular. You get introduced to two of the three main characters with such depth and humour that...well, nothing could stop me reading at that point. What I also found interesting was how Troika and Myraid were a sort of Heaven and Hell. Both are worlds that come after Firstlife. It was interesting how the two worlds were constantly fighting a battle, like angels and demons and you had to find out which was the good and which the bad. The two representatives who were sent from Troika and Myraid, Archer (or Bow) and Killian, each had their own agendas and acted like Ten's guardian angel and demon. I remember reading the first half of 'Firstlife' and wondering why the rating on Goodreads was only a mere 3.81. I was seriously outraged! I couldn't believe that the general population of readers thought it was okay and not spectacular. But then...came the other half. Don't get me wrong, it was a well written novel, full of everything needed to make it a success but the end... Well, it started to morph into yet another action-packed dystopian adventure with lots of fighting and bloodshed. Basically, the whole theme of life and death, light and dark that the author so successfully explored was starting to lose its power and meaning. I grieved the loss and I am still wondering what happened when the author was writing the second-half of the novel. Gosh! It could have been so much better! The characters were awesome and so rich and inspiring! (That is, the good ones.) I love their uniqueness and vitality on the page. They were incredibly well thought through and designed, and discovering more about them was just a pleasure. The villains (or the evil ones) just made sense. They were real people who made mistakes and actions which were bad and/or evil. A lot of this novel captured humanity as it is today with its wars and distrust, manipulation and evil, insanity and illusions. Really, I can't brag about these characters enough. Read more at: https://staceykym.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/review-firstlife-everlife-1-by-gena-showalter/
Firstlife by Gena Showalter WOW…I am speechless. Gena Showalter is a master at storytelling! It have taken a few days to get my thoughts together in order to write this review. I am not a good writer myself and I was trying to give this book the awesome review it deserves. Tenley “Ten” Lockwood has a choice …what will be her next life? She is living in a world where you choose what type of realm you live in. Do you choose Troika Or Myriad. They have different values and rules to follow. Ten’s parents live as Myraid and feel that is the correct realm, if she chooses that her DAD will benefit. If she chooses Troika, she may have to kill her parents during the war. She’s not ready to choose but things get sticky real quick and her answer may change in a blink of an eye. She finds out her parents have lied to her and now she can’t even trust them. She is in an Asylum and needs to get out and figure things out. She has met a few people she thinks are friends and decides to break out. But it’s not that easy. The head of each realm believes Ten has powers and they want them. She will be a tool in the war and be their victory. Which realm will come out the winner? The realms have sent their BEST man to recruit Ten, which will she choose? Can she even trust them? Killian is the laborer from Myraid and Archer is from Troika, which makes them enemies. Ten has feelings for both and persuades them to work together to aid her in finding out what really is going on. This new world that Gena has given us is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. You are rooting for characters that you at first didn’t like and then grow to love. How does one choose a life to live forever? I look forward to the next book.
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I read this, but I was blown away! It was amazing! G. Showalter strikes again!
I did not enjoy this book. I actually couldn't finish it. 150 pages in, and there is no clear reason WHY the main character is needed so badly by the two sides, and no reason why there is a war. And I just didn't care which one she would pick.
3.75 stars I came so close to really liking this book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book. I found it to be unique and enjoyable but it just took me forever to get into it. I thought it was an interesting concept but at times it went too complex and I was like “what”?? I like the idea of the two realms where people live their afterlife and how they are battling each other to be the top dog. The lengths the realms did to get Tenly/Ten on their side. Some was terrifying, heartbreaking, and cruel. This is definitely not a nice and fluffy book. The main character Ten was very determined on not to choose until she was ready which at times her indecisiveness was annoying. She was snarky. She was strong to endure all the bad crap that happened in and after the asylum. She was a tad scary sometimes. She likes numbers also but sometimes it was a little much. Killian could be sweet at times but mostly he was intense and I would not like to be on his bad side. His fighting skills can be disturbing (what he did to enemies, blech). Archer was just Archer. I liked his character best. He was funny, was there when help was needed, and just nice. I would definitely pick up the next book to see how things go.
I loved this book and want to read more! The Good, Bad or In-between? I really thought Tensley (Ten) would choose the in-between so she could help all the lost souls. Start to finish, this was a weird journey. Lots of imagined violence. Maybe a bit too much, in fact. But over all the book was well written with FRESH insight.
Can you imagine knowing that you will have a second life? That after your first life is over, you will still continue to live? That is how life is in Firstlife for Ten and all the rest. They know that once their initial life is over, that they will get to continue on in another life. Then, eventually, they will get to experience the final rest. However, it is not that easy. Each person is supposed to choose a side during their firstlife that they will be a part of in their second. Myriad or Troika. Dark or light. And if they don't choose by the time they reach the end up their first life they end up in a different place. A place that no one really knows anything about... In Firstlife, our main character is Ten. Her parents are trying to get her to sign to Myriad. There are multiple reasons as to why, and Ten isn't even quite sure what all of them are. However, Ten doesn't know if she wants to sign with Myriad. She also doesn't know if she wants to sign with Troika. All she knows is that she wants to make the right choice and that she doesn't want an outside influence to help her make her decision. As a way to help persuade her to sign Myriad, Ten's parents send her off to an institution whose whole point is to help them choose... It isn't a very nice place. Not at all. It is a "by what ever means necessary" kind of place. Then to top it off, it seems that both sides really really really want her and she has no idea why. They want her enough to kill her so the other side can't have her if that is what it takes. Oh and there are boys. Hot boys. Yay! Firstlife really got to me while I was reading it. It really made me think about life and what happens after it. So while it was a fantasy type story, it was still really hard hitting. So hard hitting that I still find myself thinking about the whole thing MONTHS after I initially read it. I mean, it affected me so much that it took me months to finally bring myself to write my review for it. I keep thinking and feeling on what I read. I am still not over this book and it has been 4 months since I finished reading it, and I am only now telling you my thoughts and feelings about it. That should say a lot about how this book got to me. I also had to read something much lighter after this book. I was about to read another hard hitting book that was going to punch me in the emotional gut, but I couldn't. It was going to get to me too much mentally. I just couldn't do it. I liked that it got to me though. It can make it harder to get through when it keeps making you think about life and your own existence and what not, but I think that is important. While sometimes I like a good fluffy read, other times I really love an emotional gut punch. And Firstlife will do just that to you. It will punch you so hard in the emotional gut that you will still be recovering from it months after you finish reading it. This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher via Irish Banana Blog Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. Find more of my reviews here: http://readingwithcupcakes.blogspot.com/
I want to say many things, wonderful thins, about this book. But at the end, I'm simply left with "WOW" and an overwhelming need for the next installment. Gene Showalter does not pull punches as she takes Ten though the taste and consequences of self discovery in the first book of her new series Everlife. The story is nothing that I would have expected from reading this author's numerous other writings, but I promise, it shines as brightly as any of her other works, possibly more so. Ten's path to realizing who she is, what her beliefs are, is an amazing read and one that will ring in the heart of anyone who has ever questioned what it means to believe in yourself.
The first time I heard this book, and the concept of it, I was surprised, to say the least. The adventure these characters endure is simply breathtaking. The way it's written deserves an award. This book is great, I will read it endlessly.