Choices for the Afterlife: Firstlife

Review: Firstlife by Gena Showalter

Title: Firstlife
Author: Gena Showalter
Pages: 467
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: February 23, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis: Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after 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 two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

Since I can’t stick with anything, my review format is in the process of changing (yet again) so bear with me and perhaps you can give me feedback on the format in the comments?

I’ve never read any of Gena Showalter’s books. I’ve tried to read the White Rabbit Chronicles, but I’ve never really got into them. Maybe I’ll give them another go, who knows? I thought Firstlife was going to be like Alice in Zombieland and I’d just have to put it off on my DNF shelf.

I was wrong.

I’m not gonna lie to you. Firstlife starts off slow. So very very slow. It bored me. I’d sit down to start reading and then I’d always find something else to do, which was basically giving me the hint that I’m going to hate this book.

And then I got to page 150. (Yup, that’s where the good stuff happens.) (But I would read the first 150 pages so you get some of the backstory and minimal character development.) (It’s up to you though.) (Just read it.)

I was not able to put Firstlife down once I hit page 150. Everything started happening, the story picked up pace. I was addicted. It took me 7 straight hours to finish the book after I reached that turning point. (It is a long book.) That isn’t remotely close to the amount of time I took trying to get into the book. (I’m talking days.)

It may seem slow at first, but ohmygod, you need to finish this book. You will not regret it. Firstlife is one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2016. It’s that good.

I loved Ten. She was just awesome! Obviously, she was easy to understand and feel for after you read some of the crap she was put up against. This girl was beat, almost every day, and she still ran her mouth. She has some balls. And you will continue to see that throughout the novel.

Tenley is faced with the decision of which afterlife she wants to go to (the place where you truly live) when, on the outside, they both seem equally appealing. Yet as the novel goes on and Ten has to fight for her life (alongside two hot hunks but I’ll get to them later), you start to see how one of the afterlife’s isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. It has a darkside, one that Ten gets to experience first hand.

The things that Ten is put through are literally something straight out of a nightmare. Showalter must love horror movies because she could write one. A good one.

The plot takes a while to start and build up, but after that it’s one jam-packed moment after another. There is seriously no stopping. Not even at the ending. You’ll hate it when you get there. (Trust me, I just need the next book.)

So now onto the two hot hunks I mentioned before.

I am very jealous of Tenley, she gets to be surrounded by these gorgeous specimen day after day. And they rescue her.

My favorite probably has to be Archer. I’m gonna give you a mini spoiler and tell you that Archer is actually Bow. Bow is Archer; Archer is Bow. Bow is actually a male in a female’s body named Archer. But for this review, I am going to be referring to him as Archer since that is who I see him as. Archer and I would be best friends. He is just great. I think he’s a really nice guy and has very good intentions. Plus, he doesn’t try to seduce Ten. Points for you, man. I really liked his character.

Kellian, I really have no idea how to pronounce his name. Yes, he’s hot but I don’t really like him and Ten together. I mean, I guess I can see it but I don’t see all of the good that’s supposedly in him. I feel like he is bad news, and Tenley should stay away. But girls always want what they shouldn’t have. Kellian has his moments, but I’m still not convinced he’s one of the good guys. I don’t know, maybe we should watch out for him in the next novel. (Which I can’t wait to read.) (In case I havent said that yet.)

Before this review is over, I want to mention Tenley’s obsession with numbers. I enjoyed that greatly. She supplies you all of these random facts that I just loved. It really made things interesting. I liked her odd obsession and thought it was greatly unique. Plus, I learned some cool fun facts that I can whip out at any time.

The storyline is just perfection. I love it. I love everything about it. The characters are just pure gold. Firstlife is something everyone should read. It may look intimidating, but it is well worth the read. I loved it. There’s really something for everyone. You have action, some romance, death and torture, and some fantasy because why not? Only Showalter can pull this off and she does it nicely.

Don't know if I already said this yet, but I literally cannot wait for book two!

About the Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.
Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”.