Firstlife by Gena Showalter
Published: February 23rd 2016 by Harlequin Teen
NO SECOND CHANCE.
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…
I have had this on my TBR for ages! It was actually a highly anticipated read for last year and I just never got around to it! However, I wish I had gotten to it sooner because I absolutely loved it!
Tenley (Ten) is our MC who is currently stuck in Prynne prison because she refuses to sign with Myriad. I enjoyed her as a character. I loved her strength of mind despite everything that she went through – if anything, her experiences actually made her stronger. She doesn’t trust easily and she usually follows her gut instinct, which I quite like about her. I like the way that she began to open up throughout the book and become more trusting with both the boys and also the way that her relationship grew with Sloan, who is someone that she hates from the prison.
I think between Killian and Archer, Killian was my favourite. He has his own issues, like Ten does, but he manages to see past his past mistakes and begins to also open up with Ten like she does him. It doesn’t come to him easy, but he begins to see what Myriad truly is and he begins to make decisions based on what he thinks is best for her rather that purely getting her to sign with Myriad. I did like Archer too, but he is a lot more open with her and I feel like he is more the big brother role.
The premise of this book is really intriguing. I like the idea of having an Everlife after your normal human life and the idea that you can choose between two realms – or if you don’t choose, you go to a hellish sort of place called Many Ends. I also really liked the way that both realms are completely opposite, Troika being light and Myriad being dark. The realms are pretty mysterious and that remains throughout the whole book. No one really knows what the realms were like until you died, which made the decision of who to choose even more difficult. From what I had read, I would have chosen Troika – I don’t think I’m cut out for Myriad.
Can I also just mention the end!! :-O I mean, I guess it was foreshadowed thanks to Loony Lina, but I still was not expecting it to happen the way that it did! I don’t want to give too much away because spoilers, but I was extremely upset and I felt betrayed. It was a character that I really grew to like throughout the book and I was really upset when she did what she did.
I will say, though, that I definitely feel like Ten was sometimes a little too strong a person, if that makes sense? I know we all like strong female leads, but I feel like everyone has a breaking point and I don’t feel like she ever really reached that breaking point – either mentally or physically. It would have been nice to see some form of weakness, even when she was injured.
All in all, I really liked this book. The plot kept me intrigued and on my toes because you never knew what was going to happen next. I absolutely cannot wait to get a copy of the next book! I gave this book 4/5 stars.