Firstlife by Gena Showalter | Book Review

Rating: 6/10 Hearts

Format: Audio-book – Library

Buy it Here:  Firstlife (An Everlife Novel)

Tenley is a teen who has an enormous decision on her shoulders. She has to decide which realm she will pledge her spirit to when she dies her first death. Her parents are both Myriad, and want her to pledge with them as well. There is another realm, Troika, who wants Ten to join them. If she dies before she pledges, she’ll be sent to a hellscape called “Many Ends.” Even so, she refuses to commit to Myriad. So, naturally that her parents have sent her to an asylum to be “convinced” into pledging to Myriad.

Okay, wait, WHAT.

I don’t feel like torturing people into doing things makes much sense. Also, I feel like Ten’s wish to have some time to think about literally the rest of her eternity is pretty fair. But then, it seems her dad really sucks.

Here’s the deal about this YA book– it is GRUESOME. This is one of the most visceral, violent books I’ve read in awhile– and I read lots of dystopian fiction. Hands are severed, eyeballs dangle from sockets, torture abounds, and Ten dies literally three different times. Violence is really not my thing. I’m a total comic book nerd, and I still have hide my eyes sometimes when I watch Marvel movies.

I can’t really decide if the violence was gratuitous? It was certainly too much for me, but I am a sensitive Hufflepuff vegan, so sometimes things that are too much for me are pretty normal to others.

Aside from the gore, I found myself sucked right into Ten’s world. I want to send a resounding thank you to Showalter for NOT letting Archer and Killian and Ten be a love triangle. Look at Archer and Ten being opposite sex friends! It’s so refreshing and I love it.  Their friendship was one of the high points of this kind of difficult book.

This book was incredibly interesting and original, and it did a lot of things right. I can see how it’s definitely the first in a series– I think it would be more effective if I had plans to read the second one right away– because very little actually happens in this book. Ten escapes her asylum, she spends a whole lot of time trying to avoid being killed, assisted by Archer and Killian, who have some way serious baggage. She dies a few times, and comes back each time, and the book ends with a loud confrontation at a public execution.

The TLDR of this book is “Ten spends several hundred pages pondering morality, the nature of permanency, and trying not to get killed. Except when she does it on purpose.”

Firstlife is a fun and interesting ride, but it most likely won’t win any awards. I’ll likely pick up the next one if it crosses my path, but I won’t make a point of it.

Subjective Hearts:  ♥♥♥ 3/5

Objective Hearts: ♥♥♥ 3/5

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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