FIRSTLIFE – Gena Showalter (Honest Review)

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW!

A standalone novel.

Showalter - Firstlife

Genre: Young Adult –  (Sort of Urban?) Fantasy
Target Audience: 15+ 
Rating:
B (76%)
Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Description:
Step one…you die.
ONE CHOICE. TWO REALMS. 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, long-time 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 that 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 where the boy she’s falling for lives? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…
 

Gena Showalter is an author my Mum introduced to me when I was in my teens. I read the Intertwined series before it became discontinued. I honestly loved that book, so I had an idea of what I was getting myself into for Firstlife. I really enjoyed the concept of getting a second chance at life, that your firstlife is more of a chance to figure out who you are and your next life is where you get to live. I like to compare it to high school, high school being your first life, forced to make a major decision that’s supposed to prepare you for the rest of your life. It’s just not that simple.

This novel is your typical ‘chosen one’ story, with a girl a little more precious than the rest. I enjoy that sort of story, being able to experience what it would be like to have the world on your shoulders. A lot of stress I can imagine! 😂 That’s why it’s better to imagine over experience it, I reckon. I wouldn’t want to be thrust into a situation like that myself. Geez, Louise!

I you’re a fan of plot-based stories, than I have the book for you! Without that drive, I’m not sure if the characters would do much but I suppose that depends on your take on the story. I believe that it’s a plot-based but it could also be interpreted as character-driven. Have you read it? What do you think? You should shoot me a message in the comments! 😃

I FREAKING LOVE ACTION SCENES! And let me tell ya, there’s a damn pile of them. Hardly enough time to take a deep breath before you’re thrust into another one. The 💥 BAM! and 💥 POW! is fan-freaking-tastic! I love, love, love a plot that doesn’t stop. I’m someone that can get bored easy, so if there’s a break every minute or two, I might put the book down more than I should.

Out of all the positives of the plot, the one flaw is the waaaaay too long beginning. The book shouldn’t start at the half-way point. In my opinion, a rule I like to live by, is if a book hasn’t picked up by the one-hundredth page, there’s a problem. A reader shouldn’t be forced to fight to stay entertained. BUT! This is just one flaw out of many positives, so take it as you may.

The characters felt real — mostly. They all had deep pasts and very intricate story lines. Each and everyone felt as if they were there with a purpose, rather than just there to assist the protagonist. However, everyone seemed to be strong-minded. They all had a perception of the world and they weren’t afraid to shout from the moon to tell everyone what it was. That seemed a little bit unrealistic to me, but maybe I’m digging where I shouldn’t be. One thing I did find downright irritating was the constant bickering amongst the two main guys. By the end, I wanted to slap them across the head.

Ten is a pretty realistic character, tossing up between practicality and what she wanted most, but I never saw a proper shift in her. Before the asylum she’s described as a snotty brat, and you can very well see that’s not who she is at the beginning of the book. So I’m grateful that there’s a shift from past Ten to asylum Ten, however after the asylum, I’m not sure I see any development in her character, but there was a ton of development in the background characters??

There wasn’t anything that really surprised me in the plot. It wasn’t predictable, it just wasn’t unpredictable either. I just never got slapped in the face with the ‘OH MY FREAKING GOD, WHAAAT?!’ factor.

I know I’m attacking the book at the moment, but I honestly really enjoyed it from beginning to end. The writing was fantastic, as was the style and tone of the novel. The characters were super fun, and I love the 💥BAM! 💥POW! plot. I’m honestly ready for the next one.

A that I thoroughly enjoyed. I wouldn’t mark it as a favourite of mine, but it definitely has my interest. It’s very unique and I think that’s something I really enjoyed about it. Plus, the characters were H-O-T. 😜

The break down of my rating:
Plot: 8/10
Characterisation: 8/10
Development:
 4/10
Style & Tone: 9/10
Enjoyment: 9/10

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