Book Review: First & Then by Emma Mills


ashley | Surprise! I’m reading another re-telling! I was in the mood for something light and different and adorable, and I hoped I would find all those words in First & Then by Emma Mills, a contemporary retelling of Pride & Prejudice. 

I picked this up expecting it to be charming, but honestly I found it a little annoying at first. I just didn’t really warm to Devon. I know that she is supposed to be comparable to Elizabeth Bennet, with a fiesty attitude and a disengagement from certain standards, but it just really bothered me how bothered she was by the appearance of Foster in her life and how she was so uninspired by everything except her crush on Cas.

My interpretation of Lizzie was that she was quite independent and while she wanted to find someone she loved, she certainly wasn’t running around pining for boys. In this role, I feel like she would have been driven to find passion with school or something, anything, and the guy thing would come second. Maybe I’m interpreting it wrong or maybe I missed the point, that’s just what I always got from that character and this just didn’t get a very Austen-ish vibe from this at all in the beginning.

That said, I did love how Austen comes up many times in the book, that Devon is a fan. I liked that it drew attention to that. And I really liked the dynamic between Devon and Ezra. This is what I’m supposed to like, right? And Mills did a good job of making Ezra the jerk with a soft inside he’s keeping hidden from everyone. I liked how he and Devon were forced to keep crossing paths and as a result, get to know each other better. This whole situation was the adorable that I was looking for.

Once I got into the book, the beloved Pride & Prejudice feeling started to get stronger and I really enjoyed how things wrapped up. The details that annoyed me seemed to level themselves out, the connections people were making were heart warming and who doesn’t like a happy ending? 

I read this in almost one sitting and it did give me the cute and adorably warm feel I was looking for in this read. I think anyone, a fan of Austen or not, would enjoy this as well.


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october 15, 2015