DNF December Review Blitz — Day 10: I’m sharing my thoughts on some book series that I have marked as incomplete as I have never finished the first novel in the series. Find out why these weren’t for me:
Synopsis for Firstlife (from Goodreads):
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…
SERIESous’ Top Picks: Cover Love
Author: Gena Showalter
# of Books: 3 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance, Fantasy
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: February 2016 – February 2018
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook
Disclaimer: I stopped reading Firstlife (#1) at 63%. Find out why below…
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I really enjoyed Showalter’s last venture into YA fiction, Alice in Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles). It was a fast-paced series that captured my full attention (and my heart–I’m looking at you Cole <3 ) so I was really excited for her next YA series.
What I Liked:
I mean how cool is this concept?! I love series that use fictional elements to highlight and explore various aspects of our society (that’s why I adore dystopian fiction). You can draw all sorts of parallels to religion and ideas about reincarnation and the afterlife. You start to question what are the differences between these different belief systems and why do they cause so much tension? I guess what I’m trying to say is that it highlights the bigger picture and makes you ask questions.
–The Time at the Asylum–
I kinda wish we spent more time at the asylum because I liked the setting for what it did to the character’s development. I always find it interesting to see what characters will do when they are pushed to the limits and that’s what the asylum does here. I enjoyed getting into Tenley’s head and it helped me to understand why she feels so torn over her decision about where to spend her Everlife.
What I Didn’t Like:
–I was SO Lost in How the World Worked–
I will admit that the audiobook version was probably a mistake because there are a lot of terms to try and remember and it’s hard to go back and re-read something you don’t understand. But I was listening to this in close succession and for at least an hour at a time and I still was lost.
Understandably, this world is complicated–but I wonder if it was too complicated? I feel like you could do without the whole “fused souls” aspect and still have Tenley as your “special lead”. (Perhaps that fused aspect has a bigger role later on?). Then you’ve got all the roles the members of the respective realms have and the different ways they lure people…I could go on and on but I’m going to stop. I’ll just say: a lot is happening and it’s slightly overwhelming.
I actually really liked Tenley when we first meet her. I loved her snarky attitude and she definitely made me laugh.
I know a lot of people give Ten a hard time because she can’t make up her mind–and I get that. Her waffling back and forth drove me nuts in the middle of the book when nothing else was happening because I got tired of hearing her pros and cons about each. But I also have to cut the girl some slack because deciding where you are going to spend the rest of your days is a big decision–one you can’t really take back.
What did bother me about Ten was why she thought her friends should choose their Everlife plans based on their need to be with her. You knew the person for a couple of weeks–chill. And then one minute her convictions would be so strong and in the next, she’s giving in for a pretty face. Again, I cut her slack for this while in the asylum because that is what they intend to do (force people to make a choice via torture) but once they escape, my patience was wearing thing.
This is perhaps the biggest reason why I gave up on this book. I really didn’t like the way this was developing. I didn’t see the attraction between either of them besides physical chemistry and I didn’t really want to watch that over the course of 3 books…
Will I Finish It?
Nope. I even read the synopsis for what happens in this book (ie how it ends) and I couldn’t care less. I really just don’t like the direction this was taking.
My Audiobook Experience:
As I mentioned above, perhaps the audio isn’t the best version as there are a lot of terms to keep track of. But I get the sense the even the text version creates an underdeveloped world so…but, I really enjoyed the narrator’s voice so it was an enjoyable listen even if I wasn’t feeling the story.
My Rating: DNF
Firstlife DNF | Lifeblood N/A| Everlife N/A
This was a complete miss for me!
Read if You Like: stories about reincarnation/afterlife/alternate universes
Avoid if You: need strong world building
- The Program by Suzanne Young (The Program Series #1)
- Uninvited by Sophie Jordan (Uninvited Series #1)
- Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Everneath Trilogy #1)
Have you read this? Should I return to this series? Leave a comment!
Thanks for joining me on my first (hopefully) annual DNF December Review Blitz! That’s all I have for this year!