Firstlife – Gena Showalter

Firstlife – Gena Showalter

Book One in The Everlife Novels

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Please note, the synopsis below is from Harlequin’s website. My review is below.

Firstlife – Gena Showalter

Step one…you die.


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…



Oh my God! I am going to quit reading. I just can’t handle the emotions right now.

Firstlife, was a book that popped up constantly in my newsfeed in all my social media. I have to say her publisher Harlequin Teen did well with the advertising. The images and snippets that they posted intrigued me and I added it to my, will buy later when I’ve finished my to read pile.

Last week, I saw it in my lovely local bookshop (A HUGE shout out to Meg’s Bookstore. I couldn’t ask for a better bookshop or people to run it) and bought it early on a whim. That dreaded stand by counter. And well the colours were pretty.

My plan was to read it over the next week, in between working on my new novel. That didn’t happen. I started yesterday afternoon and finished today. I had issues putting it down.

The book was action packed from start to finish and where there wasn’t action, there was sarcasm, banter and wit. Yes, I do realise I have an issue with my enjoyment of that kind of stuff. I won’t deny it. It makes for good reading. It can also lighten the mood considerably. And given what Gena put me through emotionally, especially as the book progressed I’m glad it was there. (FYI this is a good thing. I love a story that pulls at the heart strings, leaves you crying and yelling at the author through the front cover about what they have done. Not so much in a room full of people.)

The plot was fantastic, I loved the way in which it has been put together. It reminded me a lot of the heaven vs hell type stories but with a twist. It was so refreshing to read something different.

I enjoyed how she used people’s perspectives on life and how things happen. Eg fate vs for your actions there are consequences.

My biggest gripe would be that I managed to foresee the ending and what side she ultimately chooses from early on. I have no issues with how and who she chose, just that for me it was obvious.

The first few pages were not as captivating as I had hoped, but they did establish a good foundation about the personalities of two of the feature characters, Killian and Archer. That said, I feel that while it wasn’t something that would normally grab my attention in a book. It really did help as the story progressed.

The book itself bothered me, for my own personal reasons. I couldn’t figure out what was so different about it, it took me a good third of the book to realise that it was written in first person, present tense. Not something I see a lot of or even write. I have to say it made for a great read. Once I figured that part out I was fine J

Tenley, just amazed me at how strong she was. But something about her seemed to scream through the book, especially with her number obsession. I could almost picture her doing her numerology thing. And while it was great, it did throw me at times, the way that random number facts popped up. You would be reading, and getting into the scene and then ‘oh wow, look at that.’

Killian and Archer have their own little side story that I would love to hear and they really did help add to the story line. They reminded me a lot of the devil and the angel on your shoulder. Except the devil’s still wearing a halo.

I can’t wait for book two, Lifeblood.

Without giving away the storyline, it was great. Intense and well worth the read. It had a lot of action and a nice sideline. If you enjoy The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner series, you will enjoy this. I give it 4 and a half quills.

You can find out more about Gena Showalter through the Harlequin website, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and her official website.

This review is my own thoughts; I am by no means endorsed nor was I requested to write it up. Synopsis credit to Harlequin. I got the picture off their website.



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