Review: Firstlife by Gena Showalter

IMAG4040 - KopieSeries Everlife #1

Genre Fantasy, Young Adult

Published February 23th, 2016 by Harlequin Teen

Edition Hardcover, 480 pages

ISBN 0373211570

Goodreads blurb:


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, longtime 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 who 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 home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

Can we talk about the cover for a second? It is gorgeous! I love how the cover arists decided to use an hourglass to represent this story. It fits.

Firstlife starts off with Tenley inside the Prynne Asylum, where her parents sent her to be totured to sign with Myriad. Most Teens surrender after a short amout of time, but Ten has spent more than a year inside the Asylum and has been given the nickname ‘Nutter’ by her inmates.

Ten’s obsession with numbers reminded me slightly of Juliette from the Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi, but the stories are in no way to be compared.

None of the characters managed to hold my interest until the halfway point of the book, but the story itself and the writing did make me read until the end. I’m telling you if the beginning feels like walking through quicksand to you, just push through, because the second half of the book is definitely worth it! Ten and Bow and Killian finally grew on me, I even liked Sloan a lot. And Deacon… I liked him the first time we met him. He’s funny, I wish he had more moments in this book.

I totally cried at the end (this doen’t happen often for me), which made me realize how much all of them grew on me. This was the main turning point to convice me to up my rating from 3 to 4 stars. Overall a few turning points were very predictable for me, but that didn’t take much away from the reading experience.


Clay’s death was sad, but we don’t get to know him good enough, so it was bearable at the time. Archer’s (Archer fits way better than Bow) death, on the other hand, was not bearable. It hit me and it hit me hard. This was the moment I couln’t help but cry. He has such a pure heart and soul, I don’t know how I could’ve ever doubted him! And Sloan’s betrayal killed me, too. She hated Vans so much, but still how could she do this to Ten?

I’m just happy Ten decided to join Troika, this was the right choice, especially after finding out Many Ends (*shiver*) is connected to Myriad. Killian is still alive! He almost died, but he’s still alive! Hopefully Ten and he will find a way to be together. I doubted him at the beginning, but he definitely has grown on me after he opened up to Ten. He is a typical bad boy, hard shell, but with a soft heart.


Conclusion – 4 stars

This series (Trilogy?) stars off very promising, but then becomes a little slow. If you stick to it until the middle you will be rewarded with a lot of action and a hint of romance.

Friendships build and we finally get some answers. Your heart will be wrenched at the end, so hold tissues near. I’d recommend Firstlife to anyone who isn’t put off by a slow start and likes to be rewarded for sticking around until the end. If you like the premise, definitely pick this up! You won’t be disapointed. I can’t wait for the Sequel!

Order Firstlife on Amazon (currently 10.79$ instead of 18.99$!), BookDepository* or Harlequin

Gena Showalter’s official site

*affiliate link


4 thoughts on “Review: Firstlife by Gena Showalter

    1. Thank you! Enjoy reading when you pick it up!
      While editing your text you can insert it via the Visual Editor, just click on the ‘Insert Read More tag’ Button. You can find it in the first row at the very end, next to Align left, center and right. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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