First & Then by Emma Mills

23310751This book was so cute!  And despite our protagonist Devon’s love for all things Jane Austen, I was two-thirds through the book before I realized I was reading a Pride and Prejudice retelling.  Maybe I am super dumb, but I like to think that it was also pretty subtle.

You’ve got the proud Ezra with barely any facial expressions but ‘apathetic,’ and you’ve got the prejudiced Devon, who cannot believe what a jerk he is.  But as they are thrown in each other’s paths more often, they learn more about each other and realize they were wrong about their judgments.  Okay, that doesn’t sound subtle.  What Mills does so well is incorporate so much more into her story.  There’s Foster, Devon’s cousin whose addict mom sends him to stay with her, giving her the little brother she never wanted.  There’s Cas and Lindsay, and Devon’s growing awareness that just because the boy she’s crushing on likes The Perfect Girl doesn’t mean Devon has to hate her.  There’s Devon working through her fear of the future by getting excited about college at Reeding.   Continue reading

Top 8 Romantic Books

When life is not giving me what I want, I almost always turn to books to meet my emotional needs.  Romance is no exception.  I can almost stand being alone when I can live vicariously through the banter between Jane and Mr. Rochester.  Healthy?  Probably not.  But sometimes a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.

1)  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I am aware that it’s problematic to love a relationship founded on lies.  But…what can you do?  I remember being shocked that Jane Eyre was written in 1847.  The dialogue between Jane and Mr. Rochester sparks with wit and sexual tension, and I was immediately hooked.  I also really love the character of Jane; her self-confidence and devotion to doing what’s right is incredibly admirable.  It doesn’t hurt that she’s plain but winds up catching the eye of a rich man either, hey-o!!

“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

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