Series: Everlife #1
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Source: An ARC of this book given to me in exchange for an honest review by the publisher via Netgalley. Thank you!
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, 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…
Find Firstlife online
This is a book that I was so, so excited for! The premise sounded so awesome and I loved the idea of the second life. However, actually diving into this book was a bit of a disappointment. While the premise was still really interesting, the execution and characters brought the book down for me. I couldn't get passed the love triangle, Ten's indecision, and the choppy writing style.
Ten couldn't make a decision to save her life...literally. She was so incredibly indecisive and it drove me crazy the whole time. And because she was suffering from special snowflake syndrome and in high demand in both realms she had to decide between, this indecision was even more prominent. I understand it's such a big decision but she's had eighteen years to think about and weigh her options. Why, after all that time, did she not have even the slightest idea of what she wanted to do? Even under horrendous circumstances like torture, she stayed very stubbornly undecided. Which, okay, in a way can be admirable. Like, she's sticking to her guns no matter what, but I was honestly just super annoyed.
To add on to Ten's already decisively indecisive nature, there was a weird maybe kinda sorta love triangle thrown in. Of course, the two boys were from the two realms she was meant to choose between - one being the bad boy, the other Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes. And, to makes things even harder, they both were gorgeous and had different foreign accents. But it was still a weird dynamic because one was kinda more brotherly than the other but it still felt love triangley? I don't know, it was just uncomfortable and made me cringe sometimes. While one of the guys was obviously more who Ten was leaning toward, it still felt a lot like a triangle. I also really hated how both guys kept randomly disappearing and reappearing.
The writing style also made this a bit harder to read. It was very choppy and there were sections of email or messages of some sort between different characters that were incredibly confusing and hard to keep track of. Ten used very short and choppy sentences that sometimes made it harder to follow and understand what was happening. Also, some of the fight scenes described just seemed so unlikely or unrealistic. Like, I get that this is a fiction novel and everything but there has to be some sort of reality to it and certain fight scenes were from completely unbelievable.
My final problem with this book was the lack of explanation. We never got a why or how to a lot of the information and happenings. Why were the two realms at ward? Why did Ten find it impossible to make a decision? How do the powers that the people in the realms have work? Like, I needed more structure and rules within the world. I had no idea how the whole thing worked.
Either way, this book was a disappointment. I was really excited for the premise but the problems I ran into overshadowed that excitement, unfortunately. I feel like had I been a bit younger, I'd have enjoyed this a lot more. As it was, I just couldn't get over the lack of explanation, indecision, and the love triangle.