Review: ‘Firstlife’ by Gena Showalter

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Firstlife’ by Gena ShowalterFirstlife by Gena Showalter
Series: Everlife #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on February 23rd, 2016
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 480
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley



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…

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Tenley or as she’s nicknamed Ten is locked up in a mental asylum by her Myriad parents. She lives in a world your first life is just a pre-condition, where you must choose one or the other warring factions: Myriad or Trokian. Once a person vows one of the sides they are part of that lifestyle for all eternity. Both sides want her for she is supposedly a general in her second life. She meets two boys, both are enemies, both are vying for her attention. Will she leave the first life undecided or will she choose with her heart or her brain?

I can say a lot of things about characters, and I haven’t been annoyed by a character this much since Anastasia Steele in FSOG. Only because the excessive counting of numbers and mathematical equations in her head were super annoying. Sure she has a love of numbers but yikes I kept getting interrupted from the story by this excessive need to count. Then there’s the fact that Ten also uses recent street slang and colloquiums that are found in our society today, which made me wonder what year it was. Because their technology is a lot more advanced but I couldn’t guess what year it was so I naturally went with it. It was superbly annoying! I don’t understand why she trying to be so jokey when it felt so flat. Ten also couldn’t stop swooning over the boys. I know hormones are all a rage, but please try to focus on something other than a beautiful face. I just couldn’t relate or understand Ten’s character. It also felt that she was dragging her decision for the entire book. At least I finished this a second time around only to find out which side she chooses.

I knew which team I was on from the very beginning. All signs pointed to him and I actually liked him because he felt genuine. The other guy is your typical bad boy who is aggressive and sure and strong. Naturally I wasn’t on his team at all. Their dynamics were interesting and so was their history. I was surprised that I actually liked it when all three appeared on the page.

So there’s the whole plot which involves which side she’ll choose. And which boy she’ll end up loving.. That was it. The entire book is her trying to survive or die trying, it was intensely boring which is why I DNF’d it. The writing isn’t bad, but when you get a main character that is annoying you at every thought, it’s hard to like.

Honestly, I’m not going to end up continuing on with this series. The pacing and dialogue were too cringeworthy and boring all at the same time. The last few chapters made up for it, but honestly when only the likable character I like ends up being *blank blank*, it’s hard to like it or stay with it.


Pretty can hide a monster.
You’re smart, and you make me think.
Remember, the truth hurts for a little while. Lies hurt forever.
Physical pain will never compare to mental anguish.
Can no one like me just because I’m me? Will I always be a commodity to win rather than a person to love?
Friends have the power to hurt you in ways enemies never can.
Someone else’s actions will never decide my own.
To love is to have a reason to fight for something better.
If happiness is dependent on outside variables, it can’t last.
Variables always change. Real happiness has to come from within.
Only three words are good enough. Delicious man meat.
Holding on to the past prevents you from grabbing on to a better future.
I thought you were the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen…and that I’d better invest in a chastity belt.
You’re just making things harder for me. And I mean that in multiple ways.
There’s a difference between wanting to do something and knowing I need to do it.
Just because we can’t see the solution doesn’t mean there’s no solution at all.
There is no greater evil than the one that cloaks itself in virtue.

reading progress






  1. Jamie @ Books and Ladders

    March 25, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    I am glad I didn’t pick this one up. It sounds so typical. Thanks for the great review!
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    • giselle

      March 25, 2016 at 4:20 PM

      You’re welcome Jamie! Yeahhh even though the whole world and their petty fighting was more interesting than the characters..

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