Source: Uncorrected proof courtesy of publisher
Firstlife’s fascinating premise is what drew me to pick this up. What if there is a second chance to life? You have your ‘firstlife’ on earth to make an informed decision for which realms you’d choose in the next life; when you “died”, then you’d live in your chosen realm before you officially die. We only have one chance in life which makes your actions all the more precious but what if you have another chance, what would you do?
This novel opens with two sets of email correspondences which were really quite confusing! You really have to pay attention to the from/to section to figure it all out. Their somewhat vague contents were interesting though you wonder how these subordinates could be that disrespectful to their superiors… that I could not understand. The perspective then shifted, by chapter 1, to our main girl character, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood. My first impression of her was favourable: here’s a strong female teenager being imprisoned in a facility due to resisting her parents’ decision for her next life. She was really quite impressive.
But then… her indecisiveness really truly surely killed any affection I had for her. After 1/3 of the way, I was close to shaking her to Just Do It! I felt like she had no excuse for her indecision. That she was indecisive because she chose to be indecisive. And for her to do at the end what she did… well! I felt the 480 pages I read just to reach that was completely wasted… Also, I find that YA “feels” was missing; I felt barely a tingle 😦
Fate is an excuse, a way to remove blame and therefore guilt for poor decision making. Free choice decides the outcome of your life, not fate.
I must admit, however, that this book will probably be good for discussions; philosophically, morally, and religiously. There were some really good quotes I like in this book and they were scattered generously but it still wasn’t quite enough to keep my interest… At this point in time, I’m not even sure I’d consider the next book. I’ve rated 2-stars because these quotes would’ve made good conversations.
Thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia for copy of uncorrected proof in exchange of honest review