First Comes Love

26192467 First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley and from BEA, release date 6/28/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.
Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.
On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.
As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.

My thoughts:
I have read all of Emily Giffin’s books, except the one right before this (going back to it as soon as I get a chance though), and have always enjoyed her writing. I got the chance to meet Emily and get this book signed while at BEA in Chicago, so I was super excited to read and review it.

I really liked this book and found myself excited to get back to it each evening before bed. I found myself really relating to Josie, since I started out as an elementary teacher (before moving to the high school level) and am still single, though not actively searching/needing a man like she thought she did. I have a very similar personality as well, so I found her chapters especially enjoyable. Emily also did her research on teaching (or maybe she has a background I’m not aware of!) and was accurate about the life of a teacher. I also found the dynamic among the two sisters quite entertaining, though Meredith was highly unlikeable for me (because I am pretty much her opposite, like Josie). It is always interesting to read about two sisters so different, as this is certainly the case in real life with my sister and me. Not that my sister is like Meredith either, we are just extremely different from one another.

Meredith is the more uptight, boring sister in this particular story…she has the life that Josie thinks she wants, but she is not happy with it herself. Throughout the book, she is trying to figure out where she went wrong and how she can be happy in the future. It is certainly a struggle, as she knows she has it good in the eyes of most other people. Josie struggles throughout the story for Meredith’s approval, while they both are trying to figure out how to move on from a tragedy that happened 15 years ago.

If you don’t like books with alternating viewpoints, you may not like this format, but I tend to like this style; since a lot of Young Adult books that I read are that way, I have become accustomed to it. I would say that it’s safe to say this is my favorite Emily Giffin book thus far and I have already recommended it to my own sister and mom, and I will be telling friends about it also. If you are looking for a great summer read, and if you enjoy a family story, then pick this one up for sure! I am hoping maybe we will get to read more about these sisters in future books. 🙂

My rating: 5/5

 

Book Expo America (BEA)–Day 3

Day 3 was the last day of the actual BEA event, BookCon (post coming soon) was a separate event that was open to the public. Friday was a more laid-back day for me…thank goodness, but still packed with good stuff if that makes sense. I wasn’t as in a rush or as stressed to get to certain things I guess. Plus, I felt like I had everything figured out by this point, which made things better as well. This was also the first day that I actually sat down and ate something decent for lunch. I ran into some girls from other blogs and sat with them while I ate. Shout-out to the girls at Brittany’s Book Rambles and Michelle! I enjoyed listening to their commentary about things I know nothing about, haha.

Anyway, on to the books and authors. I got in line pretty much first thing–after grabbing The One Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett which author, Chelsea Sedoti, sold me on during a panel Thursday–for Emily Giffin’s new book and to meet her. I was pretty stoked about meeting Emily, as I have been reading her books since Something Borrowed came out. She was absolutely beautiful and seemed super-sweet, if you can tell that much about someone in the 10 seconds you spend with them during this process. I had already been approved on Netgalley for this title, but wanted a physical copy (just not the same, you know?!).

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I had been waiting patiently (a lot) for Danielle Paige’s signing as well and couldn’t wait to meet her. She has been an author that I follow on Twitter and talk to sometimes, so it was exciting to tell her who I was. She is always super nice online and seems to interact with a lot of her fans, which is a great quality for an author to have. I hate that the picture didn’t turn out very well, but I guess that’s what happens when you have to trust a stranger to take photos for you. Can’t wait to read this one, but will wait until closer to release date.

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I also got to meet Kami Garcia (who was hilarious!) and Kristi Yamaguchi (one of my childhood idols!) Friday. Even my non-reader friends knew who Kristi was, so I got a lot of love on Facebook for that one. 🙂  Side note: Her children’s book looks super cute!

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I am a fan of Pretty Little Liars, so I went to the signing of Sara Shepard’s new book as one of my last stops for the day. I was one of the first in the “unofficial” line (all my BEA folks know how that goes), and I found a chair to sit in while I waited…hallelujah! The girl organizing the lines for Disney on Friday was awesome, she was friendly and funny. I had interactions with her earlier in the day waiting for another Melissa de la Cruz signing…I’m not sure what happened to those pictures, but it was the second book I had signed from her during BEA. I’m excited to read this book and to start fresh with a series from her. I always wanted to go back and read the PLL books, but it was too daunting with all my other TBR books since there are so many in the series.

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And, finally, here’s a picture of my haul from Day 3, got some really neat stuff on this day.

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I had to pack my suitcase Friday night to put in the car Saturday morning before BookCon started, since we had to check out of the hotel before we went. So, these are my books from all three days of BEA. I would say I did pretty well, may have to be a little more selective if I go in the future, especially if it’s in NYC. This is what it looked like and it weighed a TON. Thank goodness I didn’t have to try to haul it home on a train or airplane. Also, thank goodness they make expandable suitcases!

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I had an excellent time at BEA. Yes, I complained about how tired I was and how bad my body hurt…but would I do it again? Absolutely! However, I would probably skip BookCon in the future, unless there was someone I was just dying to meet. More on BookCon soon!

Thanks for reading!