Book summary from Goodreads:
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…
“Ten tears fall, and I call. Nine hundred trees, but only one is for me. Eight times eight times eight they fly, whatever you do, don’t stay dry. Seven ladies dancing, ignore their sweet romancing. Six seconds to hide, up, up, and you’ll survive. Five times four times three, and that is where he’ll be. Two I’ll save, I’ll be brave, brave, brave. The one I adore, I’ll come back for.”
I’ve had the hardback of Firstlife sitting on my shelf for a while now, and I picked it up based off the cover this time. I mean, let’s talk about how gorgeous it is!! The story sounded interesting, and I remember seeing a lot of Bookstagram posts about it, mainly based on the cover. Let’s be real, any book with a beautiful cover is bookstagram worthy! I love the detail inside of the hourglass on this one- it makes the book insides intriguing all on its own!
Firstlife captivated me the moment I picked up the book. Ten seems to have a tragically accepting life, being trapped inside the Prynne Asylum all because she wasn’t choosing to sign with either side. It seems really sad that her first life was spent preparing to be with Myriad, even if she didn’t know what she wanted. When she vocalized that- her parents locked her up. That world just seems super depressing to me. Her dad- a JERK, BTW. He was just using Ten to gain all the Myriad riches.
Ten is inside the Asylum for a good portion of the book, with a new roommate (Bow) and a hottie (Killian) that comes into the Asylum with eyes only for her. The “warden” Vans is straight up cruel. He will do anything to anybody if he gets paid for it. In any way. He is always watching on camera, and he’s just creepy in general. I cringed everytime his name came up, at all.
The two different realms you could end up in after death are Myriad or Troika. If you don’t sign with either, you would end up in Many Ends, where you’re tortured forever. Both Myriad and Troika are at war, and Ten is the newest focus of both of them. She is supposedly “fused” with a general on the Myriad side, so they will play dirty to get her. Myriad is the “dark” side. They fight dirty, but try and win you over with all the riches they can offer. Troika is the “light.” They forgive, fight fair, and I think peaks the interest more of Ten.
The bummer to this book, is that there is 400+ pages of Ten not being able to decide which side to choose. I mean, she was in prison and a bunch of her friends DIE because she can’t make up her mind. That super sucks, but at the same time she’s thinking about how she wants to spend the rest of her days. Like, A LONG TIME. It literally takes her *SPOILER ALERT* going to Many Ends 3 TIMES to even make a full decision. Yeah, her life was so bad in the “pre” that she died 3 times. HOW SAD IS THAT!??! Seriously, this book is full of violence, which I don’t mind, but I would think twice before letting your pre-teen read about. You never knew what horrible thing was going to happen to poor Ten, it totally kept me on my toes.
The ending ended up being such a nail biter, but I’m so happy it ended how it did. If you really wanted to spoil the entire book, just go to the last page- the last words spoil the entire book! I’m normally the type of person who will read a bit in the back, just to see how they get there, but I’m SO glad I didn’t this time around!
All in all, I did love this book. It took me several weeks to read, as I’ve been slower reading physical copies of books. I’ve been so busy and exhausted before bed, I’ve just been going right to sleep. Whereas at work, I’ve been able to read on my Kindle, so I’ve been going through those faster. I will be picking up the 2nd book in this series on both Kindle and hardback. Kindle so I can read it ASAP, and hardback because- DUH- it’s pretty and needs to go on my shelf!
I HIGHLY recommend this book! Rating I gave on Goodreads: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
Until next time, dear readers!