First is available on Net Galley for review. If you’re interested in getting a copy, please use this link: Net Galley
First is available on Net Galley for review. If you’re interested in getting a copy, please use this link: Net Galley
Author: Chanda Stafford
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Synopsis/Buy book: Book Depository
Review: I was given a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
When I first started reading this book I was a bit unsure of what to expect and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it because it didn’t have me hooked from the start. However, I kept on reading and it I’m so glad I did! This book was so good! The story was different and unexpected, the characters were likeable and there were many emotions while turning the pages.
I’ve never read a novel with the storyline this book had. At the beginning I didn’t quite get it but the more I read it the more everything clicked in to place. It is told from two points of view; Mira and Socrates, making it easier to find out what is going on in both Character’s heads. There were parts in the story that were quite similar to ‘The Hunger Games’ for example, when all children have to go and someone is chosen to be a Second but apart from that the storyline could not be more different. Mira could be a slightly annoying character at times but the more you read the book the more you like her. Socrates was a great character. He was respectful and treated Mira like she was human unlike the other Firsts.
There wasn’t much I disliked about this book apart from the love story. I feel like any teen dystopian novel includes some sort of predictable love story and this one was no different. Mira seemed to fall for Will instantly (again, similar to some other dystopian novels I’ve read). Thankfully it never took up most of the story and was only brought up every so often.
I highly recommend this book to all the teens and young adults out there who enjoy a good dystopian novel because this book is so different and unique. If at first you don’t really get it and feel like giving up please don’t! I promise you won’t regret it! I’m looking forward to reading more of this story as I know that there is a second book out. I’d just like to thank Chanda for giving me a copy of this book for a review and I can’t wait to read more of her work!
Thank you, Kirsty, for taking the time to review my book!
Don’t forget to visit her blog at Kirsty reads
I follow the gravel path past the cages toward one on the end separated from all of the rest. A massive white and black-striped creature lounges on top of a raised platform, his tail flickering at the end. Solomon. Lines radiate from his face, along his back, and down his legs. My fingers brush the raised ridges zig zagging across my own wrists. Are his stripes so different than mine?
I love this book and can’t wait for you to meet Sam, my troubled heroine with a past she desperately tries to keep hidden.
Right now I’m over 30k into book three and it’s awesome! Since my first drafts tend to run a bit short (as in they usually increase dramatically during editing), I project that this draft will finish around 50-60k. I just finished this amazing scene that I really wish I could share with you all, but it would completely spoil the book. Let’s just say things aren’t going well for our main characters. I’ve definitely amped up the action in this one.
In other words, my YA paranormal that’s in the first round of editing right now is getting good reviews, so I’m pretty pumped about that. I love it when the stuff I write down actually makes sense and to those who read it and they enjoy it! It’s so different from the Live Once world, and has great series potential. I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to do an agent search for that one, or self-publish, so we’ll see what happens when I get it back and make the necessary changes.
But before that, I have to finish Harbinger, and then do some more editing on Burning Bright. So, I guess that means I have a lot of work to do and better get to it!
Sorry I’ve been so absent lately! I’ve been finishing the edits for one project, tentatively titled and then he fell and preparing for my next one, which will be a Camp Nano book. Because, of course, I don’t have any other pressing matters to attend to during the month of July, right? The good news is, this book is the last one in the Live Once trilogy. Right now book #3, called Harbinger, is definitely going to take you guys on one hell of a ride. If you’re interested in tuning in for any/all of the journey, I’ll be live tweeting my progress (without too many spoilers) on Twitter. Click here to go to my home page and follow me. I’m a lot more active on Twitter than anywhere else, anyway.
Oh, and don’t forget, the trade paperback versions of Imposter are also out (I know, I suck at letting you all know as soon as they come out), but you can pick up your copy here.
And, as always, if you’re a reviewer/blogger and you’re interested in reading First and/or Imposter, please let me know, I’d love to send them your way!
|*The author gave me an e-copy of this book for an honest review*|
Hello again 🙂 Okay, only 1.5 more weeks of school left! So I had to wait a few hours to write this because I was so mad that I don’t think I could’ve written a review with my mind on a goal to kill a certain someone xD If you want to get this book on Amazon, click here. If you would like to see my review for the first book, First, click here.
First I want to thank Chanda for sending me another one of her books for me to review! I love talking to you on Twitter while I read through your story xD I hope you don’t mind my venting about what happens haha.
Okay, I really think that this book was much better than the first one in the series. I guess because Chanda didn’t have to go into much detail behind how everything works so she could focus more on the action instead of the explaining. I also liked the different POV’s. I love reading different POV’s on the books that need it. I like seeing how different people think. I, myself, can’t write in two POV’s, so hard. Anyway, I feel like Chanda’s writing was much better than in First. I think that it flowed better, like she got in the groove of this story more.
Man… can I just sucker punch Will? Maybe throw him across the room and maybe kick him down there? I really hate that guy… but at the same time, I really want him and Mira to make up and be together. Argh. What he did to Mira and Evie is not cool, it don’t believe in that and for him to do that just… Just… you shouldn’t be doing that, okay? I don’t want to give anything away, but argh. I hate that. And then at the end of the book when the Mira needed help? NO. JUST NO. Bastard. Sorry, excuse me for my language. But seriously? You promised Mira you’d help him and what do you do? Walk away. I mean I don’t care if you hate him, you keep you’re promise and that’s the end of that! Even if you didn’t promise, you don’t just leave him there! JEEZ.
I feel so bad for Will, I really do. But he just acts like a freaking child throughout the book. I don’t blame that on Chanda (okay, well maybe just a little haha) but OMG GROW UP. Gosh. Ugh.
Okay, I should stop before I spill the beans and you all get mad at me for giving away what happens. Don’t let what I just said keep you from reading this book, it’s really good! And I’m glad that it makes me feels this much annoyance. It just shows how awesome the writing it to make me so mad from a screen full of words.
Mira. I don’t know how anyone can be that strong. I mean how do you hide the fact that you’re you and pretend to be someone you just met for a few months? It’s incredible but not really realistic. I mean yeah, people doubted it being Socrates, but those were really just people trying to start something. Will didn’t even know and him out of all people should have. I guess since he was stuck in his own anger and sadness that he didn’t notice, but still.
What Mira did throughout this book is beyond bravery, really. It’s… You really can’t explain it. She’s a warrior in her own way. She doesn’t kick people’s asses, but she goes against everyone to fight for what she wants. Whether she had to hide her identity or get strangled by a crazy man, she still doesn’t give up. I really admire that in her. Today, people like to go with the status quo; the people that don’t are called ‘weird’ or ‘geeks’. Which is so so stupid. But Mira doesn’t care. The way she carries herself doesn’t make her ‘weird’, it makes her a fighter.
I really loved this book. It made me want to cry and laugh and scream all at once. I swear I think my mom thinks I’m Bipolar now xD Seriously though, there was something so intriguing at every page that I couldn’t stop until I finished the book. And even then, I wasn’t satisfied in the way that I wanted more. I always want more with this book. I’m going to be really sad when the series ends 🙁 I think I would rate this a 4.7 stars out of 5! Truly amazing <3 it was just that little detail on the realistic-ness of it. I know these books aren’t realistic in the fact that people can’t use other people to live forever, but I think the way people act and how they behave should be realistic.
Thank you Chanda again, for being so kind 🙂 I hope to hear from you on the third book! I can’t wait to read more of Mira and I hope Will gets his act together haha.
That’s it for now, everyone. I should go and get some studying done for tomorrow. Night guys!
I’m very excited to share this review with you all! I first contacted Ellen to beta read Imposter (book 2) and offered her First if she wanted to read it beforehand. She did, and then she asked me if I’d mind if she reviewed it for her site. Of course I said yes!
Here it is:
It’s been awhile since I have read a YA dystopian novel, so it felt refreshing to read this one. Stafford added a unique aspect to the typical dystopian novel by introducing us to the idea of reincarnation and immortality. This is something that I have not seen in YA. If it has been introduced to the YA genre, then it is definitely not common in dystopian. It’s more common in the paranormal and fantasy elements though. Sometimes, it’s good to step outside of the box. However, you could be testing the waters. It could either be a success or fail. For Stafford’s case, I thought she did a phenomenal job in executing this idea with the futuristic society that has advanced medicine and technology. I think that also helped with the idea of reincarnating and the idea of sacrifice into the equation. In this society, there are 2 groups (maybe 3): the Firsts, the Seconds, and the Lifers. The Firsts are the elite/important people that contributes to society by preserving history so history does not repeat itself. These people use the Seconds to use their bodies as a host to continue to live and contribute to society. The Seconds are typically children under 16 years or younger that are used as a host body for the Firsts. When they get chosen, they are Absolved from their crimes. They enter the Firsts’ society to prepare themselves for the sacrificial event. The Lifers are the rebels that refute the idea of sacrificing a human life for a life of immortality and selfishness.
Stafford introduces important themes such as slavery, sacrificing a life just to live another century longer, and other themes. The world-building was present; however, it doesn’t matter whether there was major or minor world-building because I thought the plot and characters were the most interesting and important aspects of the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed the characters. They were well-developed, realistic, and practical. This story is told in a duo first person point-of-view, and I thought it was a perfect choice for this novel. The duo perspective is from Mira, a Second, and Socrates, a First. I thought this was a brilliant idea to have 2 completely different characters from 2 completely different worlds. What’s interesting about this story is that you couldn’t really tell who’s the antagonist of the story. It’s as if you couldn’t trust any of the characters, and I think it just emphasizes how untrustworthy some of these characters. However, these characters do eventually grow on and you start to sympathize for this characters. Although, I did get agitated sometimes with Mira’s constant questions. But, I have to constantly remind myself that Mira was involuntary pulled into this situation.
As you start to be more interested in the characters, the story begins to unravel itself. You start to immerse yourself in this new world, characters, and story. I think that is what gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars. It’s not a 5 stars because there are some circumstances that Mira got on my nerves with her constant questioning, and sometimes the descriptions of the settings and character could be too detailed.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone. It has all the right pieces a YA dystopian novel should have even if it’s not from one of the major publishing companies. I definitely think that if more people would read this book, it could become a great hit one day.
Thanks Ellen! Go check out her blog, it’s filled with great stories and news from all around the book world!
This one’s from Books and Guacamole 🙂
“The beginning of the book was absolutely engrossing and fast-paced and I found myself trying to find any excuse to not study and just to plop down on the bed and read this book. I loved the idea of Mira and Tanner and the whole First-Second thing and fell in love with Stafford’s writing style. It was so professional and smooth and unique! And the plot? WOW. SO ORIGINAL, it was a breath of fresh air. I mean, to live forever and not be a vampire?”
I literally LOL’d at the last part :). I love it! (especially since I’m not a Twilight fan by any stretch…but that’s for another time).
“Ms. Stafford ended the book with SUCH flourish; an amazing ending that sent chills down my whole body.”
____spoiler below if you haven’t read First yet_____
“And Socrates! He was the best. I had trouble warming up to him at first but he was probably the strongest and least confusing character and the one who brought about this absolutely amazing ending.
Remember, Mira. There’s an audience, Will, watching my every move. I have to make this good, or I’ll never get away with it.
“My name is Socrates.”
DAMNNNN. Seriously, this ending though. I’ll be waiting very impatiently for the next book FOR SURE.”
She also had some really great, constructive criticism that on some details I hadn’t thought of before and I really appreciate her taking the time to reflect on them. Read the full review here.