Above all, First Comes Love is a love story, pure and simple. On the surface it might seem like a “broody guy meets quirky girl and aren’t they cute?” but it is much more than that. It is probably the most realistic contemporary YA love story I have read, so far, and it was that realism that grabbed me from the beginning. For those of you that hate “insta-love” this book is for you. Gray is hurting and closed off and not really interested in changing his life when he meets Dylan, who is outgoing and quirky. In fact, she annoys him a lot, at first, and I loved reading about their relationship slowly unfolding. I loved Dylan for her impulsiveness and caring. I loved her for her refusal to let others define her and her determination to follow her own path. (I wish I could hand this book out to girls at local high schools). I was equally in love with Gray, who was so wounded and closed up because facing life can sometimes be so tough. Together they were a little bumpy, at first, but the foundation of friendship gave them great depth as a couple.
I feel like contemporary YA needs more books like First Comes Love. I loved how realistic it was and how honestly the story was presented. Gray and Dylan’s relationship is endearing and Kate Kacvinsky doesn’t shy away from writing about every aspect of the relationship, including the intimate moments. Because of that, I think this book will appeal to older teens and adults, alike. Although they are very young and they act very young, Gray and Dylan are also faced with some adult decisions about their lives and their relationship with each other. The fact is, even teenage love can be as messy, even if it’s wonderful, and it was nice to read a story that was told from both angles.
The story is told in alternating viewpoints which I adore in stories where a couple’s relationship is central to the plot. Their inner thoughts made me chuckle, especially Gray, who is a caring and typical teenage guy in every sense of the word. I think it was Dylan’s voice that reached me, though. Here is a quote from Dylan’s point of view:
If you are looking for a book to add for your “Waiting On Wednesday” post, I highly recommend this one. Fans of contemporary YA will love it and those that don’t read a lot of contemp (like myself) will find it honest and emotional. Either way, it deserves a place on your reading list this spring.