Friday, June 17, 2016

ARC Review: First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

First Comes LoveFrom the blurb:

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.

Emotionally honest and utterly enthralling, First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.



Heather's rating:





It's hard to read a book when you dislike the main characters so much. And I really didn't connect with Josie and Meredith.

Josie and Meredith are sisters who are still coping with their brother's death, 15 years later. Now, some stories that I categorize as "women's fiction" that involve sisters feature a sort of love/hate relationship. This is more like a hate/hate relationship. Josie and Meredith fight constantly, and for extremely petty reasons. Honestly, I was sick of their back and forth right from the start, and their arguing lasts for the entire story.

Meredith is particularly annoying. I really hated how she was the typical miserable shrew wife; denying sex, angry at everyone, comparing herself to other moms around her. I know women like that exist, but I just hate how mothers and wives are often depicted this way in these types of stories. Meredith takes offense at everything. Nothing is ever good enough for her. On top of that, she is very self-involved. You would think being in her head for part of the story would make me like her more, but I almost DNFed this story at 90% because I was so disgusted with Meredith. And the way that she treats Nolan, her husband, was practically unforgivable to me. She never really communicated with him about her wants, and I found her to be cold and unfeeling to the point of callousness.



Josie was a little better, but she still was irritating. She was also self-centered, but at least she was more likable when the reader was inside her head. However, there were still problems with her parts of the story. I thought that her relationship with Gabe, her platonic best friend, was inconsistently depicted, and downright confusing at times. I also thought that her relationship with nice-guy Pete, who came across as desperate and waaaaay too agreeable, was odd, and not in a good way.

What bothered me the most about this story was how the author would present a plot thread and then just sort of... drop it. For example, the story-line with Will, Josie's ex, was built-up and built-up... and then, nothing. Why introduce it and put time into it and then have it lead nowhere? It felt unresolved. Also, the plot element of Gabe's girlfriend was treated similarly. One moment she was a source of tension between Josie and Gabe, and then she just disappears into the background. Same with Josie and Meredith's father's drinking and girlfriend, and the persona of Daniel, the dead brother. So many elements of this story were underdeveloped.

I think I was expecting more from Emily Giffin, who I remember fondly from my days of reading women's fiction. However, either my tastes have drastically changed or I just have no desire to read about miserable people making each other more miserable anymore.


**Copy provided in exchange for an honest review**


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26192467-first-comes-love

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