Monday, May 25, 2015

First There Was Forever by Juliana Romano

First There Was Forever by Juliana Romano
Source: Library
Pages: 400
Publisher: Dial Books
Release Date: April 14th 2015
Series: Standalone
Verdict: Borrow

SummaryLima and Hailey have always been best friends: Lima shy and sensitive, Hailey funny and free-spirited. But Hailey abandons Lima to party with the popular kids and pursue Nate, her disinterested crush. As their friendship falters, Lima and Nate begin spending more time together. And before Lima knows what she’s feeling, she and Nate do something irreversible. Something that would hurt Hailey... if she knew it happened.

Lima thinks she’s saving her friendship by lying, but she’s only buying time. As the secrets stack up, Lima is forced to make a choice: between her best friend forever, and the boy who wasn’t meant to be hers.

Review: A coming of age story, First There Was Forever is a book about love, loss, and growing up. Nothing in life is predictable, and Lima shows that when something unexpected comes along, the best thing to do is to trust your own instincts, go for what you want, and let go of everything that's holding you back.

Two peas in a pod, Lima and Hailey have a friendship like no other. Even though they are complete opposites, with Lima and introvert and Hailey and extrovert, they have each other's backs. But then, like with all teenagers, superficial issues catch up to them. In high school especially, popularity is something that many people strive for. When Hailey decides to make new friends in order to up her social status and gain the interest of her longtime crush, Nate, it becomes clear that Lima isn't someone who will help Hailey achieve that.

It's hard to say what was really going through Hailey's mind, because one second she's hanging out with her bestie, Lima, and then the next second, she has a new best friend and bails on Lima all the time. What was so difficult to read was how Lima reacted to it all. She had no idea she was getting ditched, and that's something that is commonly seen in reality. The truth isn't accepted until it hits home, and it really hits home with Lima. 

It was interesting seeing Lima find herself, because she was able to discover that she had a lot going for herself. She didn't need to be Hailey's shadow because she had a magnetic personality when she really became just Lima, as opposed to the Lima in LimaAndHailey. 

I did get annoyed with Hailey because of how she treated herself and Lima. It seemed like she didn't respect herself enough to live life to its fullest. Hiding behind the pretense of outgoing and fierce, I found that she was really insecure and shy at times. It just goes to show that nothing is ever as it seems. Icing Lima out is something that I can never understand or justify, though. True friends are loyal, no matter what. Yet Hailey just drops Lima like they never had a friendship to begin with. And her obsession with Nate was overwhelming and unstable. Hailey became a person who would do anything to get the attention of a guy, even if it meant isolating her best friend. And that's just something that I cannot get behind.

Speaking of Nate... Nate was a bit of an enigma. He was brooding, intense, and surprisingly sweet. His interactions with Lima were so cute. He actually saw Lima for the good, kind, and whole person she was. Even though Nate caused a good chunk of the problems between Lima and Hailey in this book, I truly think that he's a good guy. 

Lima was a character that I could really feel for, because she was just so goodhearted, despite what some of the actions taken may have insinuated. Things happen, and that's the reality of life. But Lima was strong and capable and willing. Because of that, things turned around for the better, for Lima, for Nate, for Hailey, and for everyone.

I'm so glad the lovely ladies at Rather Be Reading recommended this book. First There Was Forever is a book that both entertains and teaches, which truly is one of the best kinds of books, really. With this stunning debut, I think it's safe to say that I'm going to be very excited for whatever Juliana Romano has coming up next. 

Really enjoyed


  1. I have this one from the pub! I have not read it (it's been well over a month, oops?). It was unsolicited so I might not get time... YA contemporary is not my thing, but I try to read a variety anyway. Did you like the romance? I need a strong romance in YA contemporary ;)

    Great review, Grace!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Hey Alyssa, I actually felt that there wasn't a ton of romance in this book. Don't get me wrong. It was definitely there, but it was more subtle. I found that it was really enjoyable though, because I got to see the sweet and the sappy while still being able to focus on Lima as she matured and discovered who she truly was as a person.

      If you do find the time, you should give this one a go! There might not be a super strong romance factor, but it's really sweet and eye opening, and I think you may be surprised by how things end!

      -Grace :)