Monday, June 2, 2014


Title: First Love
Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: January 13, 2014
Genres: YA, Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 5/5


Alexandra "Axi" Moore is a "good girl": She studies hard, stays out of the spotlight, and doesn't tell anyone how the pressures of school and home make her want to run away from it all. The only person she can tell is her best friend, Robinson, with whom she's secretly head-over-heels in love, and she spontaneously invites him to come with her on an impulsive cross-country road trip. Being alone with Robinson is a dream come true, but the adventure quickly turns from carefree to out of control as.tragedy races to catch up to them. In this beautiful journey of laughter and tears, two daring and unforgettable teenagers fall in love and learn to cherish the precious time they have together. More than seventy-five of Axi's black-and-white snapshots of the journey included throughout the book make the story all the more real and poignant.


Although teen romance is honestly not my reading preference, First Love is going on my list of all-time favorites. Having met under trying circumstances, there is a very close and special bond between Axi Moore and Robinson. It is natural then that they should take their unauthorized road trip together. A road trip to all the places which they want to show one another and, that might very possibly be, Robinson's very last trip ever.

Axi, always the good girl, decides to let go, cut loose and enjoy life - for this trip at least. She is rather horrified, however, when Robinson decides that the mode of transportation will be stolen vehicles. Nevertheless, Axi is determined to give Robinson a few pleasant surprises during their trip, and have some fun herself.

A spin round a motor race track, an adventurous tour through LA, and a visit with a Las Vegas stripper are just some of the experiences their trip starts with. Even after they are on the run from the cops, they go roller-coaster riding in Ohio and site seeing in New York City.

The author really has a gift for writing teen dialogue. I loved how their very modern conversations were riddled with song lyrics and quotes from books and movies.

In any other book I would rate the number of make-out sessions and numerous, lengthy declarations of everlasting love as totally exaggerated. In First Love however, it is beautifully tender and most certainly a very necessary part of the story. Here is where I warn sensitive readers to keep boxes of Kleenex close by as I certainly bawled my eyes out.

For a thrilling, heartwarming, and even life changing read that will take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride, I recommend First Love as an absolute must read. This is the kind of book you would want to keep and reread every now and then.

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He's been called the busiest man in publishing, and that's not just because of his own books. For the past decade, James has been devoting more and more of his time to championing books and reading. From the James Patterson Pageturner Awards, to his website, to his College Book Bucks scholarships and his regular donations of hundreds of thousands of books to schools here in the states and troops overseas (see interviews on Fox & Friends, The Dennis Miller Radio Show and, Patterson has passed on his passion of books and reading and supported those who do the same. Jim personally funded a major ad campaign re-printing a recent opinion piece on about how it is our responsibility to get our kids reading. The ad has run in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and USA Today. Those ads are a call to action to parents to make their kids reading a top priority; and were featured by USA Today here. Patterson believes that we cannot rely on schools, teachers or the government to get our kids reading; only parents can make this crucial change in the reading habits of our kids.

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