First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Children
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: summer, opposites attract, first love, Arizona
Format read: Borrowed from the library.
Summary: Gray never thought he would be hanging out, much less falling for, Dylan, a quirky girl in town for the summer who enjoys photographing geckos and naming everything she comes across (her freckles, her car, her slippers). For Gray, she’s a breath of fresh air and for Dylan, Gray is a challenge — someone who needs to break down the walls he’s built.
I know the cover of this book is very dramatic and sensual (and gee — can we stop with these kissing covers, please??) but wow, this book was seriously uplifting, adorable and funny, and completely lyrical.
After reading Katie Kacvinsky’s Awaken and knowing how her sometimes dense description caused me to gloss over passages, I was worried about this happening again. But the author filled First Comes Love with crisp description (there were a lot of scene changes) and this natural flow between two people who were connecting with one another.
Dylan was just about one of the most original characters I have ever come across. She’s so incredibly free spirited and optimistic and selfless. I found myself jealous of her, to be honest. I wished that I could be so inhabited and not worry so much about others thought of me. I mean, gosh, I would have wanted to spend a whole summer with her going on random adventures and listening to her crazy stories and answering her questions.
And I was so glad that Gray gave her a chance. Life had been pretty rough since tragedy rocked his home, which felt even emptier than it should with his mom always off to bed early and his dad away on business trips. Gray himself gave up a baseball scholarship to stay home and watch over his family, but, instead, it was like he was floating and not living much at all.
Dylan sensed something was up with Gray. She never pushed, never overdid it. She managed to distract and open him up at the same time. And I liked that the author gave one of the characters this tough backstory but allowed Dylan to have an average upbringing (even if she wanted to live like a gypsy, as my grandma would say). And tell me why every time I read about a brooding, trouble male character I picture Channing Tatum? Because he was so Gray to me!
And the romance? Slow and steady, organic, hold your breath, fall over yourself goodness. Dylan and Gray knew each other for a short period of time but their relationship is so convincing and genuine; Kacvinsky intertwined both the lightheartedness of love and the more serious moments in such a true way. I could not get enough. (I also couldn’t stop snapping pictures of passages I absolutely adored.)
First Comes Love shared a story of healing, opening yourself up to all the world’s possibilities, making choices, and the utter excitement and giddiness and uncertainty of getting to know someone and falling so hard… you can’t get up.
P.S. Kacvinksy did self-publish a sequel to First Comes Love that can be downloaded from Amazon as well: Second Chance.