Estelle: First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

First Comes Love by Katie KacvinskyFirst Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Children
Pages: 198
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.

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P.S. Kacvinksy did self-publish a sequel to First Comes Love that can be downloaded from Amazon as well: Second Chance.

11 thoughts on “Estelle: First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

  1. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    I own this book and after reading your review it’s made me want to go home & start reading it right now! It sounds like something I’d really enjoy. Yup, this may be my next book to devour – thanks Estelle!

  2. Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) says:


    This is the first book I read by this author but I was just so enamored by it. I agree with everything you said and at the end I wanted there to be MORE to the story, so much. I was like please please please write more, Katie K! And then I saw it! I have Second Chance but I haven’t read it yet (because I’m scared)! As soon as I saw it on Amazon one day I got all flaily-handed (more than normal, no kidding) and one-clicked BUT BUT it’s like I have it sitting there for a special occasion or something. THAT’s how much I loved First Comes Love.

    Also, honestly, I was really SHOCKED that this kissy cover was the first one I ever liked. I remember staring at it and thinking that it was just SO MUCH the story and WOW even though it is indeed very kissy and very close-up). And then I remember after that when Something Like Normal came out with a kissy cover, I was like OK I can handle kissy covers if they’re not icky. Because sometimes they are icky. But I digress. YAY for you liking this one. I’m so happy!

  3. Alexa Y. says:

    I would not have thought this book would read the way you suggested it did based on the cover. In fact, I might have skipped this one if I were just going to look at the cover…

    But I’m so glad you reviewed it. It sounds really awesome! I’m especially looking forward to meeting Dylan, because she sounds like the kind of girl I’ve always wanted to be like. And Gray sounds… attractive 😉

  4. Sophia says:

    I need this book! you’re completely right–the cover is really dramatic. i was under the impression that this was a darker contemporary, but i’m glad to hear that it’s FUNNY (!!!) and uplifting. dylan sounds so, so sweet and i can’t wait to meet her. 🙂 thanks for the lovely review, estelle! 🙂 <3

  5. Rowena says:

    I’ve been curious about this book but haven’t seen much around blog land about it. I’m so glad you reviewed it because it sounds like something I would enjoy. Thanks for the review!

  6. Renae @ Respiring Thoughts says:

    I totally would have passed this by, based on the cover. Like you said: can we be done with the dark and intense couple kissing covers yet?

    But based on this review, with the wild and lovable female protagonist and the slow-developing romance, I thin this might be one I have to check out!

  7. Bookworm1858 says:

    I still haven’t seen many reviews for this book but I had a fine time reading it. It’s by no means my favorite contemporary romance but it was a fine way to pass some time.

  8. VeganYANerds says:

    This has been on my to-read list for over a year and now I’m really happy to know you enjoyed it. Dylan does sound like a cool character and I want to read this despite the cover (I don’t think kissing covers are going to go away any time soon!)

  9. Tabitha S. says:

    I am SO with you on the kissing covers – I just want less of them!! But anyways. I’m really looking forward to this book now, it wasn’t necessarily on my radar before and I think I’ve actually passed it up at the bookstore, but now I’ll be on the lookout. I’m a huge fan of slow building romances, so this one sounds perfect for me.

    Great review!!

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