First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky
Published: May 8, 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Received: ARC from publisher
Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl always searching for what's next, seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving and besides, opposites attract.
What starts as friendship, turns into admiration, respect and caring, until finally these two lone souls find they are truly in love with each other.
But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they're going to have to work at it. And learn that sometimes love means having to say you're sorry. [goodreads]
This story is a perfect example of when a book has been sitting on your shelf for awhile, forgotten, and then you come across an amazing review for it and think, wait! I have this book! I must go read it right now! Yup, that's what happened when I saw Estelle from Rather Be Reading review Katie Kacvinsky's First Comes Love. Her enjoyment for such a quiet, soft spoken story really grabbed my attention - plus I'm always a sucker for rich romances, of any genre.
Gray is in a very dark place. He's just coasted through high school after a devastating blow wrecked his family from the inside out. He feels lifeless and moves through his days at summer school just as the warm air blows through the hot, dry streets of Phoenix, Arizona. He's cut himself off from any sort of connection to another human being. In his mind he thinks, if he doesn't get close to anyone, then he's more likely to never get hurt again.
All of these thoughts make sense until Dylan, the charismatic full of life girl, shows up in his world. She is every bit the opposite of him and right off it frightens him. It's this fear that draws Dylan in closer though. They begin as strangers, a girl reaching out to a broken boy, but soon become the most important people in each others lives. I felt a serious connection between these two. It wasn't over-done or forced, it came about so beautifully and naturally. But their relationship was not easy by any means. I loved how they taught each other to live in a completely different way.
The writing in this story is a quiet beauty. It causes you to want to re-read a sentence or two, savoring the essence of what first loves are all about. The alternating voices between Gray and Dylan gave a nice perspective to the story as well. Being able to hear both voices completed the story in a way that would have been very different if told from just Gray, or just Dylan. With a little less than 200 pages, this story captures the reality of what happens when you're young and in love, and forced to face the world, even when you may not be ready to. I hope my review causes someone else to pick up this book and read it, just as Estelle's review had done for me.