Firstlife (Everlife #1) by Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Goodreads Summary:
 I've been told history is written by survivors. But I know that isn't always true. My name is Tenley Lockwood, and very soon, I'll be dead. This is my storybut the end is only the beginning.

Tenley "Ten" Lockwood has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. She's earned her rep as the craziest of crazies, but that doesn't stop the torture. Ten can leave, but only if she allows her parents to choose where she'll liveafter she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the boy she's falling for and the realm she wants to support. Who will she choose? Can she stay alive long enough to make a decision?

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Welcome to Prynne – a centre for teenagers who won't do their parents' bidding. Lead by Dr Vans, he resorts to drastic measures in order to 'convince' his patients to concede, especially where Tenley "Ten" Lockwood is concerned. In a world where life as you know it matters little and is but a rehearsal for Everlife, all in Firstlife are preparing for Everlife which means choosing one of the two warring kingdoms, but Ten refuses to do so.

I can't make up my mind on this one, I like it, I hate it, I can't stand it, I love it. Everything about Troika seems to be portrayed as terrible while Myriad is broadcast as both the place Ten's parents want her to go and where she'd fit in the best. A lot of Firstlife meant little to the plot and I deemed it unnecessary, if it'd been cut out I believe this book would be much more enjoyable and have appealed to me more.

As with many novels, the "dark side" is better than the light side. But in Firstlife, Myriad actually is as drastic and dark as they claim not to be, which Gena Showalter highlights in clever ways. To me, Troika is an utopia and there is nothing wrong with it except that it has too many rules and is too peaceful for Ten. Firstlife desperately needed to answer one question – why? Why choose torture over Myriad, etc.

Killian and Archer, dark and light? I'm not a fan of Archer. Why? Because he has no appeal to me whatsoever, comes from an equally boring kingdom with just as tedious people. I'm not entirely sure why, but I loath Troika. Gena Showalter's attempt at making the kingdoms have equal appeal completely failed on me, which is one of the main reasons I didn't like Firstlife as much as I should of. There's a great baseline concept, but the characters and storyline only annoyed me.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
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Recommended for: Fans of books about death.