First Day

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Reviewed by Jennifer Wilks, Staff Writer

First Day by Allyson Braithwaite Condie. Published by Deseret Book.

First Day is a continuation of the story Condie started in her first book, Yearbook. Many of the chapters are told from the perspectives of Andrea and Ethan Beckett, and the stories of their friends Julie and Mikey are interwoven in these chapters. New characters are introduced as well, including Joel Hammond and Caterina Giovanni, who each have chapters of their own.

I wasn't sure if I would be able to enjoy First Day, having not read Yearbook first. Many times when reading the second book in a series, it's hard to catch up. There was a little bit of that in the beginning, trying to figure out what was going on in situations that would be obvious to those who had read the first book.

I was pleasantly surprised, however, at how fast I was able to get into the story. The format was unconventional, with most of the story lines basically unrelated to each other, rather than telling different character's viewpoints of the same story. It didn't hold my attention as well as many of the other books I've read recently, but there is also one main story that is pretty compelling and pulls the reader through the book.

On the other hand, the book was fresh and interesting, and it was fun to see the lives of the different characters who were related in some ways, but completely individual in others, just as it is in our own lives.

All in all, I thought it was a good read with a few twists and turns thrown in to keep the reader on their toes. It could be enjoyed alone, but I think it would be most enjoyable for those who have first read Yearbook.