How does Emma Mills manage to just capture everything about the human experience so perfectly????? I swear, at this point I would read this woman’s to-do list [and probably find it fascinating].
I often tell people that First & Then was my most surprising read of 2015 – I am not a huge Jane Austen fan, and I loathe sports, so when I saw that it was billed as a book for Austen fans, and that it involved high school football, I was like, “NOPE.” I didn’t care that the cover was gorgeous, I was most certainly not going to read it. But then I received it in an Uppercase box, and I started reading it kind of on a whim, and the next thing I knew I was looking up and it was several hours later and I was at the end. Not only that, I needed more.
So I was waiting with baited breath for her next book, This Adventure Ends, and it did NOT disappoint.
This is perhaps my new favorite Emma Mills book. Sloane is a sassy, sarcastic narrator whom I wanted to be best friends with almost immediately. In fact, I would really really appreciate it if she would come narrate my life – it would certainly become much more interesting if she did.
Sloane’s friend group is the kind of eclectic breakfast-club-esque bunch we all like to think we could be a part of – Vera and Gabe, the enigmatic twins; Remy, the son of a pastor trying to find his way in life; and Frank, who is freaking amazing in every way and needs no introduction.
Gabe and Sloane’s relationship was so adorkable and sweet – it had the perfect romantic tension and build-up, and I never once felt annoyed by it. I wanted more and more and more of them together. But the beauty of this book is that the romance, which is central to the story in a lot of ways, never overpowers the book or becomes its defining characteristic. All of the relationships are well-built and fully formed, and no character suffers for the benefit of another character getting the spotlight. I felt like I got the perfect balance of all of them throughout the course of the novel.
Then, there’s Sloane’s dad, the famous Romance novelist, whom I adored. He’s trying to write his next book, but is suffering from major writer’s block. I adored how immersed in fandom culture he became, and thought it was a perfect portrayal of what it’s like to fall into a fandom unexpectedly and become obsessed.
Overall, because of the witty dialogue, incredibly rich characters, and moving plot, this is a book that you’ll remember long after you turn the final page. I know that I’ll be coming back for a re-read often, and I can’t wait to see what Emma Mills turns out next.
Rating: 5+/5 stars