This Adventure Ends

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Having read Emma Mills’ debut novel First & Then last year, I decided to check out her second novel, entitled This Adventure Ends.

Sloane Finch has just moved to Florida from New York for her junior year of high school. Moving to a new place isn’t easy as a teenager, and she doesn’t expect to make friends that easily. That all changes when she meets Vera, a charismatic teen who’s a social media star. Sloane falls into their eclectic group of friends which includes Vera’s twin brother Gabe, quiet and intelligent Remy, his ex-girlfriend Aubrey and popular party host Frank. Through her experiences during the school year, Sloane learns important lessons about friendships, which in turn teaches her more about relationships in general.

This is one of the few novels I’ve read recently that focuses on friendship as one of their major plot points. Sloane’s bond with Vera’s group is entirely new to her and I found this dynamic refreshing and new. The commonplace of most books is a protagonist with a lifelong best friend. Sloane goes against this archetype by admitting that she’s never had a best friend before, despite being about seventeen. it addresses the question of whether or not it’s easier to have friends or not.

Another subplot is Sloane trying to find a painting that Vera and Gabe’s late mother did.  I did find this part of the novel to not be that believable, considering that Sloane has only known the twins for a short of time and seems to be going out of the way to do a big favor for them. That’s just my opinion.

I recommend this novel to people who like reading stories about friendships.





First & Then

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I realize it’s been a month since my last post. I’ve been busy with work and family, but finally got the chance to read a novel. This one is written by Emma Mills, also known as Elmify on her YouTube channel.

First & Then is the story of Devon Tennyson, a senior in high school who has no plans for her future and prefers life in the status quo. But that changes when her younger cousin Foster comes to live with her family. A former only child, Devon finds herself learning important life lessons that come with having a new addition in her family, and it triggers her thoughts for her future, friends and how people’s lives are shaped by certain events.

Devon reminded me a lot of myself in high school. She doesn’t seem to belong to one particular clique, interacting with the popular girls, sports players, smart students and so on. I never considered myself part of any one group, and knew a lot of people through extracurricular activities.

I liked the message that family is family, no matter what. Despite Foster biologically being Devon’s cousin, he still considers her his sister, and she thinks of him as her brother. Mills chose to focus on the relationship between cousins, a nice change from the common sibling-to-sibling, parent-to-child, or stepfamily dynamics seen in a lot of other books.

I look forward to reading Emma’s other books.