Book Review: The First Twenty by Jennifer Lavoie

Note: This copy was given to me before its book release by the author/publisher, as per requested, in Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.

Whoo~ Reading this book was the slowest that I’ve ever done. If I’m not wrong, I have read a few hours each day for five or six days? And I’ve got my reasons for that. (Which you’ll know a few scrolls later). Basically, my Netgalley book list have slumped away. I have a few books here that was to be released in June that I still haven’t read yet. But I’m getting back again. And this novel ended up giving me lots of good firsts and it’s-been-a-whiles.

The First Twenty is set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world telling the story of Peyton and Nixie. Peyton lives in the Mill along with some others who have survived the series of global disasters that nearly swept humanity to extinction. But when her adopted father was killed by Scavengers, she is hell-bent on revenge and determined to bring justice to those who murdered him. Nixie is one of the few people who was born with the ability to dowse water with her body. This made her a valuable tool to her people. So when she was taken away by Peyton, they want her back bad.

The First Twenty was the first ever LGBT book that I’ve ever read and the first post-apocalyptic dystopian novel I’ve read this year. If I’m not mistaken the last one was Partials and that was roughly a year or two ago. To be honest, I have no qualms about how other people express their sexuality. In this time and age, that much is understandable. But that still didn’t make me comfortable at reading LGBT novels. I didn’t like yaoi when I was a kid. I once stumbled into reading a free eBook novella in Goodreads about two gay men and didn’t even try to finish it. I’ve read all of John Green’s books except Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Simply put, it wasn’t my cup of tea. So imagine me reading The First Twenty, the first one that I’ve successfully attempted to read.

Why did I decide to read this then, you might ask. I was taken by the blurb and reading a YA dystopian novel after such a long time. World-building has always been a concept I liked when it comes to dystopian novels and post-apocalyptic animes. It just so happens that The First Twenty was a LGBT novel. I honestly didn’t realize that at first. But when I did, I thought, “Eh, why not?”

And I didn’t regret it. The story was written smoothly and the characters had depth. These things made it easy for me to read and not feel awkward about it. The supporting characters were also wonderful. I particularly loved Jasper. He was sassy and witty and very much kind.

There was something with the world-building, though, that felt lacking. The plot felt bland and there are times when I feel everything is pointless save for making the two protagonists get together.It’s an LGBT novel having the main characters and main supporting characters homosexual but then that’s it.

It really had a lot of potential but there was nothing unique about the main story. The concept was great and the writing was smooth, dialogues and all. But it could have been better. Still, it made a good impression on me regarding LGBT novels.



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