First Love by James Patterson and Emily Raymond

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First Love by James Patterson and Emily Raymond
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, YA
Length: Full Length (340 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

An extraordinary portrait of true love that will move anyone who has a first love story of their own. Axi Moore is a “good girl”: She studies hard, stays out of the spotlight, and doesn’t tell anyone how all she really wants is to run away from it all. The only person she can tell is her best friend, Robinson–who she also happens to be madly in love with.

When Axi spontaneously invites Robinson to come with her on an impulsive cross-country road trip, she breaks the rules for the first time in her life. But the adventure quickly turns from carefree to out of control after the teens find themselves on the run from the police. And when Robinson suddenly collapses, Axi has to face the truth that this trip might be his last.

A remarkably moving tale very personal to James Patterson’s own past, FIRST LOVE is testament to the power of first love–and how it can change the rest of your life.

Good girl Axi Moore is about to shock the world – and herself – by doing the unthinkable. Abandoning her father, her perfect grades, and everything else she’s ever held dear, she’s about to propose an adventure to her best friend – and one true love – Robinson. What starts out as a fun getaway from life and obligations soon turns to something much darker. Will love be enough to see Axi through?

Axi Moore and I are an awful lot alike. Good students, good kids, and living life on the straight and narrow. What Axi possesses that I’ve always lacked was an adventurous streak. I found it curious that such a self-proclaimed good girl would drop everything, risking her father’s displeasure as well as her GPA, just to take a spontaneous trip across the country. Love or not, it seemed odd to me. However, as the story unravels, you begin to understand more and more of Axi’s motivation behind what she’s doing. It becomes less of a shock and more of a last-ditch effort to prove herself to Robinson. Axi is one heck of a woman for a teenager.

Robinson is every teenager’s dream as well as every father’s nightmare. High school dropout and car thief supreme, Robinson is charming, witty, and unequivocally devoted to Axi Moore. The story of how two very different kids became such good friends nearly broke my heart. However, it gives you hope when you realize that after all they’ve been through, they are still completely devoted to one another, their friendship, and possibly more. By the end of the novel, Robinson has moved from simply a juvenile delinquent to a very passionate, surprising young man.

Knowing that First Love has root in James Patterson’s own past only makes the story more gripping, more poignant in the end. First Love will run you through all the emotions you own – I found myself laughing one minute, worrying for Axi and Robinson the next, and crying more often than I want to admit to. In spite of all the tears I shed, I found myself uplifted and thankful for having read this novel. One of the best things I’ve read in a long time without a doubt.

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