First Comes Love – Emily Giffin

I received this book for free from BEA16, Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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First Comes Love – Emily GiffinFirst Comes Love by Emily Giffin
Published by Ballantine Books on June 28, 2016
Genres: Domestic Life, Siblings, Women's Fiction
Pages: 400
Format: Kindle, Print
Source: BEA16, Netgalley
Buy on Amazon

In this dazzling new novel, Emily Giffin, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only introduces a pair of sisters who find themselves at a crossroads.   Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.   Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.   On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.   As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.   Emotionally honest and utterly enthralling, First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.

My Giffin books/Giffin at BEA

I was super excited when I heard about First Comes Love by Emily Giffin. I have all seven of her earlier books and could not wait to read this one. Then I heard she was going to be signing at BEA and I made it my mission to get a print copy to add to my bookshelf. She was gracious and kind and made a lovely comment about my candy colored hair. It is always nice to meet an author you have admired and they are more than you expected.


lookatme First Comes Love by Emily Giffin is a deep look into the bonds that make a family. The good, the bad and the downright ugly. Josie and Meredith are part of a picture perfect family. Doting parents and the all-American older brother. When a car crash alters the dynamic of their family forever, each girl copes in their own way.

I really enjoyed the plot of First Comes Love. A family slowly imploding and the various reactions to a terrible tragedy. Emily Giffin’s writing was, as always, on point. She was able to infuse the story with emotion and depth. She can also make a character you don’t like understandable. I did not care for Meredith at all, but I was able to understand where she was coming from and what made her tick. Josie was a solid character who I was able to relate to and I liked seeing her deal with her past. The pacing had a few weak spots, but nothing that detracted from the story as a whole. The world built was solid and it was easy to envision the scenes.

Now I will admit that First Comes Love is not my favorite Emily Giffin book. That is Where We Belong, which was just so emotional in a fantastic way. However, I have found that I do enjoy all of her books and this is no exception. Giffin is just as strong with book eight as she was with book one.

Favorite lines – And it is in this despondent, desperate moment that I think of the one person in the world whom I love without condition. The one part of this tragic story that is beautiful and perfect and untouched by regret or what-ifs.

Biggest cliché – If you just did what I told you to, your life would be great.

 Have you read First Comes Love, or added it to your TBR?

Rating Report
Overall: four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 New Release Challenge
  • Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
  • The Goodreads Challenge

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Posted June 23, 2016 by Laura in BEA16 Books, Reviews / 3 Comments

3 responses to “First Comes Love – Emily Giffin

  1. I enjoyed this one too. I found it a bit darker on the whole than her other books though. I didn’t care for the sisters but understood them and where they were coming from. I did love the male characters quite a bit. Great review!
    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog recently posted…Help Me Binge #2My Profile

  2. Laura

    I haven’t read this one yet, but it sounds really good. I bet I would really enjoy it. Thank you for sharing! 🙂