Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy

First We Were IVTitle: First We Were IV
Author:  Alexandra Sirowy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: July 25th, 2017
Pages: 448
Genre: YA Mystery/Suspense
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: Audio
It started for pranks, fun, and forever memories.
A secret society – for the four of us.
The rules: Never lie. Never tell. Love each other.
We made the pledge and danced under the blood moon on the meteorite in the orchard. In the spot we found the dead girl five years earlier. And discovered the ancient drawings way before that.
Nothing could break the four of us apart – I thought.
But then, others wanted in. Our seaside town had secrets. History.
We wanted revenge.
We broke the rules. We lied. We told. We loved each other too much, not enough, and in ways we weren’t supposed to.
Our invention ratcheted out of control.
What started as a secret society, ended as justice. Revenge. Death. Rebellion.

This book was on my radar from the moment I discovered it. It took me a while to get to it, but I knew I wanted to read it... secret society, death, mayhem, and pranks. Sign me up! I really thought this would be a win for me. It wasn't the slam dunk or home run I was hoping for. It didn't quite have the oomph I was looking for. I did enjoy it though. The book did hook me from the very beginning and kept me interested enough to keep reading it every chance I got. I didn't get bored and needed to know what the heck happened. 

There were four friends. First, there was one, then two joined, then three, then four. And they became the best of friends. It's their last year of school and Izzy feels they need something that is just theirs to cement them together for life. (a little creepy sounding) They decide to create the Order of IV. This order goes from playing pranks to trying to wake the town up and solve a murder that happened years ago. What happens is more than they bargained for. One dies and then there were III. 

This book is really hard for me to review. It was a very strange read and the strangeness made it very interesting. There was so much wrong in this book but somehow it made me want to read it more. It was dark, twisty, and angsty. Usually, I don't like angsty but in this story, it just fit.

I usually care how realistic a book is but every now and then it just doesn't bother me. This book had a lot of unrealistic events play out. Some of it was okay I know that couldn't happen but I will bite.... others it was just too much. But for the most part, it was okay. I guess I went into this read knowing it would be unrealistic... so I dealt. But if you don't like this in your reads.... may not be the read for you. To me, this read just didn't need realism.

The story itself kept me reading and entertained. The mystery kept me going for sure. The mystery was good. In the beginning, we know there is now three. We know something happened to one of them. We don't know how or why or who. This story is just that..... a telling of how these teens got to this point where one of them is now dead. I needed to know. It was slow and sometimes maybe a bit too slow but it was worth the read to get to the end. 

What I didn't particularly like ere the characters. If it wasn't for the mystery... I wouldn't have enjoyed this book. Simply because I didn't care for the characters. I don't mean they weren't developed. They were and I enjoyed their interactions with each other immensely. Their dynamics were great. What I didn't care for is they were all just wrong for me. None of them had any redeeming characters. Izzy felt to needy and too fickle. Viv seemed too whiny and kind of an attention whore. Graham was a perv and an idiot. Henry was a pushover. So I really didn't care for the characters unless it was a scene with them all interacting. Their conversations were very entertaining. I liked them as a group not individually. I also feel they didn't grow, didn't mature. I feel the only thing the regretted was that one of them is dead. All the other damage they did... well they believed those that suffered... deserved. They were trying to be judge jury and executioner.... just didn't feel it was their place. 

Since I am a very character driven reader, this aspect of not liking the characters kept me from connecting which kept me from totally digesting the read and enjoying it to the max. I think if the characters had been likable or showed promise at the end... it would be a 4 heart read for me. But, since the story was so dark, strange, twisty, and suspenseful... I still enjoyed the read. Also, the author does write beautifully. I will say I loved the writing style. 

If you are looking for dark and twisty and all kinds of wrong... this is the book for you. 

Alexandra SirowyAlexandra Sirowy was born in Northern California and grew up in Providence, Rhode Island and the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended a women's college as an undergraduate and has a graduate degree in International Studies. She lives in Northern California with her husband. Visit her at

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