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Book Review: First Love by James Patterson and Emily Raymond

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“Good Girl” Axi Moore has a big surprise for her best friend Robinson.  Instead of preparing for next week’s AP exams, Axi is going on a cross country adventure…and she wants Robinson to go along.  Robinson jumps at the chance and the next day, he and Axi hit the road (in a stolen motorcycle) for the greatest adventure of their lives.  Although Axi has carefully planned the journey, the road they take is full of the unexpected and both of their lives will be changed forever.

In his most recent book, “First Love,” James Patterson, with co-writer Emily Raymond, explores young love, the struggles of loss, family relationships and so much more.  As I started the novel, it was a typical YA book – girl falls in love with her best friend, does he feel the same.  Then it transformed into an adventure story – with many stolen vehicles, failed attempts at using a fake ID, spending the night with a Vegas stripper, facing a police officer at gunpoint.  Finally, it became a love story to remember – that will stick with you long after you read the final page. Was the book entirely plausible? No. Did it lesson my enjoyment of the book? Not at all.  The authors create real characters with many layers to uncover.  Axi is the cerebral of the two – often quoting famous works of famous authors from Walt Whitman to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry while Robinson prefers to get a daily does of TV and nitrates (hot dogs and slim jims).

This was a quick read for me – once I actually had time to get started.  I felt a connection to the characters and enjoyed going on their cross country journey with them. There were a few parts that I felt could have benefited with some more explanation, although I added some of my own thoughts in their place…and isn’t that what we, as readers, are supposed to do?

“First Love,” by James Patterson and Emily Raymond 4/5 stars

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