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First We Were IV

Review

First We Were IV

Alexandra Sirowy has once again introduced her fans and readers to a world that is not far off from what we see around us. Holding true to her longstanding record of stories filled with darkness and thrill, Sirowy creates FIRST WE WERE IV in a manner that gives it the right touch of mystery, suspense, horror, romance and even a sprinkle of gore.

Izzy, Graham, Vivi and Harry have always known that they are more than enough for each other. They live in their own universe without regard for the outsiders bringing them down. Then the inevitable happens and senior year rolls around, forcing the quartet to face decisions that could separate them forever. There has to be a way to prolong --- and perhaps avoid --- separation.

Or at least, that's what Izzy thinks and her friends are happy to jump on board. They are eager for one more adventure together, another chance to be heard and leave nothing unresolved. This is how the Order of IV is created. As a lasting and durable group of friends, the teens have no trouble setting the guidelines, as the rules are already held close to their hearts: never tell, never lie and always love each other.

"FIRST WE WERE IV is one of those books that hooks readers from the first page. It's amazing how Sirowy was able to start with the end of the story without giving too much away."

At first, the Order of IV was a means of having fun and staying together forever, but when we meet the teens in FIRST WE WERE IV, something terrible has happened. How could the Order have spiraled out of control so badly? How could it have become a means for revenge and incited a thirst for power in these four innocent teens?

Furthermore, how could any of them have known that what started as a game of four would end as something else?

FIRST WE WERE IV is one of those books that hooks readers from the first page. It's amazing how Sirowy was able to start with the end of the story without giving too much away. She managed to jump between the past, present and future of the characters without making a mess of things. It gave the characters context even before the real story had begun and didn't leave readers alone to figure themes, character arcs and plotlines out themselves.

The story did slow down at times but not enough to make me put the book down. Even though this was the case, I don't think the book is one that needs to be read at one go. It is a bit lengthy and there is always a new development that needs to be taken in. FIRST WE WERE IV is one of those books that needs to be reread to be completely understood because looking back on it, there are many things that are easy to miss. Some parts are predictable but others are absolutely mind blowing. Sirowy filled the book with twists, turns, ups, downs and plenty of delicious foreshadowing.

The best parts of FIRST WE WERE IV were the touching moments that made me actually feel the emotions of the characters! Maybe I'm overly sentimental but trust me, there are moments where you wish you could help (or be) the protagonists --- where you feel their pain or happiness. There were too many fluffy, lovey-dovey scenes for my taste but readers who live for romance will definitely appreciate these moments. I could definitely see this book expanding into a series as it reads like the type of plotline that could extend to more than one book, but it seems like that won't be the case.

Like most books, the ending left me with a feeling of emptiness. The difference, however, is that FIRST WE WERE IV also came with a harsh shock into reality. The story left me in an ambiguous state of wanting more while being totally satisfied. What was abundantly clear was the author's intent to leave an imprint. The world is full of secrets and, most of the time, people prefer to ignore them rather than to ask questions. Teenagers now and since the beginning of time are treated as children and expected to act like adults. When they are in their prime and full of questions, they are ignored. By the time they are old enough to get answers, the curiosity has faded. The heroes of FIRST WE WERE IV could not and did not accept the fate of the victims in their world. Instead they took matters into their own hands. For better or worse they made an impact, however short-lived, in their “nice” town.

Reviewed by Flor H., Teen Board Member on July 28, 2017

First We Were IV
by Alexandra Sirowy