The First

Rated 4.25/5 based on 8 reviews
Cassie Craig is not the chosen one. Not even close.

She’s just an ordinary 15-year-old girl whose curiosity leads her to make a strange new friend, Violet.

But Violet is more than just a little weird. She comes from a group of people who were here on earth long before us. Powerful people. And they aren’t exactly happy with the way humans have been treating their planet...

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Words: 58,940
Language: English
ISBN: 9781476438702
About Sara Zaske

Sara Zaske has lived a variety of places including eight years in Oakland, California where The First is set. A former journalist, she currently works as a freelance editor and writer in Berlin, Germany. Occasionally, she still dreams of California.

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Reviews

Review by: Kathy LaMee on April 23, 2013 :
Sara Zaske has delivered a debut novel that brings a fabulous twist of a tale to the YA genre! It is fresh and new, and I loved it!
The story’s central character, Cassie, is a typical teenager. She part of clique in school but by a twist of fate and her intense curiosity, she ends up spending the night with the ‘odd’ girl- Violet. That night, Cassie’s world is turned sideways as she discovers some interesting things about her new-found friend’s connection to nature and some pretty awesome powers. Violet sees Cassie as a strong deliberate person. She also knows Cassie just can’t help herself when it comes to her curiosity; that’s why she’s chosen her to help her on a quest to go and meet her grandfather, and find out more about her powers. Soon the girls are thrown into a situation that is beyond anything either of them could have imagined and they have to rely on their own inner strength and powers to win out over a catastrophic plan that will end life as they know it.
There are many things I like about Zaske’s debut novel. First, it doesn’t take reading her bio to know this is an author who has written- a lot. There is nothing at all amateurish about her first published novel. She does an excellent job at pace and progression of the story, unwrapping the characters and the plot slowly- urging us to keep reading to find out more. The story itself is wonderful and combines fantasy YA genre with environmental consciousness that culminates in a struggle that sounds all to plausible. Of course, as any good YA book should, there are relevant teen issues- bullying, cliques, love interests- that give the reader easy to make connections to all of the characters. As a mother of teens and an adult reader who indulges in YA I found a lot of ways to connect with the parents of both Violet and Cassie and what drives them to make the decisions they do. Zaske does an excellent job providing a relevant yet fantastical story that any reader will enjoy. Kudos to her as well for producing a fabulous stand alone book in a market saturated with series and trilogies and the like. I look forward to reading more from this great new author! *A copy of this book was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review*
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Kathy LaMee on April 23, 2013 :
Sara Zaske has delivered a debut novel that brings a fabulous twist of a tale to the YA genre! It is fresh and new, and I loved it!
The story’s central character, Cassie, is a typical teenager. She part of clique in school but by a twist of fate and her intense curiosity, she ends up spending the night with the ‘odd’ girl- Violet. That night, Cassie’s world is turned sideways as she discovers some interesting things about her new-found friend’s connection to nature and some pretty awesome powers. Violet sees Cassie as a strong deliberate person. She also knows Cassie just can’t help herself when it comes to her curiosity; that’s why she’s chosen her to help her on a quest to go and meet her grandfather, and find out more about her powers. Soon the girls are thrown into a situation that is beyond anything either of them could have imagined and they have to rely on their own inner strength and powers to win out over a catastrophic plan that will end life as they know it.
There are many things I like about Zaske’s debut novel. First, it doesn’t take reading her bio to know this is an author who has written- a lot. There is nothing at all amateurish about her first published novel. She does an excellent job at pace and progression of the story, unwrapping the characters and the plot slowly- urging us to keep reading to find out more. The story itself is wonderful and combines fantasy YA genre with environmental consciousness that culminates in a struggle that sounds all to plausible. Of course, as any good YA book should, there are relevant teen issues- bullying, cliques, love interests- that give the reader easy to make connections to all of the characters. As a mother of teens and an adult reader who indulges in YA I found a lot of ways to connect with the parents of both Violet and Cassie and what drives them to make the decisions they do. Zaske does an excellent job providing a relevant yet fantastical story that any reader will enjoy. Kudos to her as well for producing a fabulous stand alone book in a market saturated with series and trilogies and the like. I look forward to reading more from this great new author! *A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review on TracyRiva.com*
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Michelle Davidson on Dec. 27, 2012 :
The First is a great young adult read! I was disappointed at first because I thought it would be more of an adult science fiction but I must say that I enjoyed reading this book.

I liked the fact that Cassie wasn't afraid to make friends with such an unusual girl! Even at the expence of loosing some of her shallow and insensitive friends. And I loved her brassiness!! She spoke up and really came through for Violet.

I felt bad for Violet at the beginning of the book. All the kids made fun of her and she didn't stand up to them. But when I found out that she had special powers - that was pretty cool!

I really got into this book towards the end and couldn't wait to find out what direction it would go in. Love the kind of books that you just can't put down!

The book has a nice plot and it's well written for the younger crowd. I did find a few spelling and grammar errors (which ,personally ,bother me). I wonder if this was proof read?
I do think the book will be a big hit with the middle school crowd! I'd rate this book 3.5 stars.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Amy on Oct. 24, 2012 :
I really enjoyed this book for one main reason and that was it's uniqueness. I've never read a book with a plot like The First. It was different in a good way. I really enjoyed Violet and learning about her powers. I was worried at first that I wasn't going to like it because of the fantasy elements, but it was quite believable and interesting.

The last 1/3 of the book really sucked me in. I just couldn't stop reading. After Cassie got back from the orchard I just knew the proverbial sh*t was going to hit the fan. I didn't know the action was going to be that enthralling though. I was reading at a restaurant that was closing when I had just a little bit left and it killed me to have to stop and drive home then finish the book.

Thank you to the author, Sara Zaske, for the opportunity to read such a unique story. It was most enjoyable.

Sorry my review is so short. I just think I summed it up very concisely. Five stars for the action and uniqueness of the plot. Great read!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: L Desmond on Oct. 16, 2012 :
This was a very good story. I found it different than anything I've ever read before. It was nice seeing a story from the side-kick's point of view. I also liked that there was a small hint of romance, but romance wasn't the focus! It's a nice change!

Cassie, the main character, is very likeable. I also really liked strange Violet. I liked all the characters, really. I felt satisfied by the ending, but wouldn't mind reading a sequel and finding out how Cassie and Violet are doing.

I gave it a 4/5 because even though I really liked it, there were some editing needed.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Nichole Jordan on Oct. 10, 2012 :
When I started reading the first couple of chapters of The First by Sara Zaske I really didn't care for it. I like to have more of a back story or lead into the story. Once I got past the first few chapters though I fell in love with this fast paced supernatural book. It reminded me of the book Need a little bit, but I enjoyed The First much more. Cassie is a spirited girl who stands up for what she believes in no matter what. Violet is a loner that is quiet but quickly brings Cassie into her world of craziness! They end up being tested and grow into friends. They meet the confident(cocky) lol Kodi on the way. Who tries to charm Cassie. This book was amazing and I hope that there will be a follow up to it! Sara created a world I'm not ready to leave yet.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Teresa Sink on Oct. 09, 2012 :
A great read! I really liked this book!

Cassie liked hanging out with her group of friends and the biggest thing on her mind was whowas going to ask out who to the dance.

Violet is the wierd girl that everybody overlooks until Cassie notices something strange about her during gym class. Cassie asks Violet to explain what happened but Violet only agrees if Cassie stays the night.

When Cassie stays the night she learns that Violet is half human and half "First". "The First " is a race who have powers over certain aspects of nature. Cassie accepts this in the beginning but then she learns things that scare her so much she can't handle it at first. She eventually accepts Violet for who she is and makes friends even though she becomes ostracized by her friends.

Cassie agrees to go with Violet visit her grandfather who is prejudiced against the humans and has grand plans for Violet and her powers.

Cassie and Violet soon learn that they are in the middle of an enviromental war that could destroy both races.

I couldn't put this book down and stayed up until two in the morning to read it. My only complaint is I wish there was more interaction between Cassie and her love interest.

I can't wait for the next book in this series !
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Natalie Parker on Oct. 09, 2012 :
Wow i really liked this book. What a wonderful concept of new beings in an amazing story.

"The First" are the First people on earth before humans evolved and imitated them. The First hold powers over nature.

Violet is a half "first" and is a loner, she doesn't mix with people and hardly talks, but holds powers like no other.

Cassie is known for her mega mouth, in the fact that she doesn't stop talking. She hangs in a group of frinds at School, her Dad is in Afghanistan and her mum is busy with her toddler of a sister!

During a Volley Ball match, Cassie see's something from Violet that she can't explain. Confronting Violet, she asks how she did her "thing". Violet agrees to tell Cassie, if she stays the night!

After a night with Violet, Cassie learns much about the first and is asked to accompany Violet to see her grandfather for the first time on his orchard.

Putting friendships to the test, Cassie and Violet form a bond, trust and loyal friendship.

At the Orchard, Cassie and Violet learn a lot and make new aquaintences, but also learn that her Grandfathers intentions for Violet are not sincere and put's humans and firsts alike in danger.

Can they save people, find love and save the world? Read this amazing book to find out.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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