This first novel feels like a solid set up for the rest of the series but can be difficult to follow at times because focus is divided between five different characters each of whom have a lot going on in their lives and past. There are moments of brilliance – Kiki’s memories of her father writing to her brother over the years and her clear love and admiration for him. And moments that are not so wonderful – some of the dialogue is unnatural and overused in literature along the lines of “Darnit, Jim, you’re out of control! You’re off the case!” (Mickey’s interaction with Mary down is one example).
While I found some of Dewey’s content choices questionable, she does give us a set up for a story that will become a really strong family epic. “First, I Love You” is a complete story with meat left on the plate for the novels that will follow.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)