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Firstlife
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Firstlife
Everlife Series, Book 1
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The instant New York Times bestseller!"Utterly unique and absolutely riveting—I couldn't put it down! What a marvelously cool world."—New York Times bestselling author Sarah J....
The instant New York Times bestseller!"Utterly unique and absolutely riveting—I couldn't put it down! What a marvelously cool world."—New York Times bestselling author Sarah J....
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Description-

  • The instant New York Times bestseller!
    "Utterly unique and absolutely riveting—I couldn't put it down! What a marvelously cool world."—New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas
    From the author of the New York Times bestselling White Rabbit Chronicles series comes book 1 of a brand new series in which life as we know it is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

    Tenley "Ten" Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl...who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she'll live—after she dies.
    There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.
    In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she's drawn to isn't where the boy she's falling for lives? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision...

Excerpts-

  • From the book "You are better off Unsigned than a slave to Troikan law."—Myriad I've been locked inside the Prynne Asylum—where happiness comes to die—for three hundred and seventy-eight days. (Or nine thousand and seventy-two hours.) I know the exact time frame, not because I watched the sun rise and set in the sky, but because I mark my walls in blood every time the lights in the good-girls-gone-bad wing of the facility turn on.

    There are no windows in the building. At least, none that I've found. And I've never been allowed outside. None of the inmates have. To be honest, I don't even know what country we're in, or if we're buried far underground. Before being flown, driven, shipped or dropped here, we were heavily sedated. Wherever we are, though, it's bone-deep cold beyond the walls. Every day, hour, second, our air is heated.

    I've heard friends and enemies alike ask the staff for details, but the response has always been the same. Answers have to be earned.

    No, thanks. For me, the price—cooperation—is simply too high.

    With a wince, I rise from bed and make my way to the far corner of my cell. Every step is agony. My back hates me, but the muscles are too sore to go on strike. Last night I was caned just because.

    I stop in front of my pride and joy. My calendar. A new day means a new mark.

    I have no chalk, no pen or marker, so I drive the tip of an index finger over a jagged stone protruding from the floor, slicing through the flesh and drawing a well of blood.

    I hate the sting, but if I'm honest, I'll love the scar it leaves behind. My scars give me something to count.

    Counting is my passion, and numerology my favorite addiction. Maybe because every breath we take is another tick on our clock, putting us one step closer to death...and a new beginning. Maybe because my name is Tenley—Ten to my friends.

    Ten, a representation of completion.

    We have ten fingers and ten toes. Ten is the standard beginning for any countdown.

    I was born on the tenth day of the tenth month at 10:10 a.m. And, okay. All right. Maybe I'm obsessed with numbers because they always tell a story and unlike people, they never lie.

    Here's my story in a nutshell:

    Seventeen—the number of years I've existed. In my case, lived is too strong a word.

    One—the number of boys I've dated.

    Two—the number of friends I've made and lost since my incarceration.

    Two—the number of lives I'll live. The number of lives we'll all live.

    Our Firstlife, then our Everlife.

    Two—the number of choices I have for my eternal future.

    (1) Do as my parents command or (2) suffer. I've chosen to suffer.

    I use the blood to create another mark on the stones. Satisfied, I head to the "bathroom." There are no doors to provide even a modicum of privacy, just a small, open shower stall next to a toilet. For our safety, we're told. For the amusement of others, I suspect. All cells are monitored 24/7, which means at any given time during any given day, staff members are allowed and even encouraged to watch live camera feed.

    Dr. Vans, the head of the asylum, likes to taunt us. I see and know everything.

    A good portion of teachers scold us. Time waster!

    Orderlies belittle us. Put on a little weight, haven't we?

    Most of the guards leer at us. They hail from all over the world, and though their language varies, their sentiment is always the same. You are begging for it and one day I'll give it.

    Just some of the many perks offered chez Prynne.

    Not everyone is horrible, I admit. A small handful even strive...

About the Author-

  • Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs. Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 8, 2016
    Showalter (the White Rabbit Chronicles) addresses religious extremism, conformity, and war in this first book in her dystopian Everlife series. Seventeen-year-old Ten, short for Tenley, lives in a world where two Everlife (afterlife) realms, Troika and Myriad, fight to win over souls, using torture and bombs to force citizens' conversion. Ten has been locked in an asylum for refusing to choose sides. She is a particularly special soul, and both Troika and Myriad send their best and most attractive young men to persuade her that conversion to their realm is paramount, often using romance as a seduction tool. Troikan parallels to Christianity are apparent through the use of numerical symbolism, a divine trinity, and an emphasis on one's Everlife over one's Firstlife. Showalter's rapid plot shifts and action sequences can be disorienting, and Ten's struggle to protect her future and her individuality within the grip of an oppressive society fall in line with genre conventions. Yet the story's use of religion as a framework is fresh and layered, giving the novel an epic sweep. Ages 12–up. Agent: Deidre Knight, Knight Agency.

  • Kirkus

    January 1, 2016
    The afterlife's warring realms compete for an important girl's soul. Tenley has grown up rich and privileged, but she's refused to sign a contract with Myriad, the Everlife realm to which her parents have signed and which has provided her family with wealth in the Firstlife and assurances of comfort after death. That refusal causes her to be sent to a brutal asylum to be tortured until she changes her mind. Both Myriad ("Might Equals Right!") and the other realm, Troika ("Light Brings Sight!"), believe Tenley could be the key to ending their eternal war. Each sends a Laborer to persuade her to finally sign; Troika's is Archer, an impulsive wisecracker with a heart of gold, and Myriad sends bad boy Killian to seduce her. Archer and Killian have a shared history, and they hate each other; cue snark. If she dies without signing, neither realm gets her, and her spirit is sent to a third, mysterious realm rumored to be terrible. The imminent war--and attempts to kill her--might force her to choose. The story is told in a mix of Tenley's present-tense narration and brief, frequently funny dispatches to and from Archer and Killian. Complicated worldbuilding occasionally disrupts with less-than-graceful exposition. The ending screams sequel.An inventive premise and easy-to-root-for characters make this a series opener genre fans will enjoy. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2016

    Gr 9 Up-A creative mash-up of dystopian science fiction and otherworldly fantasy. In Tenley "Ten" Lockwood's world, everyone has a First Life, which sets the stage for a Second Life after their first death. There are two main realms one can go to during Second Life: Myriad, a place of indulgence and bliss; or Troika, a place of structure and justice. The divisive factions bring to mind the Peloponnesian War, in which the immoderate Athenians clash with the battle-hardened Spartans. Similarly, Myriad and Troika engage in an epic melee for the souls currently in their First Life. Those who do not choose sides, the Unsigned, are trapped in the Many Ends, a place of constant pain and punishment. Ten currently resides in Prynne Asylum, retained there by her parents since she refuses to choose sides. Friends-turned-foes and recruiters for the Second Lives Killian (Myriad) and Archer (Troika) both come back to the First Life to recruit Ten. Ten is a precious commodity because she is the fusion of multiple spirits and therefore very powerful. As the inmates escape the asylum, Ten undergoes numerous trials and tribulations. Still, she refuses to sign with a specific side. When Ten finally, and unexpectedly, meets with her first death, she ends up in the place she least expects. While the contentious sides of the underworld are interesting, too many convoluted details bog down the narrative. VERDICT An additional purchase for larger YA collections.-Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Everlife Series, Book 1
Gena Showalter
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