First Sun is Tara Tolly’s debut novel and it is impressive. It is a young adult romance novel with a side of science fiction. For those readers who enjoy stories about falling in love and the sacrifices that go along with finding true love, First Sun is definitely a novel the deserves your attention.
I identified with Eden as she was trying to find her way in a new school, a new larger city and then falling for the “wrong” boy. Most readers have probably experienced something similar to Eden and everything that Tolly describes felt spot on and real.
My favorite thing about Eden was her love of history. As Eden starts to explore D.C. with Andrew, I could feel her excitement roll off the pages. I’ve been in Eden’s shoes in many cities. Seeing the things only explored in books and television documentaries come to life and become real is such a rush. I was able to relive that magic through Eden.
For readers looking for harder science fiction, First Sun will not deliver. The event that drives Eden and Andrew’s relationship is a catalyst for them to explore what matters to them and determines how they will navigate the next level of their relationship. First Sun explores the emotional side of an end of the world event rather than the science side of it.
The only disappointing aspect of the story, for me, is the reveal. Of course, being involved with the President’s son has it drawbacks and when national security is a top priority there will be people who will disagree with what’s being done. Eden’s life is in danger and the reveal of who was behind putting her life in danger just didn’t sit well with me. It’s a case of a character being introduced briefly who doesn’t seem to serve much purpose until the end. For me, as a reader, these are most disappointing who-done-its as there always seems to be ample opportunity to get that character more involved.
Overall, I enjoyed First Sun. The relationship building set against the backdrop of a catastrophic event created an intense, page-turning read. As a debut novel, First Sun is a satisfying, character-driven novel that gets a thumbs up.