First & Then

Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive jock, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them—first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life. 

With wit, heart, and humor to spare, First & Then is a contemporary novel about falling in love—with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.


“With sporadic references to Jane Austen’s famous characters and wickedly inventive language, Mills closely observes the social milieu of an American high school obsessed with our favorite sport and makes readers care what happens. A fresh, smart, inventive, and altogether impressive debut.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

“Mills takes inspiration from Jane Austen for both romantic and family dynamics [...] not only fun, but a rewarding portrait of a nontraditional sibling relationship [...] a fresh backdrop to typical Austen themes of social standing and self-awareness. Readers will root both for Foster (as his school’s new varsity kicker) and for Devon and Ezra to discover their worthiness for the other in this satisfying romance.”

Publishers Weekly

"Debut author Emma Mills creates an engaging update to Pride and Prejudice that teen romance fans will enjoy."

Common Sense Media

"FIRST & THEN is really a story centered around the characters and Emma Mills has done a wonderful job creating a cast of characters who are realistic and relatable."

The Young Folks

“Well-written and well-paced...powerful and moving.”

The Eater of Books

"FIRST & THEN is a truly adorable and witty story about family, romance, personal growth, and future endeavors."

Bookmark Your Thoughts

"A simple story about romance, football, and family...The Pride and Prejudice parallels gave the book a fun twist and Jane Austen fans will most certainly want to pick this up!"

Across The Words

“Emma Mills’ debut YA novel plants a Jane Austen-loving high school senior squarely on the playing field with a football jock in this story about growing up, feelings and forgiveness.”


Awards & Accolades