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What Came First

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  413 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
First comes love, then comes marriage, then . . . things can get a little complicated. Vanessa wants just one thing for her twenty-ninth birthday: an engagement ring from her longtime boyfriend, Eric. But when the ring turns out to be a mix CD and Eric turns out to be a guy who doesn't want to get married or have children, Vanessa considers a new path to having a family.

Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Berkley (first published October 1st 2011)
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Nov 08, 2011 Natashia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-ve-won
Ever hit that point in a novel where you can't read fast enough, but you wouldn't dare skip a single word? Then when it's finally over, you close the cover, take a deep breath... and scream "NO NO NO!!! It can't end there? What happens next? But but but...I loved them all so much." And then you sob silent tears of goodbye to the friends you loved and promise to revisit them sometime soon. Of course, this is only after you've convinced every person in your life to read the book to. This is the ...more
Oct 17, 2011 Wanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, reviewed
Having a baby is huge deal. And some women struggle to get pregnant and when they can't conceive naturally. They'll go through the extreme to have a baby. Now a days, there are so many options you can choose from to have a baby. Well that's what this book was about. This is the first book I've read that was based on artificial insemination. It's about three women that eventually end up in each others lives through sperm donation. All in need of one thing. A baby.

Each character touched me in the
Wendy Hines
Dec 05, 2013 Wendy Hines rated it really liked it
Laura Cahill wanted a baby badly but didn't want a man, so she went to a clinic for an anonymous donor and is impeccably happy with her son, Ian. She gives Ian whatever he wants; toys, electronics and even chickens. But Ian wants a sibling and Laura wants the same donor again so the children will look alike and have a bond. The problem is there is no more sperm on ice and she's creeping close to forty. She hires a private investigator to find the father of her son and plans on asking him for a ...more
Dec 19, 2013 Liralen rated it liked it
I liked this. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect -- it was a giveaway and looked like, effectively, a light, fun read --but my (admittedly vague) expectations, such as they were, were pretty accurate. Not quite a beach read but definitely an easy vacation read; chick lit; not going on my favourite-books-ever shelf (erm, if I had such a shelf) but something that I can in good conscience suggest that someone else read.

Paradoxically, I don't love any of the characters but I do love that they are
Nov 06, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing
Three women have one thing in common, wanting children.

Vanessa is about to turn twenty-nine, and the only thing she wants is her boyfriend Eric, to propose. But what does Eric wind up giving Vanessa for her birthday? A mix CD, and news that he does not want to get married or have children. She starts to research alternative avenues to have children.

Laura didn’t want a man, but did want children. So she goes to a sperm bank. and is extremely grateful to the anonymous donor, who has helped bring
Nov 25, 2011 Carol rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, first-reads
This is a great page turner. The author knows how to draw you into this story and not let you go. I found myself reading it during commericals of my favorite TV shows and skipping others so I could read this book.

Carol Snow, author of 'What Came first' keeps three storylines going with alternating chapters that sometimes intertwine. She knows how to make the characters seem real and how to make you care about them.

There are three main women characters, Laura, Vanessa and Wendy.

Laura is a suces
Oct 27, 2011 Pat rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All
Recommended to Pat by: Goodreads
This was a Goodreads Giveaway.
I totally enjoyed this novel of humor, love, and some sadness thrown in. We meet Vanessa. Laura, and Wendy. All from different walks of life. Laura, after a difficult divorce, decided she wanted to be a single Mom, no attachments except to her child. She is a hard working attorney, and felt she could raise a child quite comfortably. She has a sweet intelligent, and very loving 8 year old son Ian. The sub plot about the chickens is great, funny and heartwarming. Wen
Dec 29, 2012 Melanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Another 'church' book as I call it, meaning I got it from the annual church book sale for $1.00 or less. I never expect all that much from those books - they just need to be moderately entertaining for that price, you know? But I was pleasantly surprised by this one and I liked that the ending for all the characters wasn't your usual, 'wrapped up in a bow' type of thing you get in books from this genre. The Vanessa character was the only off note for me - she didn't really seem to fit in with ...more
Patricia Mansker
Nov 17, 2011 Patricia Mansker rated it it was amazing
I won this book from Goodreads (which is the reason I enter the introduces me to new authors I might not have read otherwise) and received it yesterday. Yes, this book is that good! I started reading it and couldn't put it down. I loved the pacing and the characters, she made them real and lovable/hate-able in turn. The book itself moves fast, and it's an interesting idea..what if a sperm donor's client decide to find him? I really enjoyed this book, and will be buying her others as ...more
Sep 30, 2011 Erika rated it it was amazing
Such a good read! I've read all of Carol Snow's adult novels, and each is so different. This fifth one, also, was a completely different type of novel than the other four.

You know a book is well-written when you identify with all 3 of the main characters.

Kept with me in-hand until the last word was read. Very enjoyable and well-done.
Oct 30, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing
What a fun story! A mother tries to track down the sperm donor who fertilized her egg that resulted in her son. In the process she involves another mother who received this guy’s sperm and his girlfriend. Lots of laugh-aloud places. It’s just such a joy to read Carol Snow.
May 21, 2016 Kat rated it liked it
I liked it
Goodreads Description- First comes love, then comes marriage, then . . . things can get a little complicated.

Vanessa wants just one thing for her twenty-ninth birthday: an engagement ring from her longtime boyfriend, Eric. But when the ring turns out to be a mix CD and Eric turns out to be a guy who doesn't want to get married or have children, Vanessa considers a new path to having a family.

When Wendy and her husband, Darren, couldn't have children the old- fashioned way, a sperm donor seemed
Oct 16, 2011 Danielle rated it really liked it
Shelves: chicklit, books-i-own
Three women and one goal…children. Unfortunately for Laura, Vanessa and Wendy life isn’t always simple and getting pregnant doesn’t always happen the way you’d imagine. One single with a successful career, another in a relationship that’s going nowhere and the last in a marriage that’s lost it’s flame but each has a dream of a family filled with children and love. On their paths each discovers that they might be more connected than they ever thought possible to complete strangers who may one day ...more
Feb 03, 2012 Meg rated it really liked it
Carol Snow’s What Came First follows Laura, Vanessa and Wendy as they grapple with issues both familiar and foreign to many mothers. Laura and her bright, kind-hearted son, Ian, love their lives in suburban California. Born after Laura’s visit to a sperm bank nearly a decade before, the two-unit family would like nothing more than to welcome a third . . . but Laura, perpetually single, isn’t sure how to make that happen. Posting on a website designed to link families who may have conceived child ...more
Bonnigene Cloud
Nov 09, 2011 Bonnigene Cloud rated it really liked it
This is a fun read by Carol Snow about some rather serious emotional topics.

The book follows three women, Wendy, Laura and Vanessa as they strive to make sense out of their marital situations, children, and future. The book addresses the difficult world of sperm donations and artificial insemination through Laura and Wendy's stories.

Laura is a single mother who chose to have a child after getting divorced from a man that didn't want to have children. She finds herself striving to be a great si
May 17, 2013 Christa rated it really liked it
I came across this book completely by accident--I was searching the library for a book called Snow, but this one popped up because of the author's name. I hadn't heard of it, but after reading the summary, it seemed like a harmlessly entertaining choice.

I was completely surprised how much I liked this book. It tells the story of three different women, told from their varying points of view, living out lives that have been touched in some way by a certain sperm donor. The three women are very dif
Dec 19, 2011 Jojo rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Laura, Vanessa, and Wendy want a little more out of life. In their search, their paths eventually collide and bring change, for better or for worse.

I love the sense of humor in the book and the characters are very fun to read about (my favorite is the trip to "Hooters"). Everyone was portrayed realistically. They all have flaws that easily mess up their relationships but try to work past it. One thing that I especially liked was Snow's skilled use of viewpoints. When Laura and Wendy met, for ex
Jun 02, 2014 Chantal rated it really liked it
What Came First by Carol Snow is an adult fiction that includes everything from engagements to kids to insane jealous girlfriends. It’s a very entertaining read that had me simultaneously wanting and dreading to have children. Seriously, this book played with my head.

The story follows three women. Vanessa, who is 29 and whose only wish is to receive an engagement ring from her longtime boyfriend, Eric so they can get married, settle down and start a family. Eric, on the other hand doesn’t think
Dec 10, 2011 Nina rated it liked it
Recommends it for: chick-lit readers, people who like babies
I won this book in a GoodReads First Read giveaway.

What Came First tells the story about three very different women whose lives become connected. The one thing that all three of them share is the desire to have children, and the inability to have them the "traditional way." The author develops three characters with different, believable personalities and situations.

Laura is a career-driven, independent woman who decides she doesn't need a husband and has a son via sperm donor. Wendy and her hu
Nov 18, 2012 Eve rated it liked it
Two firsts for me on this one: 1. first book from this author and 2. first rating where I can't decide between 3 or 4 so I have to write to review first in order to decide exactly how I feel.

Vanessa wants just one thing for her twenty-ninth birthday: an engagement ring from her longtime boyfriend, Eric. When Wendy and her husband, Darren, couldn't have children the old- fashioned way, a sperm donor seemed like the perfect solution. Single and career-driven, Laura didn't need a man to have a baby
Jan 28, 2012 gille rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiftyfiftyme
I was really disappointed with this book. I didn't like ANY of the characters. I was bored. Usually when I read any books in the chick lit genre I plow through them in a matter of 1-3 days, but this took me a week because I was undermotivated to pick it up.

What Came First is the story of three women, their lives connected by one man. Laura is a single mother who has an 8 year old son from a sperm donor. Wendy has twins also from a sperm donor, though she is married. Vanessa has a boyfriend, Eric
Nov 08, 2011 Lorri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun book to read. It tells the story of three women who eventually are connected because of a man they know. I didn't care much for Vanessa, who seemed whiny and selfish, but I could understand her point under the circumstances. Her boyfriend, Eric, is the guy that ties them all together because of something he did when going to college. Wendy is not the greatest mother and she is hiding behind a secret that she has no idea her husband knows. Laura was the best mother and wanted to ...more
Nov 19, 2011 MaryNell rated it it was ok
I received this book as a winner in the GoodReads give-away. I was intrigued by the premise -- single mom with a child struggling with the decision to add a sibling. Although I didn't go the sperm bank route (international adoption for me) I thought that some of the decisions and worries would parallel my experience and was eager to see the author's humorous take on the process. While there were some laugh-out-loud lines of dialog, the story arc was telegraphed from the beginning. The book was a ...more
KayLynn Zollinger
Trigger Warnings: Infidelity

I won this book years ago on Goodreads as a giveaway prize.

It sounded good when I entered and then I got the book and I kept putting it aside. Fast forward like 4 years and I decided I finally better read it. Holy glad I did! Hilarious, heartbreaking, poignant, and just really real. I couldn't put it down. I stayed up til 3 am reading because I just had to keep following these characters.

And to be honest, I think I apprciated the book a lot more now, being a mother,
Feb 10, 2012 Dana rated it really liked it
Pure fun! A delightful, funny, happy, sad romp through the world of artificial insemination and the 3 women and the one man who are connected to all of them. Good kids, challenging kids, romance, infertility....a modern tale, told from the perspective of 3 women. I read this quickly and loved every minute of it. I didn't give it 5 stars because it is not great literature, not written with prose that moved me to tears, but it was never meant to be that type of novel. For total pleasure, this one ...more
Nov 27, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it
What Came First by Carol Snow was my first Goodreads giveaway. I really enjoyed the book. It was a quick, light read that kept my interest. In the beginning, I could really relate to the three main women characters. The characters were believable and likable. As the book continued, there were several "laugh out loud" moments, great irony, and at least 2 different "Oh, no" moments if not "ah ha" moments. I like the way it ended; there was hope for all three women. I will probably read another one ...more
Lesley Strom
Nov 24, 2011 Lesley Strom rated it liked it
Recommended to Lesley by: Firstreads
Shelves: first-reads
Got this from Goodreads as a first read. I really enjoyed this book!
I would consider it a beachy read but still it was a really easy read but quite enjoyable.
There are 3 women, Vanessa, Laura and Wendy, who all though they don't know eachother in the beginning end up all being connected. I really liked how the author wrote a chapter about each one and then just wrote that way for the entire book. It helped understand the characters and not make you have to memorize anything.
I've never read any
Apr 09, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway and so glad I did! Really enjoyed this book. The story of how three women's lives intersect around one man that two of them don't even's crazy but so real. I think every wo/man can find a situation in this book to connect with. The stories of relationships, children, and dreams never get old. Carol made me laugh and sigh and wonder what will become of these people. Carol...please write part 2 so we can follow these wonderful characters.
I hi
Oct 16, 2011 Charity rated it really liked it
First book I have ready by Carol Snow, and I cannot wait to get my hands on more. I picked this book up at the book store while waiting to pick my husband up from the airport. I read up to page 100 and had to buy the book when we went back 2 days later. I felt like I could be friends with all three of the main characters. I enjoyed the format of focusing on one character per chapter, and appreciated the emotional ups and downs of fertility issues.
Not always a feel good story, but light enough t
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Did anyone feel this book stopped abruptly? 1 1 Apr 24, 2016 09:38AM  
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Called “an author to watch” by Booklist, Carol Snow is an American author of contemporary women’s fiction and young adult literature. After graduating from Brown University with a degree in psychology, she spent many years writing literary short stories before accepting that she couldn't go more than a few hundred words without cracking a joke. She eventually turned her attention to crafting ...more
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