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First There Was Forever

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  1,013 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Juliana Romano's expressive debut is an absorbing and bittersweet story about first love, first loss, and the friends that carry us through it all.

Lima and Hailey have always been best friends: Lima shy and sensitive, Hailey funny and free-spirited. But Hailey abandons Lima to party with the popular kids and pursue Nate, her disinterested crush. As their friendship falters
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Dial Books
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3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,013 ratings  ·  115 reviews

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May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Surprisingly, I wasn't bothered by all that teenage drama and naivity that this novel presented. On contrary, it felt quite realistic. However, this story didn't touch me in any way, it didn't have any impact on me. Still, First There Was Forever was a decent YA read. For more detailed info, read Nereyda's review at Mostly YA Book Obsessed blog.

MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a pretty solid contemporary, and it was exactly the type of story I needed at this time. It definitely wasn't perfect but I found it to be an interesting depiction of friends growing up and growing apart. I also couldn't help but swoon at the romantic parts, and found Nate to be a very likeable love interest. I'd recommend this if you're looking for a quick read for your beach bag this summer.
Laura Lovely
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was a super fast-paced, easy read. 3.5 stars, over all i enjoyed the story, but it didn't have the shock factor i was hoping for. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for an easy summer read!
Why was it always up to her when I was her best friend and when I was just a stranger?

That's the question Lima asks herself when her best friend Hailey has changed and they are now spending more time apart than together. They have been best friends for as long as they can remember, but right before they start tenth grade, Hailey reveals that she lost her virginity during the summer. Suddenly Hailey has changed, and it becomes obvious when they go back to school. Hailey finds new friends, goe
BookOwl BookOwl
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it

Normally you will NOT hear me say that about a contemporary novel whose main theme is love and betrayal.

I'm the YA, dystopian, kickass, fantasy kinda gyal. Love love those books.

So when I chose to read this, I didn't go in expecting to actually love it.


The writing is great, and flows effortlessly.
The characters, are really great!

I didn't like her from the first page and through the rest of it, that dislike quickly turned to HATE!
She's selfish, self-absorbe
kath ♡
as i go through all the books i’ve read, there are some ive kinda lied about completing

so this is a dnf it literally took me 3 months to dnf it cause i wanted to give a chance (or apparently like 5) but forgot to mention it :’))
Nereyda (Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Booklist)
This was one of those covers that caught my eye because of the pretty colors. The complicated friendship and the fact that they both like the same guy was very intriguing to me, in a weird way. Another reason why I wanted to read this was because I had a best friend for most of Elementary and Middle school that didn't survive our first year of high school. No way was my friend anywhere near as bad as the 'best friend' in this book, but it was still sad to slowly see so many years of friendship g ...more
Oh my goodness. This is my new favorite book. I hope my review came bring justice to the magnificence of this story. “First There Was Forever” is almost like a young adult version of the novel “Something Borrowed” by Emily Giffin (my all-time favorite writer). It’s a story that focuses on friendship, love, and betrayal. And the complexities that ensue when two best friends fall in love with the same person. This story will break your heart and uplift it all at the same time. That sounds cheesy, ...more
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Sophomores Hailey and Lima have always been best friends. Hailey is a big larger than life and Lima has always been in her shadow. But as they get older, things get more complicated. Hailey is obsessed with one of their schoolmates, Nate, and Hailey has started gravitating towards the popular group. So in turn, Lima has started hanging out with an older crowd that her parents don't necessarily approve of and guess who shows up? Nate. Well, they hit it off, but there's one problem: Hailey. How ca ...more
A younger narrator but very authentic look at what happens when you grow apart from old friends and fall in love for the first time. California setting was great and I also loved Lima's parents.

--- full thoughts originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog.

It’s safe to say we’ve all had a friend that seems to outshines us. Sure, sometimes it’s frustrating but most of the time we dismiss it because “it’s just the way they are”. Even if this is the case in Lima and Hailey’s friendship, they both br
Michelle Wrona
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

*4.5 star rating*

CALIFORNIA LOVEEEEE. *plays the song by Tupac* That's a song that immediately pops into my head when I think about Juliana Romano's First There Was Forever. I cannot really think about the direct lyrics, though Romano's debut does take place in California, the land of dreams, Beverly Hills, drama and daily doses of sunshine. I don't think anything gets better than California. When I read this book,
Sarah (YA Love)
I appreciate the story of friendship in this debut, but overall the book is too long and I think the real story, the way Lima and Hailey's friendship is falling apart, was overshadowed by a love triangle. Review to come.
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-review
Juliana Romano’s FIRST THERE WAS FOREVER is captivating and beautifully written, a blend of sad and sweet, and with this wonderful, haunting quality to it deriving from the way the author uses her words to describe what her character Lima is seeing and feeling. It’s a story about friendship and love, growing up and growing apart, having to make hard choices, and facing the consequences of those decisions. It’s a story that’s light enough to be the perfect summer read and weighty enough to be a m ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: awful, romance, friendship
For more reviews like this one, check out my blog, Reading Recluses

Everyone in this booked sucked. Literally every single damn character in this whole 400 page book was terrible.

Hailey was a terrible friend. Nate was boring. Skyler was a jerk. Meredith was confusing and slightly insane. Lima was weird. She was a total pushover and was too good of a friend. But at the same time she was a terrible friend. Also it's very annoying to have someone's 'flaw' as them being too pretty. That's just stupi
Alyssa Gonzales
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fav-2015
WOW! I didn't expect to love this book as much I did!
Great debut from this new author. I will definitely be picking up
anything this author writes from now on.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
*4.5 stars*

Wow. I have never related more to a book in my entire life. Not necessarily with the romance aspect, although partially that to. But more with the friendship elements. Honestly, I wish I had read this book 2 or 3 years ago. It honestly would have helped me through such a hard time in my life. But I also know I will now just continue to read this book over and over in the future, because it honestly means so much to me.

I loved the writing style in this book. I honestly could not put t
Michelle (Addictively Turning Pages)
Also seen at

4 stars

This book surprises you in more ways than one.

Normally, the YA books I read follow characters who are 17-19 years old. It’s honestly been a long time since I read a book with a 15-year old main character. Because of the age, I knew I would be reading a coming of age novel where the characters would be doing lots of “Firsts”.

So, of course, this character happened to be innocent and naive as can be. Not gonna lie, bothered the crap outta me. Wh
May 23, 2018 marked it as dnf
Shelves: wattpad
And I'm done with this! DNF
Aly (My Heart Hearts Books)
I received First There Was Forever from Penguin Teen because I won a contest a while back. It was a big box of books that I divided into two piles: one that I wanted to keep, and the other that I'd donate or trade. The donation pile wasn't very big, and I knew instant that First The Was Forever was one of the books that I'd be keeping. It just seemed like a book that was very "me".

And I'm glad that I was right about that.

The thing that I love about this book is the innocence and the naivety of
Kara Aislinn
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Full review posted at Aislinn's Attic*

Every once in awhile, a book comes along that makes you feel like you’ve crash-landed back in high school. This is one of those books.

Juliana Romano remembers what it was like to be in high school. There’s no doubt about it. Narrator Lima’s reluctance to cause her best friend pain, her confusion about her feelings for Nate… they seem to ache on the page. In all her wide-eyed naivety and determination to do right by her friend, Lima is so wonderfully sixteen
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Jenny Han
This was a young-ish YA, perfect for fans of Jenny Han's Summer series. I loved the way it looked at how friendships changed in high school. (I feel like this review is about to be incoherent lol) But it's about sex! And friendship! And being friends with cool older seniors! And what "cool" means! And GAH IT IS SO GOOD. People, just read it if you remember how much your friends changed in high school (whether thats by personality or stopping being friends by you or being sooo into a guy).
Natalie (Natflix&Books)
The story of two girl friends and one boy has been done, but that isn't even the issue. The writing is flat, all secondary characters-including the love interest-are one-dimensional, and I just wasn't at all invested in the story. Disappointing. Full review to come...maybe.
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars

Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If I could rate this higher than 5 stars, I so would. The author was phenomenal, and I hope she has more books I can read!
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book had a bunch of petty drama, a lack luster romance and not much else.
Apr 24, 2015 added it
Shelves: 2015
This was so juvenile on so many levels.
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
It wasn't bad, but I just wasn't all that impressed. Not a terribly sympathetic main character.
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This book didn’t have any type of impact on me. I enjoyed it. It was fine but also very frustrating. I’ll start with the characters.

Lima: she’s a very dynamic character. From page 1 to the last she’s very changed. In the start I was completely on Lima’s side when Hailey was being the bitchiest cruelest friend. Which was for the 1st half of the book. Lima was kind and pure and innocent. It did frustrate me how much of a goody- goody she was. But she was a good character.

Hailey: I hated her i
May 03, 2018 rated it did not like it

I didn't know it was possible for a book to be super depressing and boring at the same time. Lima feels like she's losing her best friend-we've all been there girl, I feel for you-and she's trying to hold onto someone who doesn't want to be there. Hailey is a crappy friend-she ditches Lima for Skylar, she's crazy over Nate to the point where that's what she's known for. Nate...I don't understand the hype. He's dull as dishwater.

Overall this book was suppose to make me feel something-sadnes
May 03, 2018 rated it did not like it

I didn't know it was possible for a book to be super depressing and boring at the same time. Lima feels like she's losing her best friend-we've all been there girl, I feel for you-and she's trying to hold onto someone who doesn't want to be there. Hailey is a crappy friend-she ditches Lima for Skylar, she's crazy over Nate to the point where that's what she's known for. Nate...I don't understand the hype. He's dull as dishwater.

Overall this book was suppose to make me feel something-sadnes
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Juliana was born in 1982 in New York, New York and grew up in Santa Monica, California. She received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2004 and an M.F.A. in Painting from U.C.L.A. in 2008. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
“Why was it always up to her when I was her best friend and when I was just a stranger?” 3 likes
“maybe Hailey wasn’t going through some awful phase. Maybe she really had changed. Maybe sometimes people transform slowly into someone unrecognizable.” 2 likes
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