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You First

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4.38  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  16 reviews
When sort-of-superhero Levon Ludlow meets Jay Jantzen on a bench beside their college quad, he knows hes met a kindred spirit. Levon can talk to animals, but only pests and nuisances no one wants to talk to. Jay can manipulate and freeze water, but only thirty-two ounces at a time. They fall in love fast and hard, bonding over their mundane powers and pledging to be ...more
Kindle Edition, 273 pages
Published May 23rd 2019
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Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  58 ratings  ·  16 reviews


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Julio Genao
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved
deeply hilarious in the way of all this authors works.

irreparably devastating in the way of all this authors works that remind me of myself.

honestly, if i didnt know for a fact that JC Lillis is a distinct human being living in another state with a whole existence utterly and comprehensively separate from my own i would begin to suspect ive been sleepwriting novels to exorcise my demons.

but thats not whats happening, here.

shes just that good at this shit, dammit.
...more
Joyfully Jay
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jay
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.25 stars


Ok you guys, brace yourselves, because if you are anything like me, this one is probably going to have you tearing up. The blurb describes this book as bittersweet and that is definitely the case. While the story does end on a positive note, and I think the guys are in the best place they can possibly be given all their hurdles, it is definitely not a traditional romance happy ending, so be prepared. However, despite the fact that I was pretty much feeling all
...more
Lisa The Novel Approach
Bittersweet is such an inadequate word to describe this novel. Think of it more as a series of little papercuts: not so bad, your brain saysuntil you start pouring lemon juice on them for a hundred pages or so. Then youll be closer to the emotional truth of You First and what its like to watch two people who grew up together, now grow apart from each other after thirteen years. Author J.C. Lillis addresses the challenges that Levon Ludlow and Jay Jantzen face when evolution meets stagnation, and ...more
Brigi
So, first of all, I'm not going to rate this, because I don't think I can. Is it a well-written, interesting book? Absolutely. Did I like it? No, not really. But i don't mean it like in the first sense of the word... it's just that I don't think I've ever read a book about characters distancing themselves, about a couple (and a gay one at that) in the process of breaking up, and it was stressing me out. I was Anxiety City, okay?

I think the world building is great (actually wish there was more of
...more
Jax
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star, lgbtq
I think this affected me so much because Im a total Levon. Ive grappled with the question of whether my small life with its small pleasures is really okay or am I wasting my one and only shot on this earth. Should I be challenging my comfort zones? Pursuing an exciting career? Traveling the globe? Is my life good or just good enough? And the older I get - as theres less time for a course correction - its become more of a concern. Most of the time I think my life is exactly right for me, but then ...more
Silvia
May 03, 2019 marked it as 0-own-tbr  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm-romance
Why didn't I know there was gonna be a new J.C. Lillis novel!!!
Francesca
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
every time I read one of J.C. Lillis books I find myself questioning what writing GR reviews is about. Stay with me, I'll try to explain. Obviously GR is not where literary criticism comes to play nor are reviews actual critical essays on the merits of one novel or the other - I am talking about mine here so relax if you think yours are those. But I still feel that somehow you want to give an idea of likes and dislikes and at least try to weave those into the narrative value of the work of ...more
Molli B.
Good!! Super-interesting world. I hope there's more!!
Rhode
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
Well, wow. An ode to the sweetness of knowing who you are, even when it means life may be bittersweet. Mostly sad, but then the ending helped. We have to wait until book two for the HEA. Its clear the HEA couldnt happen without this sometimes painful voyage.

Its not YA, its more early 30. There are also lesbians and people of color and perennially anxious people in this book. And that made me happy, especially as its set in a small town. And nobody is schmaltzy cute, which is a problem with many
...more
Estella Mirai
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quirky, warm, and unabashedly special!

OK, so. J.C. Lillis has been an auto-buy author for me ever since that fateful night when I discovered HOW TO REPAIR A MECHANICAL HEART while searching for... gay vampires, of all things, at midnight. Whether it was a search engine quirk or Amazon's algorithm secretly knowing what I wanted to read better than *I* did, a reading match in heaven was made, and I've loved everything she's put out since.

That said, this may very well be my FAVORITE J.C. Lillis
...more
Jay Bracknell
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allison
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, favorites
4.5 stars? Because. Ouch. This is not a romance, it is a love story though.

I don't know how to rate this. I loved it and I hated it. The writing is gorgeous, the characters, especially Levon, are wonderful and complex, and real. But all of that makes it hurt even more. I wish I knew people this selfless; I wish I could be this selfless. It's a beautiful love story, but it is more about finding the love you need to have for yourself, than about the love he and Jay have for each other. Levon is
...more
Terri Jones
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our point-of-view character Levon has anxiety as well as a low-level superpower. His boyfriend Jay is the same level super as him. Jay's naturally kindhearted, but, as Lee fears, is destined for bigger things.

That sounds relatively simple, but Lillis's prose and worldbuilding makes this novel sing. She made me love a narrative structure I usually dislike, weaving current and past chapters into a meaning-filled whole so rich in details that I feel like I was there with them. All the characters
...more
Soren
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sabrina
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My. Heart.
Adriana Herrera
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The word JC Lillis created in this bittersweet love story is so clever and marvelous. She makes the mundane wise and deeply hilarious. Levon is a wonderful character and he will steal your heart.
Marianne Celano
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J.C. Lillis lives in Baltimore with her patient family and a ragtag band of tropical fish, some of which will be dead by the time you read this. She loves thrift store art, dollhouses, koi ponds, retrofuturism, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches. She hates writing bios.



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