I buddy read First We Were IV with Susie @ athousandlivesandthoughts and it was a completely new experience for me. I didn’t have this book on my TBR and I wasn’t going to read it (at least not anytime soon) but then Susie suggested it and I was interested.
Izzie, Graham, Viv and Harry have been friends since they were little. When they were 12 they found a body of a girl and that’s been haunting them since. Adults never investigated the murder and they let the killer get away with it. Now, Izzie and her friends are in their final year of highschool and they formed the Order of the IV – a secter society that is supposed to make them even closer and love each other forever. Also, it’s supposed to help them unravel the mystery of the murder that took place 5 years ago.
Introduction. The first couple of chapters follow Izzie practically since she was born until she’s seventeen. We get a story of her becoming friends with Graham, Viv and Harry as well as the story of them finding the body and how it affected them. It was so well done and written in such an intriguing way that I was immediately hooked and wanted to know more about the story and the characters.
The suspense build-up. This book is intense! Throughout the entire thing I was constantly anxious, needing to find out if they get caught, what is the next stupid and dangerous thing they do and if someone (and who) gets hurt. Reading every chapter was thrilling and exciting and I was constantly hungry for more.
The Order. I loved the idea of it and I loved the execution. All the rebellious acts, all the rituals and all the rites were so well done and I enjoyed reading about all of them. I could never predict what they’ll do next and how far they’re ready to go. The Order was twisted, it’s members are fucked up and it was obvious from the start (thanks to the first chapter) that this book doesn’t have a happy ending.
The mystery of Goldilocks. Goldilocks is the nickname Izzie gave to the girl they found dead so that’s how I’ll be referring to her from now on. The dead body noone cared about is the main motive of the book and the whole plot revolves around it. We get to see how much this mystery means to each of the four main characters and how that murder affected them and in the end, fucked them up.
Harry. Harry is by far my favorite character in this novel. I adored him so so much and although he had no backbone and never stood up for himself, he’s my everything and I just wanted for him to be happy. Both his friends and the others treated him like he either doesn’t exist and isn’t capable of having his own opinion or like he’s a piece of crap and I hated it since he didn’t deserve any of it.
The ending. It broke my heart and I loved it at the same time. After I read the last page I was angry, I was devastated and I was content. SO many feels! In my opinion, the ending works perfectly with the rest of the book and is impeccably fitting to the tone of the book. The suspense was growing from the very beginning and in the last two or three chapters it reached it’s peak and everything just spiraled down from there. It was amazing and I hated it. My mind is blown.
Izzie. Our main character and a narrator of the story annoyed me to no end. She was not a good or reasonable person and most of her decisions were pretty much shit. I tried to sympathize with her and grow to like her but I couldn’t. However, I believe she was perfect as a main character of this novel and although I couldn’t stand her, she made this story for what it is and I wouldn’t change her (maybe a bit, but I’m petty).
The romance. At first I was so on board with the romance that started to develop. However, the more plot developed the worse romance was. I did not like the love triangle that appeared every now and then and I defnitely did not like how the romance plotline was wrapped up. I shipped the two characters together but the reason for their fight was stupid and made no sense and I was very frustrated with them. I feel like romance should’ve been completely left out from the story or developed a bit better and more believable.
Viv. She was the most obnoxious out of the four main characters and I hated her throughout pretty much the entire book. She needed to be the center of attention all the time and didn’t really care for neither her friends or the Order’s cause. All she wanted was her stupid revenge (over what??) and I couldn’t sympathize with her for the slightest.
The big reveal. I felt it was rushed and a bit random – there weren’t any clues throughout the book that led to this twist. I think I would’ve preferred if we didn’t find out who the killer was and it remained a mystery to both main characters and readers.
This is one of the best YA mysteries I’ve ever read. The idea is very original and it’s written very well. Some parts of the story could’ve been developed a tiny bit better but overall this was highly enjoyable and entertaining read that completely blew me away. I will definitely pick up more books by Alexandra Sirowy in the future!
I recommend First We Were IV to everyone who’s been looking for a good YA thriller with a lot of suspense and unique plotline. Not many people has read this book and please go change that!