You Never Forget Your First by Millie Perez is the story of Amelia Nuñez, a Dominican financial analyst who appears to have hit rock bottom. After losing her mom to cancer, her on and off again relationship implodes after announcing her engagement. Prior to this implosion and after getting engaged, she announced this to her cousin crew – a group of family members and some close friends she’s known since childhood. In the group is her brother Antonio, an NYPD cop, her cousins and Antonio’s childhood friend Evan Cooper. Evan, who is now a billionaire thanks to an app he built, was also Amelia’s first crush. After Amelia shared her engagement news with the crew to mixed reactions, especially from Evan, she tries to get to the bottom of it.
After Amelia catches her fiance cheating on her, she moves out of their Upper East Side apartment to now grieve the loss of her relationship and continue grieving the loss of her mother on her own. With the help of her bestie Nikki, she decides it’s time for a new Amelia, one that doesn’t take anyone’s shit and is seeming swearing off men in the meantime. They dress up and go to a party where Amelia drinks her weight in alcohol and finds herself in the middle of the dance floor with all eyes on her. Evan, who is back in the city, sees some of this on social media and decides he needs to swoop in and save Amelia. He goes to find her and they inevitably get into an argument outside, after Amelia throws up on his fancy jacket. Evan ends up taking Amelia back to his place for the night to sober up, where things sort of escalate between them – though nothing happens yet – but is the start of their eventual relationship.
The cousin crew plans to spend Thanksgiving at Evan’s Berkshires mansion, unbeknownst to Amelia, who reluctantly agrees to come despite not knowing who the owner of the cabin was. She decides to get there a day early to have some time to herself but those plans are quickly squashed when she sees Evan is there and quickly puts two and two together. They end up spending Thanksgiving weekend alone, thanks to a massive snowstorm, where their friendship inevitably evolves into something more. However, something plagues both Evan and Amelia that escalates quickly once they return to the city.
Common Themes + Opinions:
The biggest theme in this book has to be the feelings of grief. Amelia’s mom passes away in the prologue, where its said that her mother knew her diagnosis was terminal and she planned as much as possible while she was still alive, including wedding dress shopping despite Amelia not being engaged to anyone at the time. I believe a lot of Amelia’s actions in the first half of the book were due to her grief, especially since some of the things she did were nonsensical to me. She’s still carrying around some sadness and anger, which she ended up taking out on Evan.
I’m going to be completely honest here and say that I really wanted to like this book. As a Dominican woman in NYC, and the fact that this book is written by a Dominican author, I was hoping to see parts of myself in this story. However, the story fell pretty flat to me. Both Amelia and Evan lacked character development – especially Evan – where the story mostly revolved around them getting together. The actual plot of the story doesn’t get revealed until the later half of the story, which happens very quickly. While I understand that this is supposed to be a contemporary romance book, there was too much focus on Amelia and Evan getting together and being together, and not a lot on what was happening around them. The story honestly read like something you’d read on wattpad, which no shade to wattpad stories. I’ve never even read one or been on there, but have a gist of what some of the stories that live on there are like. If you like that kind of writing, then you’ll enjoy this book.
Final Thoughts + Ratings:
Overall, You Never Forget Your First was unfortunately not one of my favorite reads. The characters lacked development and the pacing of the story felt erratic. I really wanted to like this book and to like Amelia and Evan but alas, I do not. As for a rating, I give You Never Forget Your First two stars. And as for the spice, this is a closed door romance though if you’re into the build up and descriptions of intense makeout sessions, then it gets a lil steamy. Otherwise, not much spice going on in this one.
Have you read You Never Forget Your First? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!