Cover Image: The First 7

The First 7

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Member Reviews

I adored The Last 8, and while I liked how it it ended, I always love books answering the "what comes after [we saved the world}?" question.

Content warnings include: post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, flashbacks to suicide attempts, imprisonment, exclusion of people for not being "normal", meeting absent parent for the first time; mentions of death of parent, absent parent, death.

I loved Clover in the first book, and I still love her now. Not only is she aromantic, which is a rep I desperately want to see more of, she also has one of the most unique personalities I've encountered in YA fiction. Not necessarily because this sort of personality doesn't exist - but because it feels like it's often shied away from, particularly for girls. Clover is calculating, the opposite of outgoing, rational and likes to hold back and observe rather than get involved especially when it comes to interperonal interactions, but she also isn't afraid to be hands on and take responsibility. I love her love for the sky and her love for her friends, and how seeing them fight hurts her.
And most importantly, at no point does she turn around and say she's "not like other girls". Generally, her interests and skills, and those of the other characters, are never gendered in any way.

As in the previous book, some things about the plot just felt... overly convenient, or like obvious questions were just ignored until asking them wouldn't call out inconsistencies. I still liked the plot a lot - there weren't any outright plotholes, and had a great time reading the book, but it did irk me a little at times when things just seemed... too easy.

Which isn't to say there isn't tension or conflict. In fact, there is a lot. It switches between a big junk of action to barely anything happening while interpersonal dynamics and struggles took center stage for a big part of the book, before it switched back to action towards the end.
Some of the between-people things didn't feel quite resolved, but at the same time they were issues that had obvious solutions in talking them out.
Plus, the characters are teenagers, so...

That said, I love these teens. The entire group is great and wonderfully diverse, though some definitely got more attention than others, and I would have loved to see more of each of them individually.

Overall I liked this series a lot. It's a curious spin on alien invasion with great representations all around that doesn't take any of the more popular tropes and dynamics, instead taking a wholly different direction that I loved to see.
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this was a disappointment. although I had some problems with book 1, at least I enjoyed reading it (the first half). Meanwhile, The First 7 was a mess from the beginning. At least Laura can say she was consistent in this book. Ugh, just ugh. 

Like I don't understand any of the decisions the author took, I didn't think the plot twists were great, everyone was so out of character and the conflicts were so underdeveloped. It really annoyed me how the whole space thing was wasted. And yes, the whole us centric thing was confronted BUT this should have happened in the last book, like before they did their final attack plan (if you know, you know). Everything was just so dumb and I didn't care for the story at all. Plus the ending was so cheesy and eye-rolling. I'm sorry to say I'm not looking forward to reading anything else by Laura Pohl.
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The Last 8 was one of my favorite Sci-fi reads of last year, so I was thrilled to get a chance to read an ARC on Netgalley for book two of the duology. Laura Pohl did not disappoint. Starting off after the teens escape the decimated Earth, we get to see their adventures throughout the galaxy before they head back home. They discover that there are more survivors just like themselves, and have to work through many concerns, including Clovers mental health- it’s clear from the last book she has some issues with depression and PTSD after what she has been through. I love the inclusivity of sexual orientations in the book, and think it does a great job wrapping up the story. I can’t wait to read more from this author,
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This book picks up with the remaining seven survivors "touring" the solar system and other galaxy's. While touring, they discover that other species consider dogs gods and that there's a distress signal coming from the last place any of them want to return, Earth. 

And this is as far as I got...why? Because I picked this book up in the middle of our coronavirus pandemic and just couldn't focus enough to actually enjoy what I was reading. 

This is NOT the author's fault. In fact, I'm hoping to pick this back up once this has all settled down.
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I really don’t have much to say about this one. I enjoyed it and I think it was a great wrap up for this duo. I love seeing the growth and progression of the characters as well a satisfying conclusion to Clover’s story. I rated it three stars because I just didn’t love it like I did the first book, I felt like certain areas dragged and then others went to fast. I just wasn’t thrilled with it.
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This was a fun book! I enjoyed it, but it followed the same formula as the last one. I also thought it was a bit strange that it starts off with them in space surrounded by aliens and just glosses over all that before quickly returning to Earth. Then throughout the story they make references to their adventures in space that we never got to see. I would've liked to see more of their time in space. But it was still an enjoyable story and I would read more from this author!
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An exhilarating and exciting story with moments of heart break. Don't pass up this winner of a book because you'll miss out on something great. Happy reading!
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In The First 7, Clover and the squad escape to space. In their travels, they encounter other aliens - some benevolent, others less so - and more or else, drifting from planet to planet, unsure of what happens next. A distress call brings them back to Earth and they end up in Haven, a colony of other survivors (surprise; more than just the 8 teens made it). While Clover and other members of the 7 remain wary of Haven, some more readily ease back into life amongst other humans. Clover's past collides with her present in shocking ways. Will the band break up or will they stay together? Also, how long will it be until the next invasion of earth? 

A major element of The First 7 is how Clover continues to cope with her PTSD and lives with her depression. One character in The First 7 really beautiful tells Clover that she's brave to keep living. Supporting members of the Last Teenagers on Earth also get more depth in the sequel. Like real life, Pohl shows how families and friendships can fracture, form rifts, but hopefully come back together in order to support one another. While they all cope in different ways with the changing world and their losses, there are still moments of humor. Flint (one of my favorites in The Last 8) laments they never got to see an MCR comeback - I feel for you, buddy! 

Pohl shows that it's a process to grieve, process, and feel better; it's ok that it takes time and that no one person feels the same. While they all cope in different ways with the changing world and their losses, there are still moments of humor. Flint (one of my favorites in The Last 8) laments they never got to see an MCR comeback - I feel for you, buddy! Each character has their own quirks and Pohl shows the importance of found families. 

In addition to the psychological/emotional elements of the books, there's all the other great action/post-apocalyptic adventure elements:  figuring out the villain hiding in plain sight! One Direction jokes! Space travel! Romance! Friendship! The world's greatest (and only) dog!  More alien attacks! A satisfying conclusion to the series. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I'm so lucky to have had this opportunity to read The First 7 by Laura Pohl since The Last 8 was one of my favorites of 2019. I'm glad to report that somehow the finale to this duology is somehow much better - I think I need more stars. If only the series wasn't over because I'd gladly spend more time with everyone. If you haven't picked up this duology and you're a fan of The 5th Wave and Independence Day, I can't recommend it enough.
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So The First 7 picks up where The Last 8 finished off. Kind of… Clover and her merry band of misfits have found each other and come face to face with the revelation that is their survival. Old friends have fallen (and risen) and the crew is off gallivanting around the countryside. For the past 6 months, they have travelled widely and taken in the sights. But now they have detected another distress beacon, coming from close to Clover’s home town, and they are obliged to investigate.

Okay, so if you haven't read Laura Pohl’s own voices debut, The Last 8, I feel like you’ve either been living under a rock OR you live in my home country of Australia and haven't seen the intense hype it received because, well, we kind of live in a publicity black hole. It’s a punchy and riveting read that this reviewer read in a single sitting because it's unputdownable. When I got the opportunity to read this sequel early, I silently sobbed as I gently crooned at my Kindle and got hearty eyes. 

The return of characters that were utter perfection could have potentially gone two ways: either it would be an utter disservice to its predecessor or it would expand on characters which hold a special place in my heart. Dubious from the outset, the latter was true and while the returning cast still have something special about them, Pohl expertly expands upon Clovers universe with the additional of extra characters in order to keep the narrative fresh. The addition of a father figure allowed a new relationship to form with the protagonist alongside a revelation that will leave you questioning everything from The Last 8.

While Pohl’s debut was extremely fast paced, the narrative in The First 7 takes a little longer to really get into a rhythm that will keep the reader enthralled. For around the first 20%, there is a lot of exploration of new terrain and I will admit to feeling just a little underwhelmed. After a while, however, the story picks up the pace with twists and turns while an integral character silently waits to pounce at the best possible opportunity. And holy moly, it is an AMAZING reveal!

Now, I personally read a lot and have been guilty of forgetting storylines because they kind of all mash together into one uber fantasy, so I found it extremely helpful that the first few pages followed Clover doing a little reminiscing about her adventures in the previous instalment. It's not ridiculously longwinded and gives a quick reminder, so if you had just read The Last 8, the recap of sorts wouldn’t be particularly distracting as it simply gives a lightning quick overview rather than dragging and causing the potential to simply skip pages.

Once again, this novel deals with some dark themes, providing content warnings for depression, suicidal ideations, and PTSD. While this content isn’t included as much as in The Last 8, it is still present and Pohl deals with it in an expert and careful manner.

Overall, I really liked this novel and while the pacing was initially slow, it definitely picked up but I feel there was something missing that I can't quite put my finger on. The narrative was interesting and had many twists and turns, keeping the reader guessing for the most part. Old characters are expanded upon and new ones introduced, but I feel maybe this is where it was lacking slightly as one particular character felt a little like they had been introduced simply to provide a new relationship rather than flowing naturally. And of course Sputnik makes a comeback which automatically gives The First 7 a high rating. If you loved novels like Lifelike by Jay Kristoff and Renegades by Marissa Meyer, this one is sure to be a hit for you.
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The allure of home is one that defies logic and reason. Books, scholars, and poets have all grappled with this notion of home. Our complex histories with home wondering where our home lies. The First 7 concludes The Last 8 Duology. While The Last 8 was about what to do when humans were faced with the end of the world, The First 7 is all about what happens when the worst has happened. What do we do now? How do we live with ourselves after the invasion, after humanity has forever been changed, when we think there's nothing left?

The First 7 is the perfect balance between action pack revelations and themes about home. Featuring a group cast - which is one of my favorite elements - The First 7 features a w/w SC relationship and Clover, the main character's feelings processing her aromanticism. If you're all about mystery, suspense, and betrayal, then you will have no trouble being hooked by The First 7. At the same time, The First 7 is about family, moving on, and survival.
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The moment I picked up this ARC, I kind of figured I might end up reading the whole thing in one day. 
And I did. 
If the first book is about survival, this book is about recovery and moving through the past to have a better future
The book handles the characters dealing with the fact that the Earth is no longer in danger, and the group reacts in different ways to that, which leads to the main b-conflict.
Once criticism from the first book was the main character, Clover, doesn't go through much more character development besides opening up to new people. In this one, however, Clover goes through a lot of character development as these poor teens get access to therapy!
The first book was about making friends, this book is about maintaining them and the bumps that go through it. I still love this friend group, even if they fight more in this one. It's made clear that these people may not have became friends if it wasn't for the fact that they thought they were the last survivors. 
As I went through the book, I started to guess some of the twists, but this was overall still an enjoyable read, that I didn't mind it. 
The book still holds similar humor from the first book, which I enjoyed as it's a good break from these teens who are depressed and have PTSD.
Small spoiler relationship wise, but I will still die on the hill that is queerplatonic Raelyn and Clover. 
4 stars, same as I gave the first book.
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The conclusion to The Last 8. Clover and the group are back for the final stand. A fitting ending to well written young adult science fiction novels.
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this novel.
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The First 7 was as much of a page-turner as its predecessor. The mystery elements maintained the suspense, and the series of discoveries throughout raised the stakes, leading to an intense climax. The growing conflict between the 7 major characters felt realistic but emotionally gutting after everything they'd survived together while also frustrating because there was a mystery and problem to be solved that required their teamwork. Threaded through the action and the mystery was the exploration of the aftermath of trauma, and I appreciated the sensitive treatment of depression, suicidal ideation, and PTSD. Aside from being entertaining, the book offered thoughtful commentary on what it means to be human and what "home" is. The ending felt hopeful and heartening and made for a sweet goodbye to the series.
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The First 7 is the ending to the Last 8 and oh my gosh was it an ending. All the things they suffered thru in the last book must be dealt with in this one. Clover and Violet lead two groups this book and it shows how things transpire for them. The LGTQA is still represented and overall this was a fitting end. 

I can't give too much away but if you loved the First 8 I think that you will love the final to it.
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I really enjoyed "The First 7" and actually liked it more than "The Last 8."

Where the first book felt like a slow burn that was taking forever, this one sat in the comfortableness of doing nothing (like the Harry Potter Golden Trio going camping in the last book but MUCH MUCH BETTER) and making you feel uneasy about it.

There were bits that felt too short and bits that felt a bit too long. I'm pleased the author was able to do the story justice in two books.
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The 100 but with aliens! 

(quote)I thought I was being brave for saving the world. For surviving the aliens, for going out into space. For saving my planet. No one ever said I was brave to keep living.(quote)

The First 7 picks up not long after the ending of The Last 8. The Last Teenagers on Earth have ended an alien invasion that wiped out most of humanity and have left them to the stars trying to find a place where they could call home. Unfortunately, not all of the Universe is so welcoming. And then, something calls them back to Earth. Who? How? Why? 

(In the words of Octavia Blake: WE'RE BACK, B*TCHES!!!) Back on Earth, a lot has changed since the gang left. Shit. Goes. Down. Dark Willow even makes an appearance.

While The Last 8 was about the apocalypse, The First 7 is what happens after the World ends.

(quote)humans keep forgetting. How tiny we are. How small when compared to the whole universe. But when I look around, I only see what we humans have seen for so long. That despite everything, we still stand. We survive. And I think that’s bigger than the universe itself.(quote)

***Quotes are taken from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change. Thank you Sourcebooks for giving me the opportunity to review The First 7.***
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The first 7 is action packed with everything I love about a sci-fi novels. After I read the first one I was dying to get my hands on this one and loved it.  Great characters lots of action and some humor thrown in.
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The First 7 is a thrilling conclusion story that started with saving the world in The Last 8. Short, action-packed chapters told from the perspective of Clover Martinez hurl you through space with aliens, monsters, and lots of suspense. The book is original in that it delves into depression, anxiety, suicide, and PTSD in a straight forward way without being "preachy". It's about family and friends, the past and the future, accepting and moving on. With fun, emotional characters, the action is interspersed with humor. Here's to Stardust and dead raccoons! Book includes a warning label at the beginning about the heavy topics. The end has a list of resources for further help.
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3 for neutral.  I didn’t request this book, maybe my toddler did by accident.  Will update if I can get first and read both, but not my normal genre, being science fiction and honestly not sure how it was even requested.  Sorry!
Also did not download when I sent it to my kindle,
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