I didn't know what to expect from First Date by Mark E Scott, and I was jumping in at book two, but I really enjoyed Jack and Aria's adventure. For a book dealing with weighty topics this is a fun read. Almost cosy in fact – which surprised me. I think the book achieves this tone because it accurately reflects the resilience most people possess.
Human nature is amazingly elastic; we (generally) survive, and even thrive, despite the bad things life throws at us. For most of, bad things have happened, but life goes on, and this is true for the main characters, Jack and Aria. They are dealing with tragic personal events, as well as facing quite trying current situations.
Jack and Aria deal with the confusion and calamity of life in the same way that most of us do, they make human connections. They encounter a variety of other people, as well as progressing their own relationship.
The device of the notebook works well in giving us an insight into Jack (and Aria’s) thoughts. It also drives the plot at times. I understand the appeal of keeping a log, and the therapeutic effect of writing, so I empathise with Jack’s instincts.
The book is very atmospheric, and I felt emerged into whatever environment Jack and Aria found themselves in. At one point, when I was still early on in the book, I was engrossed in our heroes trying to make sense of being battered and bruised in a freezing cold river. Thus, when my kitchen timer rang, alerting me that dinner was cooked, I actually found myself standing in a warm kitchen feeling a little disorientated at the sudden change in my surroundings!
My one quibble would be there are no dogs in the book – come on Mark, you could have put one little police dog in the mix couldn’t you? Ah well not to worry, you did a good job with everything else.
Mark sent me a copy of First Date for review purposes.
Mark has a gorgeous Australian Shepherd.
Review by Julie L. Hill