top of page
  • Writer's pictureAnnika Pillai

first love, take two

If I’m being honest, the thing that drew me to this book, and the reason I ever wanted to pick this up in the first place, was the cover (its so pretty!). I’m also a sucker for second chance romance, so I had pretty high hopes––which is sad, since this book was a little disappointing.

First Love, Take Two follows Preeti, and Daniel. Preeti, needs a place to stay for a while, after moving out of her apartment, so, her best friend Liya offers her apartment to stay in for a while until Preeti finds something better. The catch? Liya also let Daniel, Preeti’s ex, use the apartment for a few weeks as well. So now, Preeti and Daniel will have to be roommates for the next three weeks, and share an apartment that only has one bed. Now, this book has all the tropes and makings of something that I would usually love, but for some reason, this one fell a little flat for me.

I think that second chance romance can be a tricky trope to really master, because a lot of authors sort of fall into the trap of not really developing the relationship. Often times, we are simply told that they used to date, or that they used to have feelings for each other, and so therefore, they still must have feelings for each other. This can make for a pretty underwhelming romance, and I think that is exactly what happened here. I didn’t really feel the chemistry between the two characters, and I usually prefer a little bit more angst in my romances.

Preeti and Daniel have been exes for six years (six years!!) which is a really long time. Both of them are obviously going to be different people than they were six years ago, and so there is still quite a bit of re-learning for them to do of each other, and re-falling in love, and none of that really happened? We are just told that they still love each other, even through these past six years, and that is why they should be together. I feel like so much of this book was just caught on their past relationship, and why Preeti even broke up with Daniel, rather than developing these two characters, and convincing me that their relationship should play out in the present timeline.

The author said in her author’s note, that this book was really hard for her to write, and I hate to say this, but I think that it definitely showed.

I also think that telling this story through a single point of view was a mistake––having this story told through a dual point of view, would have been so much more effective, and would have definitely helped with developing the characters. Due to the fact that this book was solely told from Preeti’s point of view, Preeti, as a character, was pretty fleshed out, but Daniel really wasn’t. He didn’t have much of a personality, other than being sweet.

Now, let’s talk about the things that I liked about this book; I thought that the desi representation was great, and I loved Preeti’s relationship with her parents, and how loving and supportive they were. It was refreshing to see, considering how many books just go straight for the strict, Indian parents trope––I loved how Preeti and her parents were written. I also appreciated how Sajni Patel touched on the racism and anti-blackness within the South Asian community, because it is something that I don’t see spoken about nearly enough. Preeti’s anxiety representation, was great, as well.

All in all, I don’t think that this book was bad by any means, it just wasn’t my favorite––still, if you have time on your hands, maybe pick this one up.

Rating ➳ 3/5 stars

Release Date: September 21, 2021

(tw: racism, familial pressures, cultural expectations, anxiety)


bottom of page