Reviewing a YouTubers Ebook! – “First & Then” by Elmify aka Emma Mills

As I have previously mentioned in my older blog post, I watched a lot of YouTube.

Since my last post regarding this topic, my partner and I have actually bought a fancy (ex-display) TV with all the trimmings, and most importantly, YouTube and Netflix buttons.

I have read a lot of books thanks to BookTube community online, my first book by a YouTuber was “Papertowns” by John Green, if you have not heard of him you need to fix this straight away:

He is half a duo to the Vlog Brothers, Hank Green being the other half, and they are really great a making learning fun (I never thought I would write that) and also entertaining. Lots for charity and lots for ending ignorance on various subjects, basically awesome. DFTBA.

After watching John and Hank for a few years, I stumbled upon Elmify’s channel, through the “Suggested Videos” box which is, sadly, no more on this version of YouTube.

She made me laugh, nearly all the way through her videos, due to her alter ego/inner monologue self who “told it like it is”.

I followed her journey through school, college, amazing singing videos with her Dad at Christmas, and now she is in Grad School (or as best to my knowledge, I don’t stalk her or anything). I felt like I grew up with her, as we are close in age! She felt what I felt, she was just better at expressing it.

She mentioned a few months back that she was coming out with a novel, which made me super excited as I have not been disappointed by any YouTuber books, or recommendations of books either. I preordered “First and Then” and waited for my 4-year-old basic Kindle to get my order when it was released.

Do you want to know what makes the YouTube community extra awesome? It’s accessible, to anyone who is lucky enough to have an internet connection. Elmify was uploading more often, due to excitement of the up and coming release, and I sent her a quick Tweet to show my support and also my excitement for the book too! And she REPLIED. This made me super excited and I showed my other half with a few “Ep!” noises thrown in.

Unbeknownst to Elmify (okay, her name is Emma, but I will always refer to her as Elmify), I had been let go from my job and was super sad when I sent the tweet (I was let go due to the price of oil and the economy) because I was really looking forward to reading something besides job postings.

I got the email to say it had arrived, so I screenshot it on my Kindle App from my iPhone and sent her another Tweet to say I was excited to get started, and she REPLIED again! This just made me giddy at this stage. So you can say I was bias when I started reading her book.

“First and Then” is an amazing book to read. I know nothing, seriously nothing, about American Football but it was explained in the terms of Jane Austen which I was able to break down and understand. There is grief, teenage angst (I love this in books) loss, love, frustrations, pressures that teenagers go through and much much more.

I rarely am able to see elements of myself in a lead character of a book, I actually can not think of a time I did, except this one. She is a head strong, stubborn, sometimes a hermit, sometimes a social butterfly, girl who doesn’t know what she wants just yet and needs to be pushed by the people who love and care to reach her goals. Me, basically, when I was a teenager.

The love story is NORMAL, I mean this in the best way, it isn’t *fall into each other arms* or *I am a vampire let me kill you and blah blah zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz* It is simple, first and not-so-innocent love that when I was a teenager I went through.

I would recommend this book to any teen girl or boy, or any person of any age, or adults with teenagers who need to understand why their child is struggling for any reason.

Go buy it!

5/5 Stars! 🙂

Now…. to Tweet this at her! 😉

Jade x


BuzzFeed Books – Library Week

Some of you reading this will already know that my comment appeared on BuzzFeed about my local librarian growing up, here is the link to the article:

I really do enjoy reading BuzzFeed, people may think that our generation is all about the internet and “listing” everything, making them into sizable chunks due to our lack of DINOSAUR attention spans.

I am lucky to have grown up with technology, watching it grow and understanding by the mistakes of others to never put things online you do not want your family, friends or future employers to see (having your mother as your friend on Facebook is the best filter you could ask for)!

The local library I grew up with, compared to the fantastic resources that are in the town now (Mitchelstown, County Cork) was more a room in a council building. This did not stop the librarian from being kick ass.

My parents split when I was around 9-10 y/old. I took it hard (as every child does, that is NORMAL) and I found escapism in books. I bought my beautiful little Shit-Tzu Jessie (2001-2010) with my confirmation money (rural Ireland people) and she soon helped me with the changes in my life. My Mum was working three jobs and finishing off her degree full time (basically being SUPERWOMAN) and I was only allowed to go to the local shop and library, which were across the street from one another.

My hair is tame now, but my god it was NOT at that age. I had a flip scooter and a back pack I would put Jessie in. I was a moving target basically!!! I was bullied a lot, but I had a great circle of friends from primary school a town over who would visit me.

This was back in the day (1990s) where Walkmans were not a thing for 10 year old to have, and also everyone would stop and chat to me on the way. I would sneak Jessie into the library with me in my backpack, and try to have her all tired out from playing before I go there so she wouldn’t wriggle! On one particular hot day, I had Jessie a sleep in my backpack and was on my way to the library, I decided to leave the back pack open a little so she could have air and forgot to close it when I was going up the stairs to the library. I was browsing through the stacks when the librarian approached me and asked,

“Jade, do you have a dog in your backpack?”

To which 10 y/old me replied, “No…..” and at that exact moment Jessie popped her head out and barked an hello!

I thought I was going to get kicked out, I was so worried, but the librarian took her out of the back pack and hugged her and commented on how well behaved she was. She held her as I browsed in the empty library (it was the height of summer, and all of the other children were outside playing). Each day that summer I would bring Jessie in, not hidden anymore, and began to discover Shakespeare, Hemingway and “The Sleepover Club” books.

My local librarian that summer made me feel normal, and not like the outsider that the children who bullied me made me feel. If I got upset about how I was never invited outside to play, I would put Jessie on my lap and read something new I got from the library and feel better. Books are still my escape to this day. If I am in pain or stressed, they really take me on a journey away from my problems.

I am just finishing off the final touches of my MSc in Library and Information Studies dissertation, and really hope I can be even a fraction of my childhood librarian. I have Tweeted the BuzzFeed article to the library, so hopefully she will see it, or a family member of hers.

Kindness goes a long way, believe me, it really did help me discover my look for books, music and art.

This blog is dedicated to the librarian from my childhood, wherever you are!

And also Roo English, you are an amazing young women, I am very proud to be your friend.