Book Review / Books

Book Review: The First Thing You See

Thank you to Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley for giving me a copy of The First Thing You See in exchange for an honest review.

ADD TO GOODREADS | BUY BOOK(Available for pre-order. Released September 10th 2015)

The first thing you see isn’t always what you get!

Arthur Dreyfuss is a young mechanic at a garage in the little community of Long, France. He has a small flat and leads a simple life. So, imagine his surprise when he opens his door one evening to find a distraught Hollywood starlet standing before him.

But although feigning an American accent, this woman is not all that she seems. For her name is actually Jeanine Foucamprez – and her story is very different from the glamorous life of a star.

Arthur is not all he seems, either; a lover of poetry with a darker past than one might imagine, he has learnt to see beauty in the mundane. The First Thing You See is a tender story about two fragile souls trying to love each other.


While searching through NetGalley for the perfect summer read, this novel caught my eye with its cute cover. I know, ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ and whatnot, but I suppose that rather aesthetically appealing cover art will always be my weakness.

I’ll admit that I didn’t love this one right anyway. It took several attempts and a quick Google for a plot summary (I was just very confused by the Scarlett Johansson character, ok?) to understand what this book was all about.

While mildly entertaining, it definitely isn’t one of my favourite books. I just couldn’t get into that state of reading where you’re hooked and can’t put the book down, I found myself losing interest and getting distracted by simplest mundane things while trying to get through this novel.

The concept is interesting. Had it been told in a more animated and fun way then perhaps I would have felt differently about this book. However, I felt like the writing was dull. It didn’t do anything to capture my attention.

In some parts is it quite sweet, what with Arthur’s naivety in believing actual Hollywood superstar and Avenger, Scarlett Johansson, would casually turn up on his doorstep.

If you’re one of those hipsters who enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee while leisurely sifting your way through a book that tries to be insightful and intelligent, then this is for you. But it’s a very slow moving story and not for those who like fast-paced romance novels with a lot of humour and adventure. If, like me, you’re part of the latter then you should probably give this one a miss.

Upon researching the book a little more for my review, I discovered that Scarlett Johansson actually sued the author for making defamatory claims about her marriage to Ryan Reynolds and several other aspects of her private life in this novel. While I’m not sure what the outcome was as neither Delacourt or Johansson were present in Paris court, I would say if you generally aren’t a fan of Scarlett then you’d do better not picking this one up as the first half certainly centers around the American actress – or Jeanine Foucamprez who is impersonating her.

Overall, this book wasn’t for me. I hate to say it because I truly wanted to like it. Reading the synopsis even now for this review makes me wish I had liked it more because the idea sounds so interesting. Despite this, Delacourt’s vision may have been intriguing but his writing was not. Maybe if another author had executed this story better then I’d be giving it way more stars, but that is not the case. With a heavy heart, I have to give it one star.


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