"The food and the characters are equally scrumptious in First Course; a delicious debut from Jenn Bouchard."
"A Great Beach Read! Jenn Bouchard's debut, First Course, is a sweet, romantic story about Janie, a young woman who, after a series of traumatic events unfolding in less than 24 hours, learns how to pick herself up again and rediscover who she is as a sister, daughter, aunt, girlfriend...and cook. Bouchard's writing is snappy and smart and whisks the reader away on a virtual summer tour of Maine. First Course is the perfect book for readers to take on their own trip to the beach or pool."
"I loved this story of reinvention and finding love when you least expect it. With charming characters and a setting that will have you rushing to book a trip to the Maine coast, First Course is the perfect book to tuck into your beach bag this summer."
"First Course succeeds in making the reader believe that second acts can be found and savored, much like a brand-new recipe."
"First Course is like a vacation to Maine and a cooking Pinterest board made love and birthed a novel. A book that makes your mouth water and is an entertaining read. At the start of the book, Janie Whitman’s life is turned upside down. She loses her job, her sister’s family is falling apart. And not only does she suddenly lose her parents, but she unclear in knowing what comes next in her life. Luckily, a good dollop of romance, a dash of adventure, lots of time cooking for her sister’s family, and a liberal sprinkling of new friends will be be tossed into her recipe for rebuilding a life. A fun read centered on family and making the right decisions in love and life in your twenties, when your direction seems unclear. If you appreciate books with food that makes your mouth water and where family is front and center, this is a novel you’ll especially enjoy."
"First Course by Jenn Bouchard is a fantastic read that is a perfect summer book. The story is all about the twists, turns, and decisions that need to be made when your life is completely upended! I particularly liked the background of delicious recipes being cooked by the protagonist, which added creative sparkle and stability to the plot and lives of the characters in the midst of all they were going through. First Course is a vivid story that has dynamic elements and characters. It is also a story that is perfect to escape into for the summer with this created world, drama, and life. First Course keeps the reader particularly interested with its relatable subjects of relationship dynamics, the discovery of one's true self, recovering and rebuilding from loss and heartbreak, and what always picks us all back up in my opinion, love and romance."
"This bright fun New England romp is all about family and the gap between wanting to say yes and needing to say no. The characters are flawed and full of need and conflicted desire. Also, the food descriptions, the way cooking seems so easy, is great fun. These people all have money and get to do extravagant things with it so there's an element of summer escapism as well."
"First Course is a work of women's fiction written by Jenn Bouchard. Janie carried on a secret relationship with her boss, Cole, but when his business collapsed, Janie was left without a job or a relationship. Still reeling from both losses, a tragedy occurred that changed the course of her life forever. Janie moved back to Maine to handle things, and to be there for her sister, Alyssa, and her two kids. Quite by chance she met Rocky, a guidance counselor, and they hit it off, but not so fast! Everything couldn’t be that perfect. Cole wanted Janie back in his life and would stop at nothing. Alyssa’s husband was also hellbent on getting his wife back amidst the tragedy that had happened. Two sisters are pursued by charming men, but what will it be for Janie? Cole or Rocky? And will Alyssa give love another chance?
I had a great experience reading First Course by Jenn Bouchard. The side-by-side setting of lively Chicago and laid-back Maine gave the story some texture. I loved the plot, which was unique and realistic. The storyline itself was very interesting and had depth because it had its roots in the family. For character development, Jenn did great. The characters were relatable, especially the dynamic and “obviously dependent” relationship between Janie and Alyssa. Meredith was that neighbor that we all love to hate: extremely nosey, loose jawed, overbearing, but caring too. I felt like everyone around Janie (except Rocky and her Chicago friends), including her sister, were users. Janie was a strong and balanced character that deserved to be the main protagonist. Jenn Bouchard is a gifted storyteller with a beautiful writing style and I look forward to more from her in the future."