All, Review, Tree

BOOK REVIEW: Love at First

Love at First by Kate Clayborn 
Publication Date: February 23, 2021

TW: death of family members (pre novel), grief, traumatic childhood

I read Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn at the end of January and loved it. I read it in one sitting and had so much fun with it. I also listen to the romance novel podcast, Fated Mated, and the hosts are friends with Kate and she has been on a few episodes. So when they were talking about Kate’s newest book Love at First I knew I had to read it. I was lucky enough to win a giveaway on bookstagram (follow me here if you’re on booksta!!) and then sped through it. I did not read it in one sitting (stupid adulthood responsibilities), but I did read like 70% of it in one night and stayed up super late because I accidentally started an update on my Apple Watch and was panicking that I didn’t select the correct option and I was about to lose all my data. This book kept me company while I was stressed. It was a fun time. I’m not even being sarcastic because I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Now I want to read everything Kate has written. Lol at me referring to her as Kate as if we are friends…but she responded to me on Twitter so maybe we are one tenth there???

Oh my gosh this book!! It tugged at my heartstrings and made me smile and I cried three time at the end. I’m just a sucker for two characters with parallel journeys and backstories who find love together. I also love when a character doesn’t think they deserve love and isn’t worthy and then falls in love.

PLOT: This novel follows Will and Nora who both have inherited apartments in a complex where everyone is basically family, and no one moves in/out. Nora grew up here and loves the community; they are her family. Will inherited it from his Uncle who was estranged from his mom and he wants to rent it. Nora doesn’t want this to happen and tries to stop him and force him to fall in love with the community. Also, it’s has some serious Romeo and Juliet influences. But, with a happy ending since this is a romance. 


  • Omg Will and Nora. I loved them together and as individuals so much.
    •  My heart hurt for both of them and I am so happy they found each other. 
  • Kate Claybourn has a way with words!!
    • This is a slow character driven novel that is heavily descriptive which is part of the reason I loved it so much, but the plot is slow which might be a deterrent for some people. 
  • Their parallel journeys that lead them to have similar thoughts, but completely act on them differently.
  • Obviously I loved all the people in the apartments and all their quirks.
    • Kate Clayborn does an excellent job making them all stand out and be their own people.
    • I also liked how both Will and Nora have their own relationships with all their neighbors. 
  • WILL’S FRIEND and his whole side plot. I thought it worked really well and he was such a support system for Will. (I forgot his name hehe)
    • TBH all the side characters were great 
  • That this is a Romeo & Juliet retelling. Let’s be real, it went completely over my head since I read R&J when I was 15 and haven’t picked it up since. But this Twitter thread does an EXCELLENT job outlining them. There are spoilers for Love at First in it through so beware.
  • I read this so quickly. I read only a chapter a night for a few nights but then read the remaining like 80% SO FAST and in one night. I stayed up too late finishing it which in part probably contributed to the crying three times. 
  • Okay there ARE KITTENS. When they showed up I almost squealed because this novel is already adorable and then THERE ARE KITTENS???


  • Honestly, nothing. 

Overall, I adored this novel and can’t wait to reread it already. This book won’t work for everyone, but it WORKED for me and hit all of my boxes. 

Thanks for reading! 

xoxo, Tree 


13 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Love at First”

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