Book Review: Fifteen First Times: Beginnings: A collection of indelible firsts by D.G.Kaye

‘Fifteen first times’ by author D.G. Kaye is a light, heartwarming read that will leave you reminiscing your own fifteen first times, sweet events you may have forgotten along the way as life took over and bitter ones that hurt you so much, that you buried deep inside of you- basically, all the experiences that made you into the person you currently are.

About the book

The 92 page book is like I said, a quick, easy read. The honesty and simplicity with which D.G.Kaye shares her story is both refreshing and endearing. Whether it be her first kiss, her first love, her first time behind the steering wheel, her first driving accident, her first Christmas tree or her first experience with losing a friend, the author bares it all in a way that touches the right cord.

The author touches upon her emotionally difficult relationship with her mother, the crazy diets that led her to becoming a size 4 and looking anorexic, ending the diet and going to a size 16, being closer to her maternal aunt than her mother but knowing she could never share too much with her aunt as in her words, ‘her aunt’s first allegiance would always be towards her elder sister.’ It’s clear from the book that the author’s father was the one constant in her life who loved her unconditionally. She shares incidents that will make you smile, for instance, the first time she buys a Christmas tree unaware of how big it will turn when it thaws, the time she decides to change her hair color on her own, or the time she drives a car under her’s father’s supervision.

The author’s lack of awareness when the ‘Crimson tide,’ hit her for the first time (you have to read the book to understand what that means) resonated with me completely. In my case, my mom was too shy I suppose to talk about it. So, also, her feelings towards her paternal grandfather how she needed to guard her self-esteem to become confident.

I found the bit about getting the Christmas tree, decorating it and finally disposing it was both hilarious and informative as we’ve only ever kept imitation trees at home. I had no idea how much of a hassle a real tree is until I read the book. The author’s experiences on a six-week student trip to Europe, a gift given to her by her dad, on her eighteenth birthday, was entertaining. The trip involved a journey to London, Israel, France, Italy and Switzerland. About packing for the trip, she says, ‘Oh, sure they sent me a packing list beforehand, but shorts, bathing suits (plural) and sneakers were definitely not occupying my suitcase. So, I traveled and toured everywhere, from museums to galleries to ruins, in my four-inch high heels. I kid you not.’ This was another experience I could relate to as I strutted to the highest point of Europe in Germany in high-heeled wedges and needed my little girls, then 7 and 9, to help me up and down the slope.

Who is this book for?

There are a lot of takeaways in this book. Like they say, ‘Why make the mistake when you can learn the lesson from someone else’s?’ This book is just that- read it, learn from the author’s experiences and either make the same mistake with wisdom or avoid making it.

This book is for girls – sixteen and older. I’ve already asked my girls, who are 18 and 20 respectively, to read the book. The young ones will definitely gain from reading this book, knowing that they are not alone when it comes to having insecurities, heartaches, poor self-esteem during their growing-up years. Some experiences may vary depending on the culture you come from but by and large, reading the book makes you realize that irrespective of where one is born or the color of one’s skin, every girl goes through these feelings at some point in life or another.
The book is also for older women too as it will help them relive their youth by bringing back memories and leave them feeling proud of how far they’ve come.

What the author says about the book?

This book is a collection of stories about some of Kaye’s first-time experiences with life’s most natural events. Told through the intimate conversational writing we’ve come to know from this author, poignant personal steppingstones to learning moments are revealed. She encompasses the heart of each matter with sincerity and sprinkled inflections of humor.

From first kiss to first car to walking in the desert with four-inch heels, Kaye’s short coming-of-age stories take us through her awakenings and important moments of growth, often without warning. Some good and some not, life lessons are learned through trial and error, winging it, and navigating by the seat of her pants.

About the author

D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace From Emotional Guilt, Meno-What? – A Memoir, Words We Carry, Have Bags, Will Travel, P.S. I Forgive You, and her newest release – Twenty Years: After “I Do”. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer and writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues. You can check out the author’s website here.

The book can be bought on Amazon by clicking here. The kindle version is $3.99 and the paperback version is $11.99.

The lovely cover has been designed by Unicorn Cats Publishing Services.

This is my second book in 2023. Check out this space if you enjoyed reading the review and are looking for books to read.

Copyright@smithavishwanathsblog.com. All Rights Reserved.

25 responses to “Book Review: Fifteen First Times: Beginnings: A collection of indelible firsts by D.G.Kaye”

  1. olganm Avatar

    Thanks for sharing such a great review, Smitha. I am familiar with the author, and I particularly appreciate your recommending the book to young girls as well as older women. It sounds like a fun book no matter the age. Congratulation to the author.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you so much,Olga, for visiting my blog and for your kind appreciation of the review. I loved the simplicity and honesty it’s been written with, and I love that ‘Fifteen first times’ talks about important subjects that we women have all experienced at some point in time or another. It’s definitely a book that’s worth reading.

      Like

  2. Cindy Georgakas Avatar

    Such a great review of Debbie’s book Smitha! awesome! 💞

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you, Cindy, for taking the time to read it. Debbie’s book is a great read. It’ll take you down memory lane and leave you feeling younger. That’s what it did to me- cleared the cobwebs :).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cindy Georgakas Avatar

        Oh I’m going to order it an for sure it will sit in my pile for a bit but Im looking forward to some cobweb clearing.. hahaa🤣💞

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Smitha V Avatar

          Ha ha..then this is the book for you🙂

          Like

    2. dgkaye Avatar

      Thank you Cindy ❤ x

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Cindy Georgakas Avatar

        You’re sooo welcome! 💗

        Liked by 1 person

  3. robbiesinspiration Avatar

    Hi Smitha, this is a lovely and in depth review of Debby’s new book which I have on my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Hi Robbie, Debby’s done a wonderful job of putting it together succinctly. I’m sure you’ll like the book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. robbiesinspiration Avatar

        Oh yes, I am sure I will. I hope your week is going well.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Smitha V Avatar

          Yes, it is,Robbie🙂. With reading and the girls here, it’s going well. Hope it’s the same for you.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. dgkaye Avatar

          Thank you so much Robbie ❤

          Liked by 2 people

  4. dgkaye Avatar

    Oh wow Smitha. Blow me away with a feather! What a fantastic and insightful review. You didn’t miss too much. I am humbled from your review. Thank you for getting it. Thank you for your wonderful praise. I’m glad it made you feel many different things. Hugs my lovely. ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Hi Debbie 🙂 You book was so much fun reading. I love the way you write. It hits home. I’m so glad you think I did your book justice. Please let me know what you think I missed. I wouldn’t have missed it except I did not want to divulge too much in the review.
      Your book made me relive my youth again. Thank you for writing this book. I loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dgkaye Avatar

        Smitha, I’m so glad my book could do that for you. I’m always amazed reading reviews for my books, to see what people took from it. You are aces my friend. Thank you again. ❤ xx

        Like

    2. Smitha V Avatar

      I can’t wait to get out of Dhaka and buy your previous books. Lots of love to you.
      P.S. The book had me wishing I could see a pic of your friend Al. You described her so beautifully.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dgkaye Avatar

        Aw Smitha, you are a darling. Actually, I do have photos of those days. They are buried in a piece of furniture that opens into a chest. I will dig out when I get a chance and let you know. ❤

        Like

  5. D. Wallace Peach Avatar

    A wonderful review and I couldn’t agree more that the Christmas Tree chapter had me roaring. What a hoot. I also agree with your age recommendation. I wish I’d read it decades ago. I hope your girls enjoy it. Congrats to Debby.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you, Diana. I’m so glad you liked the review and agree with the age recommendation. Haha…the Christmas tree was funny. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. I felt the same, Diana – if only I had it when I was growing up🙂.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. dgkaye Avatar

      Thanks so much Diana. And how I wish I could have read this book when I was younger too. Hugs ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. D. Wallace Peach Avatar

        No kidding! Life might not have felt so heavy as a teen.

        Liked by 2 people

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