Title: I Loved You First
Author: Reena Jacobs
Published: July 29, 2011
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Marq
Favorite quote: “You are so busy keeping an eye on your friend, you never notice anyone watching you.”
summary from Goodreads
My best friend was more than just a best friend to me. Three words summed it up: I heart him. I’d never tell him though. I wasn’t stupid. Besides, what he’d told no one, but me, was a little something I wished I could forget… or ignore. He was gay. I guess gay wouldn’t be bad if I wasn’t so in love with him. Now it was just cruel.
Stereotypes run amok in this college love story: Parties, alcohol, hookups, and breakups. Alexandria Carmichael may find it a bit much as she deals with the unreturned love from the boy who completes her. When all is revealed, not only does she risk losing her best friend forever, but also herself. Without her childhood companion for support, Alexandria takes a journey of self-discovery but fears what she’ll find at the end.
I normally don’t read YA so when the author approached about being part of her blog tour, I figured I’d give it a try. After reading the blurb, I was intrigued. I love stories about unrequited love.
Seth and Alex (Alexandria) have been best friends since elementary school. The novella starts off with both Alex and Seth being freshmen at the same college. Seth is the All-American Boy. He’s good looking, excels at baseball and all the girls want him. But he’s hiding a secret that only his BFF knows. Seth is gay. Alex is in love with Seth and despite the fact that Seth is gay, Alex wants more from Seth than friendship. Because Seth is still in the closet, he does go out on dates with girls. But when the girls get too close, he dumps them and moves on to the next one. Alex wonders why isn’t she good enough to be Seth’s beard.
I Loved You First is told in Alex’s POV. Her voice immediately grabbed me. She’s a loner (except for her friendship with Seth), she’s snarky and funny. Alex is used to being in Seth’s shadow. She truly values his friendship and will do anything for him. And I had a problem with that. Alex mentions several times that she’s invisible when she’s around Seth. She’s invisible to outsiders and sometimes even to Seth. I found Seth to be extremely self-centered and not too concerned about Alex feelings and needs. But, Alex is fine with accepting the status quo. As I delved more into the story, both Alex and Seth started to annoy me. I thought that Seth was whiny and self-centered. And Alex was too much of a doormat. I wanted to smack some sense into both of them. As the story progressed, it kind of dragged for me because I was getting so annoyed with the characters. I was ready for them to resolve their issues.
Despite my issues with the characters, I enjoyed reading this novella. I think many of the issues the characters faced were realistic. Both Seth and Alex grew in different ways although I felt that Alex dealt with her issues better than Seth. I enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Dink. I wouldn’t mind seeing his story and finding out if his opinions and prejudices change. Even though he had issues, he was a very likable character.
I Loved You First was a good read. I was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. Like I said earlier, it is very rare that I read YA books. This story didn’t feel very YA-ish to me. Maybe because the characters are in college. It’s a novella that I’d recommend.
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