Monday, August 15, 2011

The Book Addict Reviews: I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs (Blog Tour Stop Coming Soon!)

I Loved You First
Genre: Young Adult, Friendship
Order Online:
Author Info: Website | Goodreads
Rating: 3 stars
Book provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

In A Nutshell:
The expectations I had after first reading the description of I Loved You First did not at all prepare me for what I got out of this story. I thought I Loved You First would explore friendship, but it explores more aspects of friendship than I expected. I expected a story where one friend had fallen in love with the other friend and a story where one friend was hiding his true self from the world.  I was surprised to see the story explore a friendship where one friend lost her sense of self.

What do you do when you fall in love with your best friend?  There is no easy answer.  Reena Jacobs adds another dimension to this question by asking what can Alex do when she falls in love with Seth, her best friend who is gay. 

Overall, I enjoyed the story.  I felt a connection to the characters, which I think had a lot to do with the way that Reena Jacobs incorporated the character's thoughts, motives, and reasoning into the story.  For instance, Seth's desire to hide his sexuality makes a lot more sense when he explains how he fears it would have affected his experience with the baseball team.  There was no easy answer for his situation--honesty could have led him to be ostracized in high school the way he was ostracized at the university.  However, it could be asked if he would have been ostracized in the same way if his sexuality had been revealed in a different way at the university. 

But Alex's question stuck with me the most.  At what point does a friendship become too much--too consuming?  When does a friend start losing him or herself in the friendship?  Is it a good thing or not?  What I liked the most was that Reena Jacobs does not give us the answer.  It is something that we as readers can discuss, can analyze, but the answer is not handed us in the story.  The ending is complex--not completely happy and not completely sad.  It is realistic.  It is honest.  And it left me with a lot to think about.  

Usually, I recommend books that I think are similar to the book I have reviewed.  But today I am going to announce my participation in my first blog tour!!  I will be interviewing Seth--so if you have questions you would like to ask him please do not hesitate to let me know!  

ILYF Blog Tour: August 15 - September 15


  1. Thank you, Shanan! :) Yesterday marked the beginning of the ILYF blog tour. I encourage anyone who comments here to enter the on-going giveaway for a signed copy of I Loved You First (

  2. I really appreciated the fact that the ending wasn't unrealistically perfect. But it was good to see Alex moving in a more independent direction :)

  3. I completely agree with you, Agrippina. I appreciated the realism and that Alex ended up more independent at the end. I can see that she is working through how to be a good friend and a strong individual at the same time. :)

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog! Very good review! It's interesting reading other reviews to see the different points of view!

  5. I love reading everyones reviews - yours is great! I know, as I was reading I kept thinking "Just come out already!", but on the other hand I know how not everyone is accepting of some ways of life. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  6. Great review! Thanks for the book recommendation. I hope you’re having an awesome weekend!

    Also, I’m a new follower—wonderful blog! Stop by my blog and follow me too? :)

  7. I loved reading your review because it helped me understand that even though all the questions posed may not have been answered i=by the end of this book, it is still worthwhile read for causing the read to think and question in n attempt to get closer to an understanding of such experiences.


  8. @Jamie--I struggled with wanting to tell Seth to come out because I think he made a valid point about it being hard on athletes who are gay. And I could see it being even harder in high school and college athletics. Not that I am saying that is right--but I thought it was realistic for a high school or college-aged boy to be concerned.

    @IdentitySeeker--thank you. I love books that give me things to think about, where I remember the characters and their situations after I finish. Where I am still thinking about them later. Seth and Alex were like that for me. :)