Monday, August 15, 2011
The Book Addict Reviews: I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs (Blog Tour Stop Coming Soon!)
Genre: Young Adult, Friendship
Order Online: Amazon.com
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!