I Loved You First

I Loved You First

by Reena Jacobs

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I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs

Alexandria (Alex) Carmichael guards two secrets close to her heart. One—she’s in love with her best friend, Seth. Two—he’s gay.

As a freshman in college, Alex looks forward to fun times with her best friend. When Seth decides cycling through girlfriends is the way to fit in with the straight crowd, Alex must make a choice: watch Seth give his affections to another while her heart breaks or come clean with her feelings and risk losing his friendship forever.

I Loved You First is a new adult love story told through the eyes of an African-American/Caucasian student who takes a journey of self-discovery while watching her best friend come to terms with his sexuality. Turn the pages and find a message of hope, new beginnings, and positive change.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013154612
Publisher: Ciquette
Publication date: 07/29/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Reena Jacobs is just a writer who loves to see her words in print. As an avid reader, she’s known to hoard books and begs her husband regularly for “just one more purchase.” Her home life is filled with days chasing her preschooler and nights harassing her husband. Between it all, she squeezes in time for writing and growling at the dog.

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I Loved You First 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
l_manning More than 1 year ago
Alex is used to being in the shadow of her best friend Seth. He's out-going and popular. Seth is the kind of guy all the girls fall for, including Alex. There's just one huge problem. Seth is gay. Alex knows this, but no one else does. She is about to learn how hard it is to keep someone's secret, and how hard it is when you fall for the wrong person. Can Alex learn to be her own person and step out of Seth's shadow? Also, can she learn to deal with her feeling about Seth? This book is a very modern and different take on your typical love story. Alex falls for someone completely right for her in some ways, but it's incredibly hard because she knows Seth will never be able to return her feelings. On top of that, Alex never feels like her own person. She has a hard time separating herself from her identity as Seth's side-kick. As Alex begins to branch out and try to figure out who she is, she realizes that things between her and Seth cannot stay the same. I found Alex to be a very interesting and complex character. I was very happy for her as she began to discover that she could in fact be a good friend and find out what she wanted in life. I was sad for her as she struggled with her feelings for Seth. The end gave me great hope for her and her future. If you are looking for a quick read that's a change from your usual love story, then look no further. This book is entertaining to read while still managing to give you some things to think about. Book provided by author for review.
HamptonReviews More than 1 year ago
I Loved You First follows Alex, a freshman in college who has a thing for her gay best friend. It details her difficulties and discoveries as she explores her emotions and deals with how to find herself within them. Helping her along her journey book are Seth (the gay best friend), Dink (a football player), and Trinity (a classmate). This book was difficult to read, but it was well written. The characters were strongly written and the pacing of the book moved nicely. There was a lack of a typical plot; there was no rising action or climax, really. However, the typical plot was not missed as this was a book about emotional and social exploration and growth. The author still managed to write in twists and suspense several times. Descriptions were well done and there were many similes throughout the book that were fresh, surprising, and brilliantly descriptive. On the negative side, there were a few mistakes in the book (such as using road when it should have been rode). More importantly, no matter how well-written this book is, it is not a book to be read by just anyone. There are a lot of hard hitting emotions to deal with, as well as a main character who, at times, is whiny to the point of being off-putting for the reader. This is believable for the way the author has written the character and also believable for a young woman dealing with such emotions for the first time. However, with these two elements combined, it leaves this book being relegated to the "not for everyone" category. Anyone who is willing to brave the heaviness of the tale, however, will find a quality story.
Tysheema Holmes More than 1 year ago
Wonderful thoughtful, its a briliant book with amazing characters.
FuzzyCoffeeBooks More than 1 year ago
What I didn't expect when I first started reading was the emotional turmoil that the characters have to face. What I liked: 1) The concept. I really appreciate unrequited love, because I've had many unrequited crushes in my life. Not any that are as long-lived as Alex's for Seth, but still. I'm totally able to empathize, and it's clear that Miz Jacobs knows how to write those emotions clearly and concisely. 2) Alex 2.0. I liked Alex a lot near the end, when she finally was figuring out what she wanted and wasn't afraid to take it, instead of standing in the shadow of someone else. There was a really great transformation that took place throughout the book and it gave me as a reader a lot to think about. 3) The concept of the university they were attending. I went to a big state school (Go POKES!) and it was nothing like this one. Particularly in regards to their dorms! Those were some fancy digs! 4) Real problems. There were some very real issues that teens/college kids/even adults have to face sometimes in this book, and Miz Jacobs didn't gloss over them. She hit them head on and I really liked that she gave real answers to kids who may be dealing with these situations. What I didn't like: 1) I didn't like how much Seth took Alex for granted. And how she just let him do that. I think it needed to happen in the course of the book, but I'm just like, dude. Stop being a jerk. Overall thoughts: There is a lot of tough stuff in this book. It's not a light read. But all the issues are written very well and dealt with appropriately. It is a story of unrequited love and learning to live with less than ideal circumstances, so don't expect to find a shiny, happy ending for everyone. But it is a great story to get into, in a very realistic, less-than-perfect world. I think that was my favorite thing about it. That everything didn't end in one nice neat package, but it was very satisfying.
cherylbaryl More than 1 year ago
Alex really loved her friend Seth. She wanted to be more than friends, but he was gay. Yes, he was still in the closet. He covered up by dating different girls and then dropping them for one reason or another. Here is a quote from when they were on the motorcycle: "I took off with a jerk. Seth hated when I did that, but it forced him to grip me even tighter. He scooted forward with his thighs encasing mine, and his groin pressed against my butt." Too bad for Alex, but Seth didn't want to be anything more than friends. He seemed to be such a hot guy too. Seth had his eye on a guy named Bruce. Bruce had no idea of this and had no idea that Seth was even gay. Something happened in the story that changes everything. Alex and Seth's friendship is tested, and Alex can't believe what Seth is about to do. I highly recommend this book. It just goes to show that it's great to have a best friend, but you can't hide behind them forever. You have to acknowledge the facts and make a life of your own too. The story didn't end up at all how I thought it would. I loved this bible verse quoted at the end of the book: 1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 " Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV) Cheryl Black Diamond's Book Reviews
JamesterCK More than 1 year ago
I definitely liked Alex and felt for her situation. She was the only one who knew that Seth was gay and was madly in love with him. I know it would be hard to see the guy you adore dating other girls, even if you knew it was just for show. I don't think in the beginning she really grasped that he was 100% gay. She seemed to grasp at the few bits of hope she could that she would be able to change his mind and he would fall in love with her. She also seemed pretty bitter in the beginning as well, constantly referring to Seth as her "buddy", knowing deep down that's all he would ever be to her and not liking the reality. Everything in this book is kind of a double edged sword; on one hand, I wished that Alex would support Seth's sexuality more (outwardly she did, but inside she wanted him for herself), but on the other hand I wanted to shake Seth and tell him how much he was hurting his best friend and that coming out to the world would be the best thing for him in the end. So I guess I got mad at both Seth and Alex at times for the way they acted. I certainly felt for Seth though; being openly gay would be a freeing experience (I'm just assuming here since I, myself, am not gay), but you also have to deal with some ignorant and cruel people along the way. I found myself wishing he would see how much Alex was suffering; in order to stay by his side and be his "wing-woman", she sacrificed having any friends besides him. He shouldn't have made her feel like she had to accompany him to all of the parties and such, but I understand that he was worried his secret would get out. There were a few lesser characters that were very important to this story. First we have Bruce, who is the object of Seth's affection. He seems like an alright guy in the beginning, but my opinion of him changed early on. Dink is Bruce's friend and he has his eye on Alex; personally, I really liked Dink. He was a lot more open-minded than his friend and genuinely wanted to get to know Alex. Finally, there's Trinity. She's essential to the story, because she immediately is drawn to Alex and befriends her right away, showing her that she can and should have other friends. Overall I really enjoyed these characters and it was great to see them grow and change as the story progressed. Especially Alex, since at the beginning she seemed more like a doormat, only living her life for someone else. I loved the characters in this book, they really came to life and I was able to easily connect with them. The writing flowed really well and I was able to finish this book in one day. The plot was a bit different than I was expecting; I assumed it would just be Alex trying to get Seth to fall for her, but it was more than that. It was about Alex finding out who she was without Seth, because up to that point she hadn't taken the time to find out. I found Alex annoying at times. She wasn't happy with her situation, following Seth around to parties and watching him hit on girls, and tended to complain about it a lot. Also, I wish Trinity had been present more in the book. She is the one who starts to draw Alex out of her shell and I felt like she should have been in the story more. Plus, she was a really fun, quirky character that I just would have liked to read more about. This book was a fun, light read at times. At other times it was darker, tackling more serious issues. Overall it was a great read about friends, adversity, individuality, and acceptance.
KimShelkey More than 1 year ago
Ok I loved the synop for this book, for me it’s all about the relationship that is totally unrealistic that drew me in. Beyond that I really didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised with how much beyond just that aspect of the book that totally kept me reading. This is a true must read for our generation. It’s a powerful story of love and overcoming. More importantly it’s a story of hate and angst. Hate. Hate is such a strong thing and there were parts of this book (that I will not spoil) that made my stomach turn. I actually had to stop reading at one point. It is not overly graphic, but I have a special place in my hate bucket for intolerance and there are some displays of that within the pages of this book. Intolerance is shown in so many different ways in this day in age and it’s nice to read something that shows both sides of that. The side of being the bigger person and the small feeble people who openly hate. Things I liked? Again, loved the whole plot foundation, if there is anything that hands down this book did for me was swept me away within the story. I was not always overly connected to the characters but the story and message rang much to loud to get caught up in that. As I continued through the book actually came to be connected with some of the characters that I had written off and that states a lot for the power of the writing. One thing that left be a bit open on was the end. While I feel it (and even more after reading the Afterwards) and get why it ended where it did, I still felt that maybe there is still some more left to Alex’s story. But, this is also where we as readers have to remember that while every one’s story continues we cannot always keep spying! I also have to give mention to Reena’s Afterwards. I’m always reading the THANKS and Afterwords sections within books (and if you don’t you are missing some great insight into the author, story development and witty humor). Reena did an excellent job within the Afterwards of giving an evaluation as to where in her heart this story developed from and it really helped me to further connect to her the Author as well as the story. Overall – again, in my opinion this is a true must read for our generation and I would recommend this quick emotion-filled read to any of my followers! Review by SlicedOpenReviews(dot)com Received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Andreat78 More than 1 year ago
What a lovely and thoughtful book. I anticipated I Loved You First would be a different type of story. I expected it to be about a girl, helping her best friend as he struggled to be open and accept his sexuality. And there was that aspect to it. But the heart of the story was Alex's path to rediscovering her identity, to remember who she is without the cover of Seth's shadow. Author Reena Jacobs did a very thorough job of bringing Alex to life. She was a character that I could embrace. She's thoughtful, shy, and a loving soul. All she wants is to be loved by Seth. She's willing to play the role of sidekick as long as hit keeps him near. She honestly has no idea who she is without Seth. It's a trap any person can fall in. I wish I could have known Seth better. It's apparent that he cares very deeply about Alex, but he's so wrapped in his own pain that he treats her carelessly. It's understandable, I guess, since he's dealing with so much. And really, this is Alex's story. I didn't realize how involved I was in the story, until I realized I finished in one sitting. I had to see if Alex could do it, if she could break free of the restrictions she placed on herself. If she could allow herself a life all her own. I found I Loved You First to be a very nice story with a worthy message.
Victoria_SVS More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this one and read it very quickly. The writing is stellar and the story is moving. It's interesting to see a girl love someone in a way she could never be loved. My heart went out to her and found myself intrigued by her journey for independence the entire way.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers Favorite Alex and Seth have the perfect relationship. They are best friends since grade school. They do everything together. They practically read one another’s thoughts and now they are beginning a new life chapter together as they begin college. It should be the perfect continuation of their perfect relationship and one that could possibly change Seth’s perspective on his own sexuality that would allow him to see how much his female BFF loves him. Unfortunately, college only brings the two friends closer to the reality of Seth’s homosexuality and the consequences of being part of a ridiculed population. As Alex continues to cover for Seth in helping him keep his secret exactly that, she battles with the fact that her protection is costing her more and more heartbreak. She is absolutely devoted to Seth, so much so that she has never experienced a life without him. Enter Dink, the massive football player who vies for her attention. Will Alex dump her BFF to have a relationship outside their isolated world? Can she do that? Reena Jacobs has presented an exploration of a theme that is not always popular in the world of our youth, but is a common occurrence in the collegiate arena. Young people often question their own sexuality and experiment in order to discover their true purpose and "I Loved You First" brings home the heart-wrenching consequences of choosing to be different. I really enjoyed this book. It is a quick read that won’t allow the reader to put it aside until the final page.
BookReflections More than 1 year ago
Alex has found herself in the most difficult situation of her life. Not only is she in love with her best friend who happens to be gay, but she has allowed herself to disappear in a crowd and she doesn't even know how to stand up for herself anymore. Both Seth and Alex face difficult issue but they've always had each other. This time, it looks like even a best friend can't set things right. I really enjoyed this book. The premise drew me in and I was not disappointed. Not only is Alex in love with her best friend Seth, but she is starting college and dealing with the issues and insecurities with that. I also loved that there were no easy answers for the character. The situation sounded very realistic and extremely relevant. However, I wished that Ms. Jacob had addressed some of the issue that came up a little bit more. Serious issues like sexuality, suicide, and drugs were brought up but seemed to be skated over. I also didn't quite connect with Alex. I understood that Alex was in love with Seth because she said it over and over again but I'm not quite sure that I believed it. Her actions didn't seem to show that she was in love with him. In fact, I think she could have been a better friend. However, I think if I understood why she was in love with him, it would have been a little less teenage drama/angst and I would have been a bit more invested in the conflict. Overall, this was a very good read that kept me interested from beginning to end.
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