Sunday, 14 August 2011

I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs

Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genre: Romance/LGBT Fiction

I Loved You FirstFirst of all I'd like to say a big thanks to Reena for asking me to review her book and also for asking me to take part in her up-coming blog tour, it's always amazing to be asked to take part in these events.
I have to say, I loved this book and although it's a novella and quite short it tackles a very important issue and with sensitivity, care and has just as much impact as a full length novel would have.

Alex has just started college along with her best friend Seth who she has known since they were at school together. Things are pretty much going OK apart from two things. Number one, Alex is in love with Seth and number two, Seth is gay and only Alex knows about it. As all is revealed Alex faces some tough times and choices as she risks losing both her best friend and the person she loves.

To an outsider reading this review it may appear a bit odd that a straight girl is in love with a guy she knows is gay. But for anyone who's ever been in love you'll know how irrational love can actually be and regardless of the circumstances, you can't help who you fall in love with and in what circumstances.
I can't write an in-depth review without posting spoilers accidentally but what I can tell you is that this is a wonderful story of self-discovery, honesty and learning to love yourself.

I have to admit, I did not envy either Alex or Seth, especially towards the half-way point of the story when they both faced some truly difficult times. Alex is in every way the sidekick to Seth's stronger character and it was wonderful to see things change as the story progressed and as Seth also changed and adapted (I have to admit I was furious with both him and Alex on several occasions because of some of the things that happened).  As someone who has and had both Gay and Bi friends, I found some of the characters attitudes to being gay absolutely horrifying, some people are so judgemental it's unbelievable and we see some extreme reactions in this novel with some extreme consequences.

Other characters play a major part in this novel, in both good and bad ways including Dink, who I still haven't made my mind up about, and Trinity, who is just simply awesome in every way. I think if I were to have any of these characters as a friend, it would be Trinity.  Even Cheyenne who, to put it mildly, is not my favourite person plays a part in things being different towards the end and the scene with her and Trinity had me doubled up laughing.

As I've previously said, this is a short novella but it's impactful. I'd recommend this book for Straight, Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Curious and everyone else in the world really. Reena tackles some difficult issues in this novel and although this is not a heavy read, it will make you think.
In short, this is a stunning book with lessons to be learned in both loving yourself, loving others, being true to yourself and breaking free and with an ending I'm sure most readers will love.


  1. Thanks for checking out my blog! New follower. I totally find mysellf reading faster than I can keep up with reviewing

  2. Same here, and I have an interview to put together lol still got my review for Wither to do to, which was so amazing :-)

  3. Thank you for the wonderful review, Leanna. Though this is an unscheduled stop outside the blog tour, I welcome anyone who comments here to enter the giveaway for a signed copy of I Loved You First here (

    Thank you again, Leanna.

  4. I agree - Trinity rocks :D

    Great review! I hope you don't mind me linking to it from my own :)

  5. I Love You First sounds like an interesting read and, since it's coming from Reena Jacobs who wrote Shadow Cat, I can honestly say that I'm excited baout it.



  6. Sounds like an interesting novel, I loved Shadow Cat.


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