Book 201: I LOVED YOU FIRST Review

Puppy love, first love, and unrequited love, all seem to be the central theme in I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs.

Alexandra (Alex) and Seth have been best friends since elementary school. They are now both freshmen in college. Alex’s entire social life revolves around Seth and his needs. Although Seth has recently revealed to her that he is gay. She vacillates between understanding and accepting that her love will never be returned in a romantic fashion and thinking that she knows what is best for him . . . a relationship with her. She openly facilitates his “cover” as a straight guy by playing the third-wheel on dates. Alex is blind to all that is around her except Seth. It isn’t until Seth’s “straight” cover is blown and he openly flirts with a guy at a frat party that Alex even realizes that one of the frat brothers is interested in her. 

Alex is not a likable character. Even accepting that I Loved You First is possibly a YA read, she comes across as extremely selfish and juvenile while trying to appear selfless in her devotion to Seth. When Seth becomes depressed about being unintentionally outed, Alex is more focused on her needs and thoughts than her BFF and so-called love interest. The level of immaturity of both Seth and Alex was hard to swallow at times. I Loved You First held great promise in that it discusses the difficulty some people feel and deal with while being different, whether that difference is based on ethnicity, religion or sexual preference. I wanted to like Seth because he knows he’ll have to deal with the prejudices people have when confronted with homosexuality, especially in athletics. Perhaps I expected a little too much OR I’m simply out of touch with the variety of teenage personalities and behaviors, but I Loved You First didn’t quite do it for me. Ms. Jacobs has provided a well-written story with fully developed characters but the level of immaturity was difficult for me to handle. Fortunately Alex and Seth do redeem themselves toward the end of the story, providing the reader with a promise of maturity and happier days ahead. 

Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from the author. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Weekend Ramblings 3

I’ve been on a reading tear since my reading block was lifted. I hope to have reviews of the following posted within the next few days: Love At Absolute Zero by Christopher Meeks and I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs (don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the ebook). I’ve also reread several Anne Frasier stories, namely Hush and Sleep Tight

I’m travelling this weekend with family (a cousin, her daughter and my niece) to Georgia to attend JapanFest. For those of you close to Atlanta, GA you don’t want to miss this two-day festival celebrating all things Japanese. This year 100% of the revenue from ticket package sales will be going to earthquake and tsunami relief. Some of this year’s activities include: Ikebana (flower arranging), Sumo wrestling, Taiko drumming, Kite making, Japanese Embroidery, Chado Urasenke (Tea Ceremony) and more. This is the 25th year for this multicultural festival and not to be missed. In honor of JapanFest, I’ll be reading The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. 

What are you reading this weekend? Do you have exciting weekend plans? If so, please share. Have a great weekend and happy reading!

Reading Update and Giveaway

I’ve tried to be a busy and involved reader over the past week but I appear to be suffering from another reading block. This has happened several times this year and I will be adding this to the list of questions/problems to be addressed at my next visit to the neurologist. This is serious people! In 40+ years I’ve never really had a problem with getting into reading and this year the problem has occurred more than twice in the span of a few months. I don’t know if I should chalk this up to age-related problems (I did just hit 50, okay coasted into 50 but still…) or what?

Ah well, on to happier thoughts. 

The Book Diva’s Reads is currently hosting an ebook giveaway of I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs. This giveaway includes an ebook, signed rack card, signed postcard, and a mini bookmark courtesy of Ms. Jacobs. All entrants MUST complete the entry form to be eligible (comments alone are not accepted as entries). This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM ET on 09/19/2011 and the winner will be announced on 09/20/2011.

My review of I Loved You First will be posting on 09/19/2011. If you’ve read this book, please share your thoughts with us.