I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs

Description: 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.

I first found out about I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs from a fellow book blogger – aobibliosphere. The description enticed me and after reading the first chapter I was totally hooked.

The story centers around two college freshmen who have been best friends since elementary school, Alex and Seth. Alex is the only person in the world who knows Seth has a secret. Seth is gay and doesn’t want anyone to know. Alex has no problem keeping the secret, the only problem is he’s not only her best friend, she’s also in love with him.

You can see the problems facing these two characters. That’s the premise that drew me to this book. I had no idea how far the book would draw me in once I started. Once I began, I couldn’t stop. I started reading and finished in one evening. Not sure exactly how long it is page wise because I read it on my Kindle, but the length doesn’t matter. The depth of feeling you get from these characters is what’s important. And boy is there depth.

I have read books that have made me tear up a little, but there were parts of this story that made me actually cry. Granted, it was late and I was tired, but I think if I would have read this book in the middle of the afternoon my reaction would have been the same.

This book deals with prejudice, family, friendship, loyalty and love and holds nothing back. Reena does a wonderful job of bringing all these emotions to the forefront. The story is told from Alex’s point of view, but you have no problem at all sensing the emotions of the other characters as well. The aspect of gay prejudice is handled wonderfully, but it goes even deeper than that. It is definitely a book that I would recommend to anyone.

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