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I Loved You First Paperback – August 6, 2011
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Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
IndieReader ~ Jacobs' inspiring message about the beauty of accepting yourself and others for whom they really are is perceptive and touching.
Benjamin Jones ~ Anyone that has ever been in love with a best friend, or been in love PERIOD with someone they KNEW they could never be with, will relate and be able to appreciate this book for the greatness that it is.
Creativedeeds ~ I had no idea how far the book would draw me in once I started.
Aobibliophile ~ Alex's unrequited love and Seth's attempts to "stay in the closet" bring drama and conflict which caught my attention from the story's beginning to its unexpected conclusion.
Black Diamonds Book Review ~ I Loved You First hooked me from the very beginning and never let me down.
About the Author
Reena Jacobs is just an author 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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Top customer reviews
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I have to say, I love the name Alex for a girl! Love, love, love it! At first I wasn't feeling Alex, though. I mean, I liked her, but she was so content on being Seth's shadow and following him around like a puppy, and that drives me crazy. However, I liked her more and more as the story went on, and was 110% behind her by the end. I felt bad for Seth, trying to hide who he was from everyone. It made me mad the way he treated Alex sometimes, but at the same time I could understand where he was coming from. I didn't care as much for him as I did Alex, but to be fair, we didn't get his point-of-view like we did hers.
This was a great story of self discovery. Alex and Seth were both very dependent on each other, using each other for their own needs. Alex turned into his sidekick, willing to be unnoticed and in Seth's shadow because she loved him. While Seth dragged her from party to party and other events she really didn't want to go to because he needed her as sort of a buffer or excuse to get away from certain situations. All of that changes over night while they are at a frat party. That's when both of them have to figure out just who they really are, or who they choose to be. With the support of Trinity, a new girl, Alex realizes what a healthy friendship should be like. I loved Trinity - she was independent, supportive, non-judgmental, and best of all she knew how to put jerks in their place.
I love stories that can make me change my opinion of a character throughout the book. Even some of the supporting characters didn't turn out like I thought... or hoped. Which is good, because people in real life don't always turn out like you thought they would.
The book is a stroy of two best friends, Seth and Alexandria, who have been BFFs since first grade. Alex is deeply in love with her best friend, however, the tiny problem here is that seth is gay. Both of them keep their secrets to themselves. Alex is the only one who knows Seth's secret and Seth realises hers eventually. The whole concept of Seth being a 'closet gay' according to Alex, really makes one consider the problems faced by LGBTs. Yes, the book has a message to convey. Seth isn't open about his orientation and pretends to be like any other guy. He gets himself involved in sports and girls even, and Alex has been over shadowed by his popularity since childhood. A ton of interesting events make the book so interesting!
Without revealing much, I would just like to say that the book has a wonderful ending and the other characters add so much of shine and stand out in the presense of both Seth and Alex. This book won't take up much time, so give it a go! The book is a joyful and completely interesting read about practical, daily and genuine stuff. Cheers Reena Jacobs and thanks again for the giveaway! :)
In addition it is very much to Ms. Jacobs' credit that she has the guts to portray a less than attractive gay character, especially in this day and time. A one word summation of said secretly gay BFF Seth Richards' character would be "selfish". Oh, he has better excuse for selfishness than most, but that's all it is, an excuse. In order to maintain his cover Seth is a serial emotional abuser of the young women who are attracted to his considerable good looks, stringing them along for awhile and then dumping them like yesterday's garbage, apparently without any trace of remorse. Now to his credit Seth refuses to so use his BFF Alex Carmichael (even though she wants him to), but he doesn't hesitate to use her in other ways or to take advantage of her affections. Even his motivations for staying in the closet are primarily selfish: in order to make things easier for him in his dealings with (and showering with) his teammates, and if his seemingly planned coming out of the closet upon his sports career retirement were to cause former teammates any grief, there's no reason to believe selfish Seth would give them a second thought. Even Seth's disastrous "outing" is the logical (though of course unjustified) consequence of his selfishness; he finally uses and abuses a girl who decides to get even instead of just getting mad.
(Frankly, in this incident IMHO Ms. Jacobs' is a little bit guilty of stacking the sympathy deck in favor of Seth. If a heterosexual boy even under the influence of something he did not knowingly ingest were to do what Seth did to a girl instead, would we not call it sexual assault? And if she had kicked him in the groin when he was incapacitated, how much sympathy would readers have felt for him?)
That aside throughout the book Ms. Jacobs handles the issues and her characters a whole lot more evenhandedly than one could possibly have expected these days. Only at the very end does she get a little bit preachy (and, no, I'm not talking here about her "Afterwards") and fail a bit in fairness, when she fails IMHO to cut her football players the necessary slack. To put it bluntly, people forced by circumstances to get naked in front of strangers are ENTITLED to be a little uncomfortable with homosexuality. They're not entitled to beat anybody up, of course, but it isn't right to turn people in that situation into sex objects against their will or without their knowledge, else we'd compel the cheerleaders to shower with the football team. (Football players might like that so much they'd quit whining about having to shower with gays. Cheerleaders? Probably not so much.)
Later, in the aforementioned "Afterwards", Ms. Jacobs gets even more preachy, and I don't have a problem with most it, but I have some nits to pick. Yes, it is a terrible sin to hate homosexuals, clearly every bit as much a sin as it is to hate people who believe homosexual behavior to be sinful. (H'm, I wonder which sin is the more prevalent today? Might be kind of close.) However, Ms. Jacobs is wrong when she suggests that Christians are simply supposed to ignore it. Though clearly not the worst of sins, homosexual behavior is one of the most often condemned sins in the Bible. (It is almost as if the Bible was inspired by an omniscient God who somehow knew that one day homosexual behavior would be the first sin with an advocacy group, and He wanted to make His position on the subject crystal clear.) It is not of course the duty of Christians to judge homosexuals, but as part of our duty to lead people to Christ, it is necessary to point out and condemn the sins that make Christ's salvation necessary in the first place, especially when said sins are approved of by society. Christians needn't spend a lot of time condemning theft and murder. Most non-Christians "get it", probably even most thieves and murderers "get it", but homosexuality is another matter. When the modern world says that homosexual activity is "just another lifestyle", Christians must respond that, according to the Bible at least, it is just another sin for which the penalty is eternity in Hell. We should do so in love rather than anger of course, but we should certainly continue to do so.
Ms. Jacobs is also wrong when she contends that providing equal rights to the LGBT community is not detrimental to our families because, leaving aside the whole touchy area of what providing such "equal" rights might mean or result in, HOW the LGBT community is going about getting those rights is EXTREMELY detrimental to our families and to ALL of our rights because LGBT activists are "cheating" by relying on judicial activism.
As contrast, remember how women got the right to vote in this country; they got an amendment to the Constitution passed, despite being unable to vote for any of the people who would have to make this happen. They had to do this because the Constitution as written clearly did not grant women the right to vote so it was necessary to go through the long, arduous process our founders set up for changing the Constitution (and thus protecting it from sudden whims and political winds). Facing this, it is awful tempting to resort to the backdoor method of constitutional change: get a majority of supreme court justices to misuse the power of judicial review in order to pencil in anything they want (and cross out anything they don't like). Besides being SO much easier, this method also prevents your opponents from easily doing anything about your shameless shredding of the Constitution unless they are willing to stoop to your level...
or below it. That was the problem presented by the most outrageous case of judicial activism in US history: not Roe v. Wade, but Dred Scott v. Sandford. In this infamous case a slavery sympathizing Supreme Court majority took the opportunity of a challenge to the Fugitive Slave Act in order to invalidate all of the congressional compromises limiting the spread of slavery into new states, thus leaving the slavery opposing majority of Americans with no legal, political(, or peaceful) recourse, so they were forced to find another one.
Sure enough some number of years and 600,000+ dead later Dred Scott v. Sandford was finally overturned. Now, it is unlikely that any possible upcoming judicial activist Supreme Court rulings will come at quite this high a price, but if you think you've seen hostility to the LGBT community's agenda before, wait until some future judicially activist Supreme Court pencils in gay marriage on the entire country over the overwhelming opposition of the people every time they've been given a chance to vote on it.
Constitutional amendment passages tend to settle issues; judicially activist cram downs tend not to. (Remember how well Roe v. Wade "settled" the issue of abortion?) In addition Supreme Courts that are able to "make up" stuff you agree with are also able to "make up" stuff you disagree with when your opponents get control of them as they inevitably will. Finally, oft oppressed minorities would be wise not to trade the protections offered by a written constitution in favor of an uncertain future in which their rights will be determined by whomever currently has judicial control over the Etch A Sketch of the United States.
Note: For full disclosure I received this ebook in return for agreeing to review it.
Most recent customer reviews
I don't normally tend to read stories with a LGBT storyline.Read more
Ok I loved the synop for this book, for me it's all about the relationship that is totally unrealistic that drew me in.Read more