Thursday, September 29, 2011

I loved you first by Renna Jacobs

I Loved You First

About the Book:

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 Love 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.

Book Quotes:

“I rolled my eyes so hard, my mama would have slapped them straight if she’d seen.”

“He faced forward and spread his arms. The wind caressed his blond hair as he tilted his head back. Spectacular was the word which came to mind – like the Greek God Hermes ready to take flight. I loved him all the more for his strength…his courage. If only I was the goddess to stand by his side instead of a shadow beneath his wings.”

“Seth was supposed to be my sympathetic ear, yet here I sat with The Red Goliath in the midst of a chow down session. Best friends forever, Yeah, right. My resentment grew by the moment.”

“Cheyenne popped up from her chair like a whac-a-mole. How I wished I had a mallet.”

“Take back your life – the first thing she’d said which resonated with me. I wanted my life back. Above all, I wanted to own person. Something other than a shadow. I climbed the stairs until I stood face to face to Bruce.”

“Seth has been my best friend since first grade,” I started, “You of all people-a member of one of the tightest knit fraternities on campus-should know a little something about loyalty….Yeah. I knew he was gay, but who was I to tell the world? And I certainly didn’t make him come on to you.” I gave a half laugh. “Go ahead. Hate me for standing by my friend, but you know what? I’d do it all over again. And if you’re worthy at all of living in this frat house, you would have stood by any of your frat brothers also.”
“Really? ‘Honor and Loyalty, Always.” I threw the slogan from the Alpha Epsilon brochure at him. “So now it’s not always? Only sometimes?”

“Whether I had one friend or a gazillion, I had to be enough for myself. So the big question: Was I?”

My Review:

I Loved You First was a beautiful book about unconditional friendship between a boy and girl, although Seth seemed to be a little more self-centered than Alex. He was the drama queen of the relationship. The book aptly depicted how some friendships keep you confined in a very small place, never allowing “you” to be “you”.        

Seth was, plain and simple – a drama queen. He came across as self-centered person caught up in his masquerade, seeming not to notice that he was suffocating the one person who cared the most for him.

Alex, devoted in every way to her BFF, Seth, did not mind being Seth’s sidekick until college. After a football/frat boy begins paying attention to her and telling her that she is noticed. She cannot appreciate the attention because she is love with Seth, her gay friend. Alex begins to want the individualism she has denied herself through the years. She begins to explore dating and realizes that she enjoys the male attention.

Alex also befriends a girl from one of her classes. Seth has consumed her world and this is all new to her – as many young adults figure out once they begin college.

College is a time of discovery, a transition time from childhood into adulthood. It is a time where we discover who we are; a time when new friendships are forged and we begin to blossom into the adults we are meant to become. The book was a good depiction of college life and the growing pains and changes that we go through. It was a good story and I think many people will enjoy the book.

About the Author (from the book):

Image of Reena Jacobs

Reena Jacobs is just your typical 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.
(My thoughts: This description of the author leads me to believe that the book had a little of her in it. Reena Jacobs sounds like a fun-loving person who has come out of the corner and lives her life to the fullest.)

An Interview with Reena Jacobs:

Do you remember the first story you wrote? What was it like?

Shadow Cat was actually my first. I know folks tell writers to throw away the first one, but I truly felt I had something good. I'm glad I didn't toss it. It's not perfect, and I would have done a few things differently now that I have a bit more knowledge, but the response it's received has been quite favorable. Shadow Cat would have been a huge waste in the trash. :)

Do you use paper and pen, old-fashioned typewriter, or computer/laptop? Is there a specific place that you like to write?

My fingers feel like they belong on a gnarled old woman after writing a few lines by hand. I go the way of the laptop. I took typing in high school, so after many years, I'm quite speedy - around 80 words per minute or so.

As for where I do the deed... mostly in the living room. I disappeared for a couple of months while writing Shadow Cat. When I mentioned writing another book, my husband was all sorts of huffy at the idea of me closeting myself away. Now I write in plain sight where he can see me, and I can harass him about stupid things.

What is the best part of writing for you?

I absolutely love plotting and character development. It usually takes a day to plan out a story, and the time passes way too quickly. I'm also quite fond of research. I can get lost in tidbits of unimportant information.

Tell us something about your books.

I love flawed characters and imperfect endings. I think my works reflect that. The characters experience personal growth or wind up in situations better than they started, but they never receive the picture perfect happily ever after. There's always more to the story (just like in real life), issues to settle in the beyond. No cliffhangers, but definitely more. Life doesn't end for my characters at "The End."

What is something that most people wouldn't necessarily know about you (that you would be willing to share here, of course!)?

When I was younger, I loved playing with bugs. Ants, spiders, bees, you name it. They fascinated me. When I was 12, I stomped on a spider in the bathroom. At the same time there was a horrible screech. I don't know what it was. Thinking back, it sounded like a cat, but I swore it came from the squashed spider. After that experience, I was terrified of spiders for the longest time, didn't even have the courage to kill them. The best I could do was cover them with a bowl or something and stare until someone came home to take care of it.

It wasn't until after my oldest (4 at the time) started crying after seeing a spider that I realized I'd passed on the fear to her.

It took years to squash my fear into something reasonable. I still can't kill most bugs, but I do have the courage to scoop them into a container and release them into the wild or give them the thrill ride of their life as 

I flush them down the toilet.

It's a shame. All my children have some degree of fearfulness toward bugs. All the fun I had playing with nature, and I know I ruined that for them because of my hang-ups.

Top 3 things on your bucket list. 
  • Go back to school. I absolutely love studying. I've been out for 3 years now, my longest gap ever and think about returning every day.
  • Move. I'm a North Carolina transplant and never took to the state. I'll take the rain in Washington any day over the humid heat and endless buzz of mosquitoes.
  • Travel Europe. My husband got me into British TV. I'd never been a fan of the UK before then, but some of the accents have rather grown on me. I especially love the dialects which articulate the 't' in words. And the countries are so close together in Western Europe, I can see myself visiting quite a few with one trip.
When you aren't writing, what are you doing? 

Being my preschooler's lackey. :) My life is pretty mundane. I read; I write; I do my family's biddings.

Where can we find you? (sites, links, FB, twitter, author page)

You can find me on my websiteRamblings of an Amateur WriterAmazonGoodreads,Barnes & NoblesSmashwordsTwitter, and Facebook. Look me up. I love to socialize. :)

leave a comment, then head over to Reena's blog for a chance to win a signed copy of 
I Loved You First.
follow the tour stops HERE 
*courtesy of aobibliophileTM  
Please mention that you are visiting from My Life. One Story at a Time. Thanks!

If you are impatient and want to read the book now, you may purchase it here:

Any tweets about the give away are appreciated!

Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation - monetary or in kind - has been obtained for this post. Cover art and book description courtesy of the author, publisher, or PR firm. 


  1. I am now following you back. Thanks for following me!


  2. I am following you back. thanks for stopping by Horseshoes.

  3. Thank you for following me from the blog hop. I am following you back on GFC, Twitter and Facebook. My blog is

  4. Great quotes LOL! And awesome interview.

    That sounds like such a rich book :)

  5. Thanks for having me, Donna. :) I enjoyed the interview.

    Tina, Tania, Denise ~ Thanks for following the blog tour. Hope you enter yourself and Donna in the giveaways for signed copies of I Loved You First.

    Elizabeth ~ I also love the quotes. Makes me want to revisit the book.

  6. You have an award at

  7. Nice review Donna! I was intrigue on the plot of the story as i am in College right now.. It seems the book is all about self-discovery. I might check it out!

    As usual, Donna, you did a great job on this interview/review.



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