Alex is a typical college freshman with a crush on a guy. The only problem is that Seth has been her best friend since high school and, he’s gay.
Alex Carmichael has been Seth Richard’s sidekick, lackey, almost-invisible gossip buddy at all the good parties and his faithful standby through high school, hoping that one day he will feel the same way about her that she feels about him. Even though Seth begins to date cheerleader Cheyenne to keep up appearances, he is not supportive of the time that Alex spends with Dink, the football player interested in her, and Alex is hesitant to accommodate anyone other than Seth into her schedule.
Apart from a couple of typos and lack on consistencies in events, author Reena Jacobs Jacob’s writing is natural and the story flows. Jacobs’ inspiring message about the beauty of accepting yourself and others for whom they really are is perceptive and touching. Alex is a believable heroine, hiding in the shadows of the one she loves, and reluctantly realizes that her best friend is not making the best choices for her, but for himself alone. Alex learns to readjust her priorities so that she is no longer an unappreciated sidekick, but an individual who surrounds herself with people who like her for who she is in her own right. Alex learns that she can be a loyal friend without sacrificing her dignity. Seth is the credible closet homosexual trying to juggle the stereotypical football player image with his sexuality. By releasing his hold over Alex, he not only allows her to flourish, but he is left to reveal the truth of his identity to his friends and loved ones and learn true self-acceptance.
I Loved You First is about love, loyalty and acceptance of others, but also of oneself. An encouraging read for young adults.
Also by the same author: Shadow Cat (The Striped One)
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader