I Like You, I Love Her – Review

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I Like You, I Love Her is the type of book I don’t have words for, instead, I’m full to the brim with feelings and nostalgia. I have never read a book before that mirrored my high school existence quite so clearly. This book transported me back to one of the most tumultuous times in my life, almost as if I had teleported back ten+ years ago! All of the rawness, angst, and trivialities of high school came rushing back to me – things I had pushed from my mind or thought I had forgotten returned because of J.R. Rogue’s incredible writing.


In a lot of ways, I was one of the lucky ones. My high school crush liked me back. It should have been magic and fire, but it was tragic and brutal. I wrote it that way, anyways.

His name was Bryan Winthrop. He was our high school basketball star. The prom king. The most beautiful boy I had ever laid eyes on. He liked me — the theatre geek who never should have caught his eye — but he loved her.

It’s been more than 10 years since the homecoming dance. Since the night he kissed me, breaking both of our hearts for the first time.

After the scandal, after graduation, I left our small town and made a name for myself on Broadway, then in Hollywood. I didn’t mean for the play I wrote about our high school affair to blow up. I didn’t mean for it to reach all the way back to my roots, wreaking havoc, wrecking families.

Bryan Winthrop and I were not friends, not lovers.

But I’m back. And for one summer — if she lets us — maybe we can be.

Take away the theater aspect and Severin is me in high school. She’s quiet, she’s a watcher more than a participant in the jungle that is high school (à la Mean Girls). She feels everything, especially the crush she’s burning with for Bryan, but more than anything, she is ready to make her own place in the world, away from her sleepy small town. I am Severin more than I can possibly describe without giving details of the book away. I have NEVER, even in my all-time favorite book, felt such a soul connection with a fictional character. I could have been reading my high school journal!

For those who are worried this is a cheating novel, I don’t think this book quite fits into the category of a “cheater romance”. This is more of a journey of self-discovery as the main character makes her way back to her hometown. She’s urged to figure out if she’s still the same girl she was or the new creature she has become upon leaving her old life behind. I would consider this more of a story about growing up and reflecting on life, and the consequences of actions taken, rather than a romance. The added romance simply adds to the character growth and Severin’s self-discovery as she tries to figure out the woman she wants to be. Truly, this is a one-of-a-kind story that refuses to be put in a box.

“It’s a time warp. Towns like this seemed to be stuck in glass jars. I want to grab this one, shake it up.”

To date, this is Jen Rogue’s best work, in my opinion. I couldn’t stop reading, the characters are still on my mind, and I could even do with a sequel (ok, I’m begging for one…or even a short novella)! I can’t begin to describe how impressed I am with J.R. Rogue’s constant growth as a writer. Each book is infinitely better than the last, featuring honest and real characters I can’t help but love. She places the most relatable nuggets of truth in her writing, making all the women reading feel a fistbump of solidarity.

“When our mistakes and sins are repeated from our own mouths, we often see ourselves in a new light.”

My favorite thing about this book after reading, besides the feelings it evoked, was the way the title was worked into the story. Before I started, the title made me nervous, like many readers. However, I guarantee it will take on a completely new meaning in the end! I love this book, guys! It’s my new fave of J.R. Rogue’s, and that is saying a lot after Kiss Me Like You Mean It.

Purchase on Amazon!


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