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To meet an author who can create dynamic female characters that can relate to all women if rare in my experience. However, I find myself constantly thinking "I remember when I went through that" "I remember feeling that way" "That was me ten years ago" "That's me now" "That's who I want to be" "I don't like her (because I do it too)" when I'm reading Jen's poetry or her novels.
I Like You I Love Her, is Jen's fourth novel and whether I am reading Sera, Kat, Gwen, or now Severin, I feel as though each of them is made from part of me. The most amazing thing about this is that I know SO MANY readers who feel the EXACT SAME WAY. What this shows women is that we are not alone, not in our feelings or our experiences or opinions. How easy a thing it is for us all to be connected through the commonality of relatability to a character(s).
I like you, I love her will make you feel nostalgia, frustration, hope, and sadness. I snapped on Severin out loud, rolled my eyes at her, and wanted to hug her. I appreciated the way Jen portrayed Severin's relationships with the other women in her life--Her sister, friend turned frenemy turned friend again, and her nemesis.
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I loved how Ben sneaks up on us and we don't even realize that we are falling in love with him until about 65% of the way through the book. I love the way there is an elephant in the room that Jen hints at regarding something that happened in the past and that tiny little mystery, that tiny little subplot, which is a huge motivation for the present Severin's actions, keeps us dying to know more, like we are waiting for the latest gossip back at the high school lunch table.
Speaking of present Severin, I love how Jen alternates point of view between past and present Severin. While the past chapters are marked as "then" the writing makes it easy to understand when the reader is in the past or present. This alternating POV also builds the angst between the characters and keep the reader vested in the story because so many character building events are happening in both points of view. We can see Severin grow in the past as well as see that she is still continuing to grow in the present.
The end of the book left me wanting, needing, begging for more. Jen is a "standalone type of gal" (her words) but I am still holding out hope for more Ben! I would love to see a spin-off book with Ben's high school story
I Like You I Love Her Releases September 27th, 2018
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