Why did I listen to I Hated You First by Rachel John?
I had some policies to read for work and wanted to have something in the background. So I scrolled through Libby to find a new audiobook to listen to. I Hated You First sounded like it would be right up my alleyway with three elements that I always enjoy: enemies to lovers, secret crushes, and strong family dynamics. So I clicked borrow and was on my way to meet Clay and Lauren.
What’s the story here?
Clay is Lauren’s half brother Parker’s best friend. The two half siblings have a tense relationship ands spend most of the time arguing. Based on this, Clay and Lauren have always viewed each other as off limits for more being occasional acquaintances. This can be difficult when there have always been underlying feelings on both sides. All three characters work at the family company and the more time Clay and Lauren spend together, the more difficult it is to push each other away and ignore the growing chemistry between them.
How did I like I Hated You First?
I Hated You First was the perfect story to have in the background as I was reading those policies. There was so much tension between Clay and Lauren as they try to ignore the chemistry between them. They are both choosing to ignore their feelings and view each other as off limits which can only work for so long. The pressure between them just builds until it can no longer be contained.
I Hated You First is told in a duel perspective which I enjoyed because as a reader I was able to understand both Clay and Lauren’s points of view. These two characters grew up together so there is tons of history and hidden feelings for. And now they both work for the family company and both trying to prove themselves. For Clay, Lauren’s family is the family he never had – and for Lauren, she is constantly feeling like she has to prove herself and is butting heads with her half sibling over business decisions. Neither character is very good at putting themselves first and getting what they actually want.
Thankfully, Clay starts finding ways to spend more time with Lauren and she’s not exactly complaining about it. As their relationship evolves, they try ro keep it a secret so they don’t have to answer any questions and just to be together. I enjoyed this because it brought forth several cute and funny moments for both characters. It also gave gave characters the opportunity to grow as they figured out what they actually want. And when everything is revealed, the explosion that follows is so well worth it.
How’s the narration?
I Hated You First is narrated by Cecily White and is approximately 5 hours and 58 minutes in length. I listened to it at 1.75 speed which helped it move along quickly. It was easy to get lost in the story and with the duel perspective it was easy to keep track of what was going on. The narrator even attempted to change her voice for each character which I appreciated. The flow was so easy that as the book was closing in the end I couldn’t believe it was to that point. Everything was wrapped up very nicely too. I would recommend I Hated You First to anyone who enjoys duel perspectives, hidden feelings, enemies to lovers troupes, and complicated heartfelt family dynamics.
Rating: 4 Stars
Audiobook review outline courtesy of April at Good Books and Good Wine.