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I've Been Looking for You

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MAX: The new girl, the sarcastic asshole, the one who avoids getting attached to anyone.

EMILY: The golden girl, the rule-abiding rebel, the one who unknowingly craves something more.

When fate brings the two girls together, life seemed to fall into place. Until their future plans are shattered the moment someone leaves drugs inside Max's school locker.

While Max inevitably loses hope of escaping her new grim reality, Emily struggles to move on without the one she loves most. Especially when she’s the only one determined to find answers. But the closer Emily gets to discovering the truth, the harder it will be to stop her pursuit, even when it leads to dangerous consequences.

378 pages, Paperback

Published December 1, 2017

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Jennifer Dean

6 books190 followers

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5 stars
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15 (28%)
3 stars
12 (22%)
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5 (9%)
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Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews
Profile Image for CLo.
712 reviews62 followers
December 15, 2017
Enjoyable for the most part

I enjoyed this book but felt the constant flash back really threw off ghe pacing. I like flashbacks in books, I really do but this was too much and it sometimes felt out of place. It would have flowed better if a significant chunck was told between Jan through May of 2015 then sporadic important flashbacks. I did like how it was told from the Max and Emily first person POV as it gave that personal touch.
It even had a bit of crime mystery but it was a bit obvious and then not obvious at all which threw me for a loop cause there were absolutely no hints to it...maybe that's something that could be missing in a flash back.
Anyway, it was an overall enjoyable read of two 17/18 year olds who fall in love and then one gets framed for a crime. Some things and points could have been flushed out more but like I said enjoyable. By the way...free on kindleUnlimited...so...yea that makes it better.
Profile Image for Susan Hampson.
1,522 reviews57 followers
March 14, 2018
Emily has been, up to now, a model student, great grades, great friends, she is beautiful and comes from a wealthy family. Then Max arrives, confident, a charmer and a player. Well I thought, everyone loves a bad boy, or bad girl in this case and so a new school romance began to blossom. Only this time Max didn’t want to play the field, she was quite smitten with Emily. Emily who had never even kissed a girl felt exactly the same.
This story is set on a couple of time lines, one present day and one back when the two girls first met in 2015 when they were in school. Present day Max is in prison serving time, trying to convince Emily to get on with her life and not wait round for her being released.
This is a quite beautiful love story that makes you get right behind this young couple for their relationship to work. Jennifer Dean brought together two opposites who simply could not keep away from each other. Then as the relationship between them began to go from a physical attraction to love and she polished all of the rough edges from it but someone is determined to split the couple up.
When Max is set up and goes to prison for a crime she didn’t commit, she thinks that will be the end of them but Emily is much stronger than she thinks. The story is told by both of the young women in both time lines. The relationship they have changes again, Emily is determined to get to the truth and get Max back out of prison.
All together this is a super Y.A. read. A beautiful romance and a mystery to solve.
I received a copy of this ebook free which I have honestly reviewed.
Profile Image for XR.
1,708 reviews77 followers
October 8, 2020
Great read!

Max was a cool character and I felt bad for her having to go into prison. Emily, wow... what a character. She's so cute and endearing at the start of the book, and then you see her growth as the story progresses. She's still endearing but she's got a strength to her that you don't expect from someone who was so timid at the start.

Oh, and I thought it was cute how the author kept writing "nudged my bicep" or "grabbed her bicep" instead of just saying, my arm or her arm. It was very specific hehe. I'm so easily amused.
Profile Image for Jamal Lewis.
Author 1 book68 followers
January 4, 2018
Excellent. I received this novel from the author’s publicist and I really didn't know what to expect from a FF YA Romance. Good reads has opened me up to stories I would have not bought on my own. But I liked this.

There were the elements of two high schoolers bonding but complicated by it being same-sex and typical high school jealousy. People will go through any length to ruin a relationship and in this story it leads to an arrest from a frame-up job. 🤦🏾‍♂️

The book had a heavy backstory bent, which could have been covered in a deep prologue, but as another author, I don't challenge another authors method to their madness. Overall it worked and this is a five-star read.
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,071 reviews219 followers
December 21, 2017
I received a copy of I've Been Looking For You in exchange for my honest review and in participation of the blog tour. You can find my post here.

I've Been Looking for You is one of the best YA books of the year. End sentence.

Truly, it is special and an absolute force to be reckoned with. As unforgettable as it is beautiful, I've Been Looking for You is a equal parts love story and coming of age tale. It all boils down to love and circumstances. In short, it is life and its ups and downs.

This was my first experience of Jennifer Dean's books but I'm so glad it was. It won't be my last. Not only did she capture the very spirit of being a young adult, she tugs at the heartstrings of her readers when the plot thickens and we rotate through timelines. Think of I've Been Looking for You as one of those books which is split into two by being told in "Before"and "After/Now"--where other authors fail to portray this in a way that is coherent and seamless, Jennifer Dean never has that problem.

In fact, the pacing is one of things that most attracted me towards the novel, right after the two main characters: Max and Emily and their relationship as it develops. I truly adored both of them in even their less than stellar moments--if you're at all intrigued by two very different young girls, two people holding out their own in very different archetypes, this is the book for you.

The love they share with one another is unique and very, very swoon-worthy. I was hooked on them the moment we see them meet and I was an absolute goner once they started to call one another by little names. Asshole and Princess. Can you get any more tension than that? I love the way they just fit together. They're right. Even in the stressful moments, you just know.

(Also! Their banter? Sign me the heck up, please!)

I thought that the way they were developed--in the past and in the present, together and apart--was very organic When an author is able to lead you into a character's mind, without them seeming like a character but rather a friend, you know they have a gift. Jennifer Dean occupies your heart and soul when it comes to Max and Emily, they feel like your very best friends.

You root for them. You hope for the light at the end of the tunnel. You smile at their beginnings. You wait patiently for the plots to resolve themselves as they struggle with the now. After separated, you can physically feel the sadness and, yes, loneliness, shared between the two. And you always, always feel the love.

What makes the novel so beautifully crafted, so compelling, is that it is true to life. It never stands still or slows down. It breaks your heart just as easily as it mends it. You become invested in the stories--from the days spent in school, to the manner in which they fall in love, to Max's life in prison to Emily's struggle in clearing her beloved's name--and there's no turning back.

Dean's prose becomes part of a quintessential LGBTQ+ coming-of-age novel. The connection of Max and Emily is one of the most sincere YA love stories I've read in 2017, right up there with Mateo and Rufus from Adam Silvera's They Both Die at the End and Justyce and S.J. from Nic Stone's Dear Martin. I cannot stress this enough--they are all completely different stories, completely different characters, but they are that level of compelling.

One thing's for certain, I've Been Looking for You is fast paced and memorable. You won't be able to put it down until the very end, even in the moments where you see where the plots are going or are quick to disagree with some actions. This is what ties the characters together, though. This is what makes I've Been Looking for You stunning.

Max and Emily's voices are so very important and their journey together is one of aching joy. This is the contemporary YA novel you've been waiting for and is perfect for fans of Nina LaCour.
Profile Image for Taiwo | A Lifestyle Nerd .
75 reviews44 followers
December 25, 2017
I received an e-ARC of this book from Xpresso Book Tours (www.xpressobooktours.com)

When I first started this book, I didn’t really like it. It seemed like the author had made the characters gay to inject some diversity into the book (I’ll get back to that later). However, as I read on, I realised that the book did have its merits. Let’s start with those

First, the romance which makes up about 80% of this book. I really really liked how the author wrote it. They were really cute together and I liked that the author didn’t make it all about the sex. The two girls actually deeply cared about each other and that was very beautiful. There aren’t a lot of f/f books in the novel marketplace. So, to see one written so beautifully, it makes me have hope for future writers.

The plot was at first quite confusing because the book jumped from the past to the present with only dates to differentiate them. I understood it after the first three or four chapters though and it got better.

The story is told in the POVs of the two characters, Max and Emily but the author didn’t jump from Max’s POV in the past to Emily’s POV in the present. That would have made the book very hard to understand. Instead, the first “book” of the novel (the first eleven chapters were told from Max’s POV), the next 22 from Emily’s and the last few chapters from Max’s POV again. Add that to the changing times and it does seem very confusing but I assure you, it’s not hard to grasp at all. Thumbs up to the author for making it work.

Something that made this way of writing easy to understand was because both Max and Emily had totally different characteristics. They were not the least bit like each other so it was easy to know who was who.

Now to what I didn’t like..

There were a couple of other characters like Emily’s friend, Allison (who barely appeared in the first twenty chapters. I mean, really!!! She only came into the story when she was needed. If I was Allison, I would have gotten angry at Emily because Emily basically ignored her when she met Max); Jason, Emily’s boyfriend, Max’s father and Emily’s parents. All the characters in the book were about TEN! If the book was set in a suburban Street with few neighbours, I could have understood that but this book (most of it anyway) was set in a school!! It was like only Max, Emily, Allison and Jason were students at that school. We didn’t get to see their classes very well, no talk of school extracurricular activities. Max had no friends at all except Emily (which makes no sense even if she was the new girl). Despite having nothing except their grades, both of them somehow managed to get accepted into NYU.

*Oh please!* *rolls eyes*

Then, let’s go to the injecting diversity part. This book was like one of those Wattpad books with horrible names like “The Playboy and the Beauty” only in this case, the Playboy (seemed to me) to have been made into a Playgirl just so that the book could be called “queer”.

Max was a playboy who smoked, flirted and slept around (Playgirl anyone?) while Emily was a rich, blonde, pretty girl (talk about a cliché) I would have had no problem with that. We all need a bit of clichéness sometimes but then, one issue was Max’s name. Why a boy’s name??? We weren’t even told her full name!! Also, she could carry Emily bridal-style. How many girls can carry other girls like that???? It just seemed like Max was originally a boy but the author decided to make her a girl and add some homophobia because “Why not?”

Another problem I had with the book was when Emily got a tattoo of Max’s name. I don’t find it romantic in the least. Like Emily is a possession or something. If you find it romantic, there’s nothing wrong with you (or me. Lol). I just don’t like it. It seems kind of unfeminst to me, I guess.

On the overall, this book was quite good but I wouldn’t say no to a few corrections.

Read more of my reviews at www.stuffedshelvesite.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Cassie May.
Author 9 books86 followers
November 13, 2017
Reviewed on behalf of 3 Degrees of Fiction Blog
This book popped my FF cherry. Since I rather enjoy MM romance I decided to give this one a chance and read FF. It was also my first time with this author, so new experiences all over the place.
The plot itself was good. It was well thought through and wrapped up quite nicely. I suspected the bad guys early on, but I don’t think that’ll be the fact for everyone. Emily was a great character and I connected deeply with her thoughts and feelings. Her love and despair was palpable for me and I could absolutely understand why she wanted to save Max.
However, Max, I couldn’t connect to at all. I couldn’t understand what she did and her feelings and nothing. Honestly I felt like I didn’t know anything about her in the end and that is meaning something since 2/3 of the book are from Max’ point of view. I wished I could understand her better, could understand her reasonings for pushing Emily away better when she loves her so fiercely.
All in all I rather enjoyed reading Max’ and Em’s story. It was a fastpaced, interesting read, I quite liked and I’m sure I’ll pick up more books of this author.
3.5 stars
Profile Image for Disha.
13 reviews8 followers
January 31, 2018
I’ve Been Looking for You is a coming of age romance novel about Max and Emily. Max is the new girl at Emily’s school and the book is about how these two fall in love. This is a cliche love story with Max being a typical “playgirl” and Emily the rich, pretty blonde. The story has some crime mystery thrown in when drugs are found outside Max’s locker, which makes it interesting.

I got a review copy of this book from the author’s publicist and I was really excited to read it, since this is the first FF romance novel I have ever read. And I wasn’t disappointed. It is a fast-paced story with a good romance. I really like the couple. But, the thing that bothered me about this story was that there was nothing unique in the plot—I have read books with the same kind of plot, but the only difference is that Max and Emily are both females. There are a few editorial issues in the book too. Apart from that this was a really great book.
Profile Image for Marla.
1,258 reviews216 followers
July 27, 2018
This book was a heartbreaking story. Max is new to school and is different than a lot of the kids. She meets Emily who is her polar opposite but they hit it off. Emily has been dating Jason for 4 years but for the last 2 years Jason has changed. He doesn’t treat Emily well. In fact, the first time he meets Max he says he can show her a good time but Max shoots him down by telling him he isn’t her type. Emily and Max become best friends very quickly. Max doesn’t hide that she is a lesbian. Emily even knows this but doesn’t have a problem with it. Slowly their attraction turns into romantic feelings. Then someone puts drugs into Max’s locker and she is locked up for 10 years with intent to distribute to minors. This book jumps around between Max’s time in prison, the two of them meeting and their relationship building and the present. It slowly pulls everything together. This is beautifully written. This story warmed my heart, broke my heart and frustrated me. The constant back and forth between the timeline gets slightly confusing. I had to keep looking at the dates and flipping back and forth. I think it didn’t need to bounce that much. I guessed right away who put the drugs into Max’s locker but other things happened that I did not see coming. I really enjoyed this book.
Profile Image for Shatika Turner.
Author 18 books54 followers
December 27, 2017
Good book

Though this book had editing issues, I cannot help but to give it five stars. The love between Em and Max was beautiful and the storyline was solid. I do wished i could have known what the outcome was when it came to Emily’s parents. Other than that and the editing issues, the book was great.
1,042 reviews2 followers
February 9, 2020
Loved the story, OK, it was a little predictable
Profile Image for Maze.
86 reviews2 followers
February 3, 2019
This was an okay read. Clearly there are some editing issues within the book but other than that I think the author did a good job. I like the past/present format and the whole mystery surrounding what really happened with Max. I'd read another.
Profile Image for Sky .
53 reviews1 follower
March 14, 2023
you have to be patients to read this book..i been many time hoping to pacing on the end.yet its wonderful lovely story with flashback background.
Profile Image for Andréa Brandão.
8 reviews7 followers
December 30, 2022
3 stars but really 2.5
I loved the main characters, loved their banter and their chemistry but I always felt like there was something lacking, I don't know if it was maybe some more development on their dialogues or their actions, but it never really made me want to stop reading the book, I was curious about the circumstance of max going to jail. ant then I reached the 3/4 of the book. and the reasons of why max went to jail and who was behind all that and then henry appearing out of the blue and magically knowing where they'd be and then emily being at the hospital... just too much. too easy, too unnecessary drama. i also felt like I was being dragged back and forth due to the flashbacks, I absolutely love flashbacks but only when they're well placed and used. again it was a ok book with likable characters up until 68% of the book. will definitely be reading more of this author tho
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews

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