Author: Christina Lee
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: ARC via NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: The star catcher of the college baseball team isn’t supposed to have skeletons in his closet. But Daniel Quinn is hiding a guilty past so dark he refuses to let anyone get close. Except there’s something about gorgeous, studious Ella Abrams that goes beyond the electric attraction between them—something that makes him want to open up.
Ella has suffered enough heartache and guilt to fill one of her psychology textbooks, but she keeps that part of herself hidden behind a bubbly exterior. Until she receives an anonymous call while working the suicide helpline and the voice on the other end touches something inside of her that she can’t ignore.
Soon Ella and Quinn’s physical connection heats up, even as their deep and revealing hotline talks intensify. But by the time Ella realizes that her seductive jock and her sensitive caller are the same guy, it might be too late to save him—or to stop herself from falling too far.
I enjoyed Christina Lee’s All of You and when asked to participate in the blog tour for Before You Break I didn’t think twice. Before You Break is a heartbreaking journey and one where two people will unknowingly save one another.
We have good character development. Even though we first meet Ella Abrams in Lee’s All of You, it was a real treat getting to know her in Before You Break. Ella wants to make a difference and is a psychology major. She also volunteers at a suicide hotline and comes from a large loving family. It’s very easy to see why Ella has such good friends and you’ll even want to be her friend. Daniel “Quinn” is a star baseball player living in the shadows of his past. Everything he’s done is in memory of his best friend Sebastian and the life he didn’t get to have. I loved Quinn! He has elements of a bad boy, but is very much the good old American boy next door. Quinn is trying to move past Sebastian’s death, but can’t. We have several secondary characters that play a vital role. Fans of All of You will be pleased to see Avery and Bennett along with Rachel make an appearance.
Narration is first person told through Quinn and Ella’s perspective and I really appreciated the dual POV because it gave us insight to what both were thinking. While I still prefer third person narrative because it allows a reader to experience exactly what a character is feeling and thinking, I do believe the use of dual first person POV eliminates some of the guesses. We get to fully experience the moment as it happens. As narrators, both are trustworthy and I can’t imagine Before You Break being told in any other format. We need both narratives because Before You Break is an emotional journey that Ella and Quinn need to experience.
What I really liked about Lee’s Before You Break is that this story could have gone either way, really over the top cheesy or just right and in this case, it’s more than just right! I loved the positive message Lee conveys and handles a sensitive subject matter with class. Often times friends and family members left behind after a loved one commits suicide has them thinking of why and what they could have done differently. While Ella does hold on to the past by keeping Joel around since he is tie to her brother Christopher, I loved that she made it her mission to help others. She wasn’t preachy or a hardcore advocate (not that there’s anything wrong with passionate advocates because they believe in their cause and are there to make change happen), but rather she is sympathetic and had a plan. Although suicide is at the heart of Before You Break, it’s not a depressing subject matter and it could have easily weighed down the narrative, but it didn’t.
Overall, I just adored Quinn and Ella getting to know each other. While they shared a mutual attraction, they took things slowly and ah I loved this so much! Sure the lust and sexual tension they feel is there, but I really liked how Quinn needed to forgive himself before moving on. Both characters grow and it is rare to get that amount of character depth from both main protagonists. Can I also say how much I freaking adored Ella’s family? Especially her father and it was a precious scene when he meets Quinn for the first time.
A quick note regarding the possibility of cheating-I know some readers turn away from any cheating even if it is implied. Although Joel isn’t a saint and Quinn makes references to it at no point do Ella and Quinn act on their attraction until Ella is done with Joel.
If you’re a fan of New Adult and looking for a book with a little more depth than your average NA novel, I highly recommend Christina Lee’s Before You Break.
(Tour hosted by THESUBCLUBbooks)
Christina is hosting a tour wide giveaway! Good luck!
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