Monday, March 24, 2014

Review - Before You Break by Christina Lee

Series: Between Breaths #2
Author: Christina Lee
Release Date: February 18, 2014
Pages: 226
Goodreads Rating: 4.12 Stars
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Content Rating: 18+ (Explicit sex)

Summary from Goodreads: A sexy, emotional New Adult romance about a bad boy on the edge and a good girl about to lose control…

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.

*A companion novel to ALL OF YOU.

***NOTE: This review does not contain spoilers for book #1 in the series.  If you'd like to read my review of All of You, click HERE.***

Before You Break, was a great follow-up to All of You.  In fact, I actually think I enjoyed this book more than the first one.  This book could definitely be read on its own, but it would give you a richer view of the characters if you read All of You first.

The negatives:
  • A bit unbelievable.  Okay, I definitely had to use a bit of suspension of disbelief with this book because it was just so unbelievable that Ella and Quinn didn't recognize each other's voices.  Especially once they were together.  It's not like they never talked on the phone in regular life and their "phone voices" were so much different than their regular voices.  Sure Ella uses Gabriella on the suicide hotline and Quinn uses his real first name, but Ella suspects that David isn't his first name anyway.  As time went on, I just thought it was a bit silly that they didn't figure it all out.  But I was enjoying the story enough to be able to suspend disbelief and not let it bother me too much.
  • Ella and Quinn.  I really loved Ella and Quinn together.  Ella had been with her loser boyfriend for just a little too long and he'd obviously gotten tired of her.  She was (I felt, realistically) holding on to the relationship when it should have been over - not quite ready to let go.  I loved that Quinn felt so protective of Ella when he saw that his friend was being a jerk and not treating her right.  While Quinn wasn't an expert on relationships, he knew how a girl should be treated and he wasn't going to just put up with his friend's antics.  Meanwhile, both Ella and Quinn were fighting their mutual attraction and the connection that was beginning to form between them.  Quinn and Ella were fun together - plus there were plenty of sparks!  Ironically, this book had a lot less sex in it than book #1 (which was about a virgin!) - I liked the build-up and the sexual tension!
  • Message of hope.  The main storyline in this book was really touching and definitely portrayed a sense of hope.  Quinn was tearing himself up for a mistake that he'd made in his past - he couldn't forgive himself and didn't know if he could live with the pain anymore.  Ella was also living with a sort of guilt - the guilt at not having seen the pain that her brother was in before he'd taken his own life.  But while Ella had dealt with her pain and worked through it in positive ways, Quinn was still swallowed up by his pain.  Ella had something that Quinn needed - a sense of peace.  Not the ability to forget, but the ability to move on.  Because of this, she was able to help Quinn in a way that no one else could.  The overall message of the book was positive and encouraging, without being cheesy (which can be hard to do!).  I loved it!
This was a great contemporary NA read with a strong message of hope.  I give it 4/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by NetGalley and Penguin in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***