Before YouChick Lit, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Some say love is deadly. Some say love is beautiful. I say it is both.
Faith Watters spent her junior year traveling the world, studying in exquisite places, before returning to Oviedo High School. From the outside her life is picture-perfect. Captain of the dance team. Popular. Happy. Too bad it’s all a lie.
It will haunt me. It will claim me. It will shatter me. And I don't care.
Eighteen-year-old Diego Alvarez hates his new life in the States, but staying in Cuba is not an option. Covered in tattoos and scars, Diego doesn't stand a chance of fitting in. Nor does he want to. His only concern is staying hidden from his past—a past, which if it were to surface, would cost him everything. Including his life.
At Oviedo High School, it seems that Faith Watters and Diego Alvarez do not belong together. But fate is as tricky as it is lovely. Freedom with no restraint is what they long for. What they get is something different entirely.
Love—it will ruin you and save you, both.
It’s been a while since I read a NA book that’s grasp my attention like this book. Before You is set in high school! I know, I’m not usually a fan of high school reads—but this is different. I couldn’t put this book down for a moment, and read the entire book from start to finish in a matter of hours. I ignored my kids. I didn’t do one load of laundry. What did I do? I cried. I swooned. I almost, ALMOST threw my iPad across the room and had a temper tantrum. I lost my breath, escaped reality, fell in love for the first time all over again, cried, laughed, cried, swooned, cried, and then calmed myself down with some alcohol. (True story!)
Faith is a good girl. She goes to church. She’s the captain of her dance squad. She wears modest attire. She follows the rules… or at least she thinks she needs to. She has a secret, but that secret can’t come out. Only her best friend knows where she was her junior year. It can’t get out. It will ruin her father’s reputation. She can’t be like her mother. She can’t. She won’t allow it. So she acts, thinks, and talks how she thinks she needs to. This is before she meets Diego.
Diego is a bad boy. He has tattoos. He smokes. He lives in the bad part of town. He just arrived from Cuba with his own secrets. His dad is the only one who knows why he has these certain tattoos. And more importantly, what they mean. He’s in Florida to start new. He is there for family. He’s surviving for his dad. He doesn’t care what others think…before he meets Faith.
Diego and Faith are so different before they meet. Once they do meet…they realize the facade they each put up and want to tear each other’s down. Their chemistry from the beginning is ridiculous. I had butterflies the entire book. My heart hurt from so many palpitations. I thought I may need a Xanax for part of the book. I instantly connected with these characters. They are real, with real issues, and I felt for them and with them. First love is so rare and precious. Being yourself is scary. This is a wonderful story of first love, overcoming fears, putting the past behind you and moving on. I LOVED this book for so many reasons and I can’t recommend it more. If you enjoyed Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry series, you will enjoy this! All I can say, is I’m looking forward to more from this author. She has a new fan in me!
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