Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: Before You by Amber Hart

Before You
(Before & After # 1)
Pub. Date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: K-Teen
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley

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.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

The minute I saw this cover and read the blurb I knew I had to read it. I was so excited when I saw it on netgalley! Who doesn't love the idea of a good girl and a bad boy, but Before You definitely stood on it's own. There were some similarities to other contemporaries out there, but there were also a lot of differences.

Faith is a through and through a good girl. She makes good grades, listens to her father, who happens to be the local pastor, and never does anything that is against the rules. Turns out that is just one big facade, and I loved it! I loved getting to know the real Faith. Turns out she used to be into the party scene in a bad kind of way-even had to go to rehab. But the only people who knows this about Faith is her family and her best friend Melissa. She plays the part of a good girl good. It isn't until she is assigned to show Diego, a new student from Cuba around school that things start to unfold. Diego can definitely see the real her. Diego is full of tattoos and scars from his days running drugs for the gangs in Cuba. Him and his father has come to Miami for a better life and to get him away from all that. I really enjoyed watching Faith and Diego go from hating each other, to friends, to a relationship.

There were a lot of things that bothered me about Faith. Behind closed doors she and Diego were adorable, but at school she would ignore him and talk about him with her friends. I felt so bad Diego. Either way, the two of them had a really great connection, I just wish Faith was nicer.

I really loved the moments between Diego and his extended family. No matter where you come from, or what you have been through, you always need your family. I thought these moments were so special, and I knew they meant a lot to Diego.

I will never know what it's like to be in Diego's shoes, but the pain, anger and fear he felt, I felt it too. His story was heartbreaking, and even though he did bad things, I understood why he had to do them. I just wanted him to be able to get out of that life completely!

I'm looking forward to the next book featuring Melissa and Javier, Diego's cousin.

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