Sunday, February 16, 2014

ARC Review: Before You Break (Between Breaths #2) by Christina Lee

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: February 18, 2014
Publisher: Intermix
226 Pages

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

Before You Break had potential, but it lost pretty quickly. Gabrielle, Ella, lost her brother when she was in high school. He committed suicide while she was at a party. Once in college, she decides to study psychology in order to try to understand what happened to her brother. While volunteering at suicide hotline she receives a phone call from a boy named Daniel. 

Daniel, who also goes by Quinn, feels guilt over a tragic accident that took the life of his best friend. In college he’s basically just living the life his friend would have had if he were still alive. Feeling constantly down and unworthy, he calls a suicide hotline and begins an unlikely “friendship” with Gabby. Meanwhile, Quinn and Ella start to get closer not realizing that they already know so much about each other. 

Obviously they’re going to realize they’re talking to each other on the phone and obviously this is going to be some sort of drama plot where one feels betrayed by the other. And…I was right, but it took until 87% into the book for one of them to realize who the other was. 


I’m sorry, but how do you not figure it out? Even if you don’t have the “AHA” moment, at some point you would have to be like, “hmmm, this voice sounds familiar”. Nope. Nothing. Then there was Quinn’s constant self-deprecation. Every other paragraph from his point of view reminded us of how worthless he was, how everything was his fault and he didn’t deserve to live. Also, what did Quinn look like? I know his feelings extremely well, but the author never once really describes him to us. I know that he’s tall with hair and an athletic build – oh and he has manly hair on his toes (not joking, this was an actual line in the book).

Then there was the connection between Quinn and Ella. Or actually, I mean the lack of connection. There were no sparks. No chemistry. The only time I felt anything between the two of them was when they were talking on the hotline phone to each other. Most of their actual relationship was spent worrying about what they were to each other. Are they dating? Are they casual? Does he like me? Will she hate me? 

Ella was the only thing that I sort of liked. Once she grew a backbone and dumped her cheating boyfriend, her character became interesting. She began to deal more with her past and realize the mistakes in her life. She was moving forward where I felt like Quinn was moving backward. Ultimately, despite the serious subject matter, they just didn’t mesh to me. 

I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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