Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Page Count: 320
Published by: K-Teen
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 really wanted to read this book, and I went in to it expecting to enjoy it. In the end I thought it was just okay. There were so many things that I liked about this story, and so many things that I didn't like, but I couldn't stop reading because I just had to know what happened next.
Before You was told in dual POV, and if you know me, you know that I adore dual POV stories. I actually liked Diego's 'voice' so much because it seemed more authentic and had a genuine feel to it, and I think it fit him perfectly. Faith's voice seemed really forced and unnatural. Her thoughts and comments were a bit stilted at times and really didn't seem to suit her.
I never connected with Faith because she seemed really shallow and superficial to me. She put a lot of pressure on herself to be perfect so she could please her pastor/preacher father and his congregation. She actually believed that she was on display 24/7 and must live up to their standards or it would reflect poorly on her father. So everything she did was carefully calculated, yet she never discussed any of these things with her father. And her poor, clueless father had no idea why his daughter was so uptight and unhappy. It's called a conversation people, you should try having one sometime! I didn't like this aspect of the story because I never felt that Faith's 'reasons' for her behavior were valid.
I could tell right away that Diego was bad news, but I never thought that he was all bad. There were times when I really liked him, and I think he wanted to be a better person and rise above the terrible life he left behind. I couldn't help but want him to succeed and be happy again. I liked that he wasn't afraid to speak his mind, but that's not a good thing to do in certain situations. He was also really immature at times, and I don't think he knew how to handle his emotions. He blew up several times with very little provocation and he came off as being very dangerous.
I felt there was a good balance between the sweet and cute times between Diego and Faith, and the dangerous and intense moments that Diego finds himself in. It's this balance that really shows off how different they really are. I wanted them to be together and be happy, but they had a lot of obstacles to overcome. Faith was so worried that people would judge her for being with Diego that she wanted to keep their relationship quiet. And poor Diego was so smitten with her that he allowed her to treat him like a dirty little secret. I really didn't like that aspect of their relationship.
Honestly, the good parts of this story really reminded me of the Perfect Chemistry series. It's too bad the entire book wasn't as good as that series. One thing I really didn't like was how the characters were stereotyped. Overall, this was an average read for me. The ending was quite satisfying (after a crazy heart stopping moment when I wanted to throw my Kindle across the room.) But I'm still interested in reading the rest of the series and I'm willing to give it a chance.
My rating: 3 stars