I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Before You Break by Christina Lee
Published by Penguin on 2014-02-18
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Love & Romance, Romance, Young Adult
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A sexy, emotional New Adult romance about a bad boy on the edge and a good girl about to lose control... A college baseball star 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 a 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...
There was something beautiful about this story. It might have been that both Quinn and Ella have so much pain in their short lives that is abated by the time they spend together or it might be due to the fact that Ms. Lee doesn’t shy away from a very tough topic.
Ella loves the fact that she is in school and around people that she cares about but her relationship with her boyfriend is falling apart which might not be such a bad thing. She’s starting to notice his frat brother and isn’t quite certain what to think about the fact that he has shown her more kindness and attention than the man who is supposed to be there for her has in quite some time. She works for a local suicide hotline and when she gets a call from someone needing help she finds herself more interested in the man on the phone than she knows she should be. As she finally makes some decisions about her love-life she finds herself spending more and more time around Quinn but knows there is something he hasn’t told her but that it is something huge. She opens up to him about her brother’s suicide and how that has impacted her life in so many ways including the boyfriend she stayed with because of his ties to her brother. As she and Quinn start to get closer there is a secret that both of them hold which could split them apart or finally bring them the love and sense of being whole that they both crave. I loved her journey in this and the strength she shows when the truth comes out is amazing to read. She’s something else and seeing her find what she needed was beautiful.
Quinn… where do I start with him. He’s sexy.. well hell that’s a given.. but what you’ll love about him is his heart. He’s such an amazingly sweet man with this need to belong. He wants to have someone love him for him but the truth is he doesn’t feel he deserves it. He made a mistake that cost him dearly and because of that one mistake he’s living a life he doesn’t really want to out of a sense of survivor’s guilt. We get to see him work through his feelings for Ella and his belief that he doesn’t deserve her plus his sense of responsibility for a horrible accident. I loved how strong he really is as he works through everything but I especially loved how he tried to take care of her first but was willing to show her his vulnerabilities when he needed to. There was something special about watching him slowly start to rebuild himself and let people help him when they needed to. He’s got an amazing soul and seeing it heal on his journey in this book was sigh-worthy.
This was a fairly deep story in that we have a character that is suicidal and one who harbors guilt about what they believe they could have done to stop a suicide. It could have been a very dark story but instead by seeing their journey it showed that even in the darkest times there can be hope and hope should be what you reach for.
I’d like to thank Intermix and NetGalley.com for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.
I’ll also close with this… If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or need help coming to terms with someone close to you who has chosen this option please please please get help… Speak to someone you trust or reach out to your local suicide helpline. You can also reach out to: