Before You Break is the second book in the Between Breaths series by Christina Lee. I haven’t found many New Adult genre books that I’ve liked, but I enjoyed the first book, All of You, so I wanted to continue it. Before You Break is not a sequel. In All of You, we met Avery and her two friends, Ella and Rachel. This one is about Ella.
I think I liked Ella the most when I first met all the girls, but I had no idea her story was that emotional though. She lost her brother to suicide and has been working through her grief and loss for more than a year when she’s reintroduced in this book. Then we meet Quinn, who isn’t actually Ella’s boyfriend whom we met in All of You. So, interesting already… let’s see where this is going.
Quinn is suffering from an incredible amount of guilt and grief. We’re not immediately told the reasons for this, but he’s so distraught that he calls the college’s Suicide Hotline for help. Ella happens to answer and she introduces herself by her full name: Gabriella. Quinn, in turn, tells her his name is Daniel, which is his first name, and only his family calls him by that name. This is important to note because these two characters know each other. They’re not, like, best friends or anything, but they hang in the same circle. At this point, I’m super intrigued and am finding it hard to set the book down.
As the story evolves and these two characters get closer in person and on the phone, as their connection and attraction sizzles, I realize I’m really liking the way it’s all being handled by Christina Lee. There’s no cheating, and there are no over-dramatic scenes…just real, emotional, honest portrayals. I loved that these two don’t jump into bed the moment they’re able to. They make out a lot! And they take their time discovering each other’s bodies. It was really delicious. :)
I appreciated that, while Ella unknowingly was helping Quinn work out his issues, Quinn never relied on her to fix him. He never sought that out from her. He helped himself with the help of Ella’s care.
I think the only thing that really bothered me is still the same thing that bothered me in All of You, and that’s the way the girls – Avery, Ella, and Rachel – will every now and then call each other “bitch” in that way some girls talk to one another. I just don’t get it, and I know it happens in real life, but since “So, what’s going on, bitch?” is not something I’m likely to say, I cringed every time I read it. Maybe I’m showing my age. *shrugs*
The ending, where they each finally find out who the other has been this whole time, is done really well. Sure, there’s heightened emotions, but no unreasonable dramatics, which I again appreciated. I was left feeling that these two have something lasting and real. I definitely recommend this to fans of New Adult and to those people, who like me, have had a hard time finding one that’s good. :)
Before You Break by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths #2
Published by InterMix
Pub Date: February 18th 2014
Format: ARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
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…