Monday, 17 February 2014
Review: Before You Break by Christina Lee
Released: February 18th, 2014
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...
Before You Break is Christina Lee's second New Adult offering and is a companion novel to All of You. Just like its predecessor it's well-written and addictive, making it stand out in what has now become a sea of NA books. I remember reading All of You and being completely surprised by how much I enjoyed the writing, and that's a similar feeling to what I had reading Before You Break. There's a little too much sexual content for my liking, but I can easily gloss over that!
In Before You Break, Ella and Quinn take centre stage. Ella is Avery's roommate (a nice All of You reference there) and also works at a suicide helpline in her spare time. She's dealing with heartache from her past, and does anything she can to help others in similar situations. She ends up talking to a guy, Daniel, regularly, helping him more than she knows. But then he turns out to be someone she never expected.
Ella and Quinn's relationship is a believable one, made all the more intense because of their unavoidable chemistry and shared chequered pasts. They help one another when they need it most, and they make a great team. Ella's sensitive and caring while Quinn is protective and thoughtful. I didn't love them quite as much as Avery and Bennett, but that's to be expected!
One thing that really bugged me about the plot was that neither Ella or Quinn realised they were talking to each other through the suicide helpline. They'd spoken in-person a lot, but yet neither of them recognised each other's voice after numerous times on the phone. It might just be me, but I think that's highly unlikely. No-one sounds that different, right? This is the only part of the book that had me scratching my head in confusion, and I'm interested to know if other readers feel the same.
Before You Break is another thoughtful, well-written, intelligent New Adult book from Christina Lee. I thoroughly enjoy her books and the layered characters she creates, and I'm sure she has a long career ahead of her. Fans of Cora Carmack and Tammara Webber will appreciate these novels, though be warned there's more explicit content here. Still, they're great books for NA readers and I'm looking forward to more!