I was a little hesitant to pick up Before You, mostly due to the mixed reviews I had previously read. Some readers absolutely adored the novel, while others picked apart every detail and vehemently insulted the entire story. However, being the sucker I am for chick-lit, I couldn’t not read Before You. I mean, what else would you expect from this teen addicted to all things young adult? Back to the point, though. Although Before You certainly isn’t on my favorites list, I don’t quite feel the need to hate everything about it either. To be more concise, it was just okay.
Faith Watters is living a lie. She might be the pretty, popular captain of the dance team, but she’s actually miserable inside. That is, until she gets to know fellow senior Diego Alvarez. Tattooed and scarred, all Diego wants to do is return to Cuba. Too bad he’s stuck here in the States. Although their first meeting was far from love at first sight, Diego and Faith give each others reasons to live. As their love for each other becomes stronger, so does the magnitude of the many complications that arise. Will Diego and Faith be able to overcome the difficulties in order to find their own happy ending? Or will they have to succumb to something called reality?
Just a disclaimer: if you plan to pick up a novel with a unique plot, Before You is not what you need. This plot, along with the other aspects of the novel, is nothing new. It’s a love story of a so-called privileged girl and a stereotypical guy who get involved with the gangs. The personalities of the teenagers are also something you’ve probably seen before. Faith is your average materialistic teen who got in many scrapes her junior year. Diego has a troubled past from his childhood and adolescence in Cuba. Think Perfect Chemistry with a few variations.
There are some beautiful lines among the many sentences that have been written. One such passage is on the front cover. “Some say love is deadly. Some say love is beautiful. I say it’s both.” Amber Hart can write. I love the way that she easily conveys a wide range of emotions in a subtle, premeditated manner. That shows her true skill as a writer. Although some lines are definitely cheesier than others, gorgeous quotes like the aforementioned one still make the vast majority.
You know what also makes up the vast majority? Readers who will enjoy reading Before You. If you ask me, it’s a perfectly enjoyable summer read to complement a movie marathon. Or any other situation, really.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Publisher: K-Teen (July 29th, 2014)
Length: 320 pages (Paperback)
ISBN #: 9781617731167