Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Before You Break

Before You Break (Between Breaths - Book 2) by Christina Lee

Publication Date: 10/07/2014 (Paperback Release)
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: New American Library
Genre: New Adult 
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0451470877
ISBN-13: 978-0451470874

(Received for an honest review from New American Library)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Christina Lee on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Between Breaths

1. All of You
2. Before You Break
3. Whisper to Me

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Before You Break, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


New Adult sensation Christina Lee is back with a sexy and emotional tale 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 past so dark, he refuses to let anyone get close. Except there’s something about Ella Abrams that goes beyond attraction—something that makes him want to open up.

Ella has suffered enough heartache 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 help line 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 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….


Christina Lee takes on the theme of grief and overcoming tragedy in her paperback release of Before You Break, the second book in the Between Breaths series. This a new adult book that will take readers to the edge of the cliff before reeling them back in. With strong themes and intense emotions this that book that will make you think about your own life and what it means. Lee does a remarkable job of showing what it means to help save a life and how that can change you. A good addition to the series!

What I liked:

What is the nature of grief and how does it change us? Christina Lee takes on some heavy themes in this book and readers will appreciate her clarity and levity in writing about grief. Both of the main characters have lost someone close to them, but they have approached it in very different ways. Lee wasn't afraid to show both sides of the fence. From one character who had moved on and turned her life around to the other character, who had stagnated and sunk into depression. I loved the balance between both sides of the coin and how Lee was able to bring out such intense emotions. Grief is hard and every person experiences it differently. I was glad that this book let the reader see that.

Ella lost her brother to suicide. She coped. She survived. But it still changed her profoundly. She seems to have moved on, going into psychology and helping out at the local suicide prevention line. Lee gives readers a character who has turned tragedy around and made it her life's mission to help others. I thought Ella was strong and courageous but she is still wounded from her brothers death and it shows up in her relationships. I found her inspirational, yet still vulnerable and raw at times. 

Quinn lost his best friend in a car wreck that he blames himself for. He didn't have the same experience that Ella did with grief. Out of guilt he took on his best friends plan for his life, down to where he went to school, what sport he played, what fraternity he joined, but it still didn't take away the pain. He is depressed. He is looking for a way to take the pain away and he calls the suicide line for someone to talk to. Lee gives readers a tragic hero in Quinn, someone who needs hope.

Little does either character know in the beginning that they know each other. Quinn is in the same fraternity that Ella's boyfriend is in and he watches as she is mistreated by Joel. All along Quinn and Ella under other names are talking to each other on the hotline. Helping each other understand their feelings and what is going on inside them. This is a really intense book. The themes are emotional and heavy, yet the book somehow keeps from taking the reader to a dark place. If offers hope for a different future and helps the reader to see that even when things look bad there is still hope.

I loved these two characters together but and Lee uses a slow build up that will drive some readers crazy. You want to see them get together but readers have to realize that they have some pretty nasty obstacles and things to overcome and it wouldn't just happen in a few days. I liked the build up of the tension and the fact that the characters didn't just hop into bed after the first chapter. When you write book with such a deep theme, you have to give that a little respect and I think that is what Lee did here and I applaud her for it.

What I didn't like:

The setting for most of the book is the fraternity house. Given that, that is where Quinn and Ella first meet and get to know each other, it was somewhat understandable. But I wanted to see them in a different setting. I liked when they visited Ella's family and different times that they spent off campus. I wanted less frat house and more diversity in the setting, but it was still a very good book.

Bottom Line:

There were parts of this book that I really loved. The pacing is probably not what most readers are expecting. It's a slow simmer, compared to a rolling boil in the romance department. The themes are heavy and it bogs the book down now and then with it's intensity, but the story of hope that shines through is amazing. Lee does a great job with another book in the Between Breaths series.

Before You Break is available in paperback on October 7th from your favorite bookseller. Pre-order is available from some online retailers NOW.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Christina Lee lives outside of Cleveland with her husband and son--her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. Reading has always been her favorite pastime, so creating imaginary worlds has become a dream job. She is the author of All of MeBefore You Break, and Whisper to Me. She also owns her own jewelry business, called Tags-n-Stones, where she hand-stamps meaningful words or letters onto silver for her customers.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Before You Break by Christina Lee.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, October 16th.

1. Please leave a comment. What are your opinions on suicide hotlines? Do they really work? What can we do to bring the numbers of young adult suicide down?

2. Please fill out the FORM.


lag123 said...

I think the hotlines do work. So many times these young people are crying for help.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

traveler said...

There is someone who is helpful and there for you. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Kimberly Wyatt said...

I think suicide hotlines can't hurt b/c sometimes it probably helps to just have someone to talk to.

Unknown said...

as long as they are staffed with trained personnel. these hot lines are usually used by people who do not have anyone else to turn to, no family, friends, church etc. they are asking for help and hopefully these hot lines are linked in to their local healthcare providers.

Natasha said...

I think they can help, it can help to talk to someone who understands.
Thanks for the chance to win!

justpeachy36 said...

I think it is so important to have a way for these people to talk to someone whether is a hotline, a church, a friend. Whatever, it takes to make a difference in how they are feeling. It does get better!

bn100 said...

they could work with the right people

Anita Yancey said...

I do think that suicide hotlines do work in some cases because they just need someone to talk to. But if they really want to do it, I don't think that anything can stop them.


Texas Book Lover said...

I think they do work for some but not all unfortunately! I wish there was a miracle cure but reality is we haven't found it yet.