Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Before I Fall by Jessica Scott

By 8:21 AM , , , , ,

Before I Fall
    by: Jessica Scott

Publication Date: Mar. 10, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 300 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Stay focused. Get a job. Save her father's life.

Beth Lamont knows far too much about the harsh realities of life her gilded classmates have only read about in class. She'll do whatever it takes to take care of her father, even if that means tutoring a guy like Noah - a guy who represents everything she hates about the war, soldiers and what the Army has done to her family.

Noah Warren doesn't know how to be a student. All he knows is war. But he's going to college now to fulfill a promise and he doesn't break his promises. Except he doesn't count on his tutor being drop dead gorgeous and distracting as hell. One look at Beth threatens to unravel the careful lies Noah has constructed around him.

A simple arrangement turns into something neither of them can deny. And a war that neither of them can forget could destroy them both.

When it comes to reading military romances, I know that Jessica Scott will never steer me wrong. She is knowledgeable about her information and she knows soldiers, having been one herself. So when she tackles difficult issues such as PTSD, I know she knows what she's talking about. I have also been privy to many conversations about the Army, the war in Iraq, and the aftermath it has caused, so I appreciate her doing justice to the havoc it has wreaked on many lives in her books.
Beth and Noah's story is a beautiful and hopeful one. Both of them are struggling to keep afloat in their everyday lives, so meeting one another is a positive neither of them saw coming. I was afraid I wouldn't like Beth in the beginning because she's a bit prickly and is quick to judge Noah before really getting to know him. However, Beth is under ALOT of stress, so I can't say I blame her. She doesn't really have the time to tutor him with all her other obligations, but she also is pretty hard up for money, so she accepts. While she has preconceived notions about Noah, I did enjoy watching him shatter those and become someone she cares for.
Noah is a good guy who is not only struggling to understand statistics, but is also trying to keep the demons at bay from his time overseas. Being with Beth, he finds himself at peace and wonders if she will be the one to save him from himself. I love that Scott handles this realistically- the only person who can fix Noah is Noah. He can't depend on Beth to do that for him and wouldn't want her to. He knows keeping secrets from her is wrong, but can't bring himself to tell her the truth for fear of disgust and shame. My heart broke for him because once he finds out the whole truth about her dad, he doesn't even know how to broach the topic of what he's dealing with. He doesn't want to lie to her, but he can't lose her either.
It was hard to see these two struggle with their own truths because they are two people who deserve happiness. Beth is beyond frustrated with her father's condition and the run-around she gets with the VA. She finds comfort in Noah and the fact that he will fight his own anxiety and push through to help her when she most needs it. I liked their intimate moments together because they are so full of emotion and longing.
There are two side characters that stood out to me and they happen to be Noah and Beth's best friends, Josh and Abby. Josh is also a former soldier and I can tell his story will be intense also. He doesn't sugarcoat things for Beth and really tells her like it is when he confronts her toward the end of the book. Abby, is Beth's friend who has kind of taken her under her wing to help Beth 'play the game' in terms of the snobby, rich elite that surround them. We don't get much from Abby, but I am excited to read her story next.
Overall, I enjoyed this one. The ending is realistic and does an excellent job of displaying the hardships of loving someone with PTSD. I'm not sure why I didn't rate this one higher than 3.5 stars to be honest. Granted, this isn't a bad rating by any means, but overall, this book isn't one that blew me away like Scott's Back to You did. I am looking forward to Josh and Abby's story next, as I really do enjoy her military romances.

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  1. I added this to my wishlist last night so I'm glad to see this review! It sounds like she did a great job of handling a tough subject which is always reassuring. Lovely review, hon!

    1. Yay! I'm glad you did! I think you'll like this one since you like Mila's Come Back to Me. She did such a great job of handling the hard topics. She always does. I love her adult series so much!

  2. I love it when situations like this are treated realistically I hate when it is clearly there as a plot device and not given the attention it deserves. I'll have to add this to my TBR. Great review!

    1. Yes! I feel the same way. I don't like when it's just there for added shock value or whatnot.

  3. I'm a little disappointed that this wasn't a 4 or 5 stars read for you and I'm not sure how well I will mesh with the MC if she is so prickly and judgmental, but I love books that explore PTSD so I might give this a shot eventually. But first, I need to try the author's adult romance series. I think I will love that series more than this.
    Lovely review, Jessica!

    1. I was a little disappointed too. It reminded me of Jen Frederick's Undeclared, which I enjoyed but just didn't LOVE. I'm not sure exactly what it was and that bothers me too. While she is judgmental in the beginning, she does get better pretty fast, so I appreciated that. I agree, I think you should try the adult books. I love them!

  4. I still don't know about this one. Honestly, had it been 5 stars I might have added it. Still, I am glad to hear that she handled PTSD well and it was realistic.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it overall though.

    1. I don't know why I couldn't rate this one higher. I guess the plot didn't quite WOW me like I would have liked. I still recommend her adult series though.


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