Review: Before You Break by Christina Lee

The star catcher of the college baseball team 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 the 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

When Ella was in high school her brother Christopher committed suicide. Their family was/is close knit so the fact that no one knew how he was feeling was a huge blow to the family and Ella especially. She decided that she wanted to help people and so is majoring in Psychology. Part of her course study is to intern at the suicide helpline. She talks to a guy named Daniel who is considering suicide. He feels he did something awful – killing his best friend. As Ella goes by her full name (Gabriella) while working the call lines the caller thinks of her as Gabby.

In Ella's personal life she finds that she's no longer feeling anything for her boyfriend but she IS feeling something for his frat brother, Quinn. Once she breaks up with the douchebag she was dating, she lets Quinn know that she likes him, a lot. But Quinn is dealing with a bunch of stuff in his head – mostly about an accident that he was in that killed his best friend – but Ella doesn't know this.

The couple gets closer and closer and finally decide that this is something that they both want to continue for the long term but Quinn feels that once Ella knows about his accident that she'll be repulsed by him and will break things off.

Wow – this book was...intense. Intense, yet a beautiful story of love found and how that love brought Quinn out of his self-induced hatred. I thought the many different facets of this story all gelled so nicely into one great love story.

Ella was such a strong character even though she had her own issues and that strength helped Quinn deal with his self-loathing. I felt so horrible for the guy as he truly believed himself a bad person. When some truths come out I was so happy that he worked it all out in his head. (Let me just note that his parents suck!)

The love story was sweet and slow but so emotional that the slow pace was just perfect for the couple and their situation.

I very much enjoy Lee's writing and can't wait to read more from her in the future.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Christina Lee

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