Book Review — Before You Break by Christina Lee

Book Review — Before You Break by Christina Lee
Book Review — Before You Break by Christina LeeBefore You Break by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths #2
Published by Berkley, Penguin
Publication date: February 18, 2014
Genres: New Adult
226 pages
Format: eARC
Source: ARC via NetGalley

A sexy, emotional New Adult romance about a bad boy on the edge and a good girl about to lose control…

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.

*A companion novel to ALL OF YOU

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After reading Christina Lee’s All of You, I knew I had to continue with the next book in her Between Breaths series.  I really enjoyed Avery and Bennett’s relationship and the slow building romance.  I was hoping for more of the same in Before You Break.  Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the second installment of the series as much as the first.

Gabriella Adams works at a suicide prevention hotline under the pseudonym “Gabby” by night and attends college at TCU by day.  After her brother committed suicide, Ella has taken it upon herself to help prevent future tragedies and reach out to help others.  One night, a man named “Daniel” calls into the hotline, and Gabby/Ella can tell that he is extremely troubled.  After a few phone calls, she learns that Daniel has been living with a tremendous amount of guilt after the car he was driving crashed into an oncoming truck, killing his best friend.

We met Ella in All of You, she is Avery’s best friend. Ella is dating a frat boy, Joel, and it seems that she is stays in this relationship just because it’s comfortable.  After partying with Joel and his frat boys, Ella gets sick.  Wandering into one of the frat house bathrooms in her skivvies, Ella is on the verge of passing out.  Quinn, one of other frat guys, walks by and refuses to let a half-naked, drunk girl lie on the bathroom floor in a house full of frat-boys.  One point for Quinn.  Desipite Ella’s scantily clad status, Quinn puts his penis away for the night and sits there on the floor with Ella to watch over her since her asshat of a boyfriend wasn’t sober enough to help her.  Eleventy billion points for Quinn.

Daniel Quinn is a star baseball player for TCU.  All of the girls throw themselves at him.  And while he has lost himself in a good number of them, he’s never really done the whole relationship thing, especially the accident he was involved in years ago.  To help cope with the guilt and shame he feels, he calls into the suicide hotline and talks to Gabby/Ella.  His family hasn’t really been present in his life in a meaningful way. His father is a politician who is more interested in snagging the Senate seat, and his mother is more focused on appearances.  It’s no wonder, he is mentally in shambles.

After the night in the bathroom neither Daniel nor Ella can stop thinking of one another.  Ella breaks up with her loser of a boyfriend and Quinn and Ella start seeing each other.  I had difficulty really connecting with the characters in this book.  Aside from their obvious attraction to one another, I couldn’t connect with the two of them romantically.  The two of them shared tragic backgrounds, but it wasn’t until later that they really discovered that common bond.  The romance between the two of them seemed forced and rushed.  I wanted more romantic tension and build up in between the characters instead of being focused on the sexual nature and attraction.

Many New Adult books seem to be blending together these days.  I can handle predictability in a novel, that’s not why I didn’t like this book.  But in addition to the predictability, there was weak character development and weak dialogue.  Also, I had a problem believing that Ella wouldn’t recognize Quinn as the person calling into the hotline since both of them had spent so much time together and talked in person so much.  I am able to suspend reality for the sake of fiction, but I had trouble wrapping my head around this.

There were some sweet moments that I liked.  Quinn was very sweet to Ella and felt protective over her.  He felt she deserved better, better than what he could offer her.  But ultimately, I wasn’t in love with their love story.

I would recommend All of You before I would recommend this installment. I do look forward to reading Whisper to Me, the next book in Lee’s Between Breaths series coming out on May 14, 2014.

2 stars

* I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


All of You by Christina Lee Cover  Before You Break by Christina Lee  Whisper To Me by Christina Lee Cover

All of You (Book #1)
Amazon | Goodreads | My Review

Before You Break (Book #2)
Amazon | Goodreads

Whisper To Me (Book #3)
Out May 14, 2014
Pre-Order on Amazon | Goodreads

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