Blog Tour: Before You Break (Between Breaths #2) by Christina Lee~ Ava & Kat''s Review, Giveaway & Excerpt
At the theater, we bought popcorn, Milk Duds, and large sodas. After we settled in our seats in the crowded room, I opened the box of chocolate caramel confections and dumped them in the large tub.
“Um,” Quinn said, scratching his chin.
“Sweet and salty—it’s a must-have for movie watching.”
“Yes, seriously.” I picked up a Milk Dud, flanked it with two pieces of popcorn, and then brought it to his lips. “Here. I guarantee you’ll fall in love. You’ll never watch a movie without them again.”
“If you say so. . . .” He dragged the sweet and salty mixture into his mouth but kept my fingers enclosed between his lips. I held in a gasp while he ran his tongue over my thumb and then sucked on my forefinger before releasing my hand and chewing what remained.
“Agree,” he said around a mouthful of popcorn. “Wouldn’t want to be without them ever again.”
Quinn’s gaze latched on to mine. It felt like a bundle of feathers had been let loose in my stomach. “Guess you’ll have to come toevery movie from now on. So I don’t forget.”
Speechless wasn’t even the word for what I felt in that moment. Dumbfounded might have been more like it, or maybe just struck stupid, because I couldn’t even move my lips to form any coherent words.
When the movie previews began, he turned toward the screen and reached for my fingers, interlacing our hands. Then he leaned close to my ear and said, “I expect you to feed me just like that the entire movie.”
"This boy-this man-was asking for the moon and the stars. And I was willing to shoot us straight off the map. And offer him the entire universe."
*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
As soon as I read the very first page and the tears formed, I knew I was in for an emotional read, Ella's story grasped me straight away and I couldn't wait to read more.
Quinn has been consumed with guilt since the death of his best friend. A chain of events led to the accident that took Sebastian's life, yet Quinn could only see himself as the cause. Quinn couldn't see a way out of the darkness and entertained suicidal thoughts. When he reached out for help via a suicide prevention helpline, little did he know, Gabby would bring him back from the brink, in more ways than one.
I really liked the subject matter of the story, I think suicide is prevalent in society today and I loved that this subject was highlighted and brought to the forefront. The story was about acceptance; for Quinn to accept this his friend was no longer alive and that he could not live Sebastian's life for him. Above all, it was about Quinn coming to terms with the accident and accepting that he was not to blame. With Ella's physical presence and Gabby's listening ear, Quinn was able to find hope in the darkness that once consumed him.
Ella was a tough girl with plenty of issues of her own. She had grieved for her brother and turned his suicide into something helpful, she dedicated her life to helping others, no matter how small her role may be, she wanted to reach out and make a difference to people when they were at their lowest. Ella was a strong, independent girl but she had to work up the courage to sever the last link to her brother. She held on to her boyfriend Joel for all the wrong reasons and I was glad when she finally came to her senses.
I did have one little issue with the story, ok it might be a slightly big one, as it was the crux of the storyline but I struggled to believe Ella and Quinn didn't recognise each other's voices when talking via the helpline. At first, perhaps they wouldn't have known each other that well but they did socialise in the same circles before they got intimate and I questioned why they wouldn't recognise each other. Especially when Ella knew Daniel's voice so well, "I didn't know anything about him except how his voice sounded during the different emotions he'd expressed. How it was rougher when he was on the verge of tears. Had a dignified inflection when he was more optimistic." couldn't the same be said for Quinn's? That was my personal little niggle and perhaps it held me back loving Quinn and Ella's story completely but it would in no way impede your enjoyment of their journey.
I enjoyed Christina Lee's writing style; the dual point of view worked well and enabled me as a reader to connect to both characters. The chemistry between Quinn and Ella was captured greatly and the sexual tension was palpable. I found myself highlighting many passages as they were beautifully phrased and really captured the romance between Ella and Quinn. I would have liked more depth with regards to Ella's relationship with her friends Avery and Rachel, I felt their closeness was a little forced at times, I didn't feel their lifelong connection and felt that could've been nurtured more. This would've helped the build up for Rachel's story next. With that being said, Christina's writing has grown wonderfully since the first book and I do look forward to reading more of her work.
Before You Break was a good new adult story, fans of the genre will enjoy reading about Ella and Quinn and their emotional journey they embark on. It's definitely worth a read.
"Kissing you would be too easy," I whispered in her ear. "And you're not a girl I want to be easy with."
"Right now, your eyes are dancing for that boy."
"And this kiss. This one. It made me swoon so completely that I nearly turned liquid an slid onto the ground into a soggy mess."
"But . . . how can I live, if he's dead?" "Because you just have to. For you. You, Daniel," she said, and I was beginning to believe her. "To make your life mean something. No matter how small. And it can't mean anything if you're walking around dead."
"She was also perfect in every other way, too. She was plain amazing. And I wanted more. Maybe I wanted everything."
"She made me feel happy. Normal. Whole. Like everything was possible. Maybe even love."
For what it's worth, Daniel Quinn, it is a gift to know you. Every single part of you."
"He tugged me down on the sand and we kissed until our tongues were swollen and our lips were bruised. But our eyes remained open and our hearts became full."
I would really love to spill my guts about all the things I loved about this book, but if I did, it would contain spoilers and well… I can’t exactly ruin it for you!
After going through the pain of her brother committing suicide and the heartache and guilt of not seeing the signs or being able to help him, Ella is now trying to help others by working at a suicide hotline. This is where she meets Daniel.
Dealing with his own painful past filled with regret and guilt, Quinn is consumed with it and it’s preventing him from living as he should, loving others like he wants, and feeling worthy of being loved in return. Then he then turns to a stranger, Gabby, the girl that will save him from the demons in his head.
Now here’s the thing, Daniel knows Gabby from the hotline and Quinn knows Ella because she is dating one of his frat brothers. The only thing is they are both unaware that they share more than one simple connection. Make sense? Ella is Gabby and Quinn is Daniel, once that realization comes to light it may just be the thing that breaks them apart.
I love how Quinn is protective of Ella because he knows her boyfriend Joel is using her while “using” other girls at the same time. But Ella is also using Joel, but only for an emotional connection that ties to her past. Once she realizes what’s going on around her and in her head, she decides to move on, and the connection she feels towards Quinn starts to grow. The sweetness of Quinn and all of his swoony words and gentleness with her would melt any girl’s heart.
Quinn isn’t quite ready to move forward with Ella until he is sure she won’t hate him for his past mistakes. Ella is strong and patient with Quinn, she knows he will come around at his own pace. She just hope’s that it won’t take forever for him to be able to trust her.
When Quinn finally feels brave enough to open up completely to Ella, it all goes terribly wrong. Once she realizes that Quinn is Daniel from the hotline, her reaction and shock sets in and Quinn mistakes it for disgust and hate. He saw it in her eyes, but his faith and hopefulness that he entrusted her with turned into fear and sent him running away from her. If only she had opened her mouth sooner and explained. Once she realized what she had done, and what Quinn must have thought, it sends her running to him fearful of the outcome of her actions… “I need to get to you Quinn. Before you break”. And that’s exactly the moment where I broke out the box of tissues and had a book meltdown until I hit “the end”.
Christina wrote a beautiful story that gave me chills and made me feel for her characters so much that it made me cry… a lot. And it had the most perfect first kiss ever! I loved it all.
Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son--her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything.
She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.
She also owns her own jewelry business, called Tags-n-Stones(dot com), where she hand-stamps meaningful words or letters onto silver for her customers.
She loves to hear from her readers.
Also the creator of Tags-n-Stones jewelry.
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