Author: Nazarea AndrewsPublication Date: 27 July 2015
Publisher: A&A LiteraryGenre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Age Recommendation: 18 and up
Rating: 4 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~
A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with a art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant.
They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn't work--and with their best friends, they made a life. Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after.
They, more than anyone, knows that life doesn't go according to plan.
Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet's heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale.
But what happens when the fairy tale doesn't fall apart--but is forgotten?
Let me start this review by saying, scroll back up and look at that cover, isn't it gorgeous? Yes, it is what initially caught my eye and made me want to find out more about this book and I have to say I love it when a beautiful cover leads me to a good read.
Before and After is a love story, a love story told in the most unexpected way. It is a story about discovering who you are and learning even after tragedy that being true to yourself and loving yourself is more important than being what others expect of you.
Peyton and Rike come from opposite walks of life. Peyton is the daughter of an 'upper crust' political family and Rike is the foster care boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Yet they come together because in each other they find a similar soul. This is a bit of a difficult review in that there isn't a lot that can be said about the story with out giving everything away. Before and After is not a long book (which we will talk about in a minute), only around 200 pages, so everything happens quickly making an in-depth discussion a challenge.
So while I loved the storyline for this book and I loved the concept of the dual POV, Before coming from Peyton's POV and After coming from Rike's I have to say that I struggled for the first few chapters to get used to the constant back and forth. Once I got comfortable with the idea though I really enjoyed 'seeing' both these sides coming together.
I loved Rike, plain and simple. Rike is an emotionally sweet guy and he really isn't afraid to show it. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he loves with everything that he has. While I never fully understand his choice to not disclose everything to Peyton I was heartbroken watching him suffer through her memory loss and his willingness to walk away from her because he loved her enough to allow her the chance to become whoever she wanted to be. However, let me say that while he is what I called 'emotionally sweet' he is not a weak character, he is not a push over and he does have those alpha traits that we women seem to love. It really just makes him a character that you can not help but fall in love with.
Peyton, is a bit more difficult for me. While I liked her I also struggled to connect with her. I think however that is all on me. It comes down to me thinking what would I do in her situation. How would I respond and those thoughts lead me to be overly frustrated with her at times. Of course I can't say how I would respond to loosing my memory so it is a bit unfair of me to put my frustrations on her for her decisions, but it is what it is. I think I connected more with Rike because I could understand the pain he was feeling.
On to the length of the book, I would have liked more of a background story for Rike and for Peyton as well to be honest. A novella would have (would be) been fantastic because I think that there is so much more to both of them then we got to 'see'. I want to know what really went down with Peyton's family because it feels as though there is something deep and dark there but we don't know what it is. I wanted more for Scott and Lindsey and while this is a Stand Alone, I am hoping that maybe they will get their own book because I think they and we deserve it. Their story is as much a part of this book as Rike and Peyton's and I felt a little like we were left hanging there. I am also hoping that there could be a book for Peyton's brother! This story has the makings of a nice series and if you look at any reviews you will see that we all agree, we love the story and we want more!
Even though I want more I will say that this is a great read if you are looking for a quick romantic story that will have you swooning, crying, laughing (ahhhh, Jokes!!!) and fanning yourself (yes there are some pretty steamy moments), would it be wrong of me to call this book a quickie, good, fast, and satisfying in the end?
I would call this book a great beach or poolside read for the summer because you can have it read in no time at all and leave with a smile on your face. You will have a bit of a book hangover because you won't have wanted it to end, but know that at the same time you won't be disappointed in Rike and Peyton's story. It is a moving story that will make you think about what you would do in that situation. All I know is I would hope to have a Rike by my side!
Perfect fast read for anyone looking for a contemporary romance, especially if you are in that in-between books phase and can't decide what is next, make this one next!