ARC - Before You by Amber Hart - Aly

Before You by Amber Hart

Disclaimer: This review first appeared on my GR profile

*I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. I'm not going to tag them, so proceed at your own risk.

What a joke.

This book is hands down the worst book I've read sinceBeautiful Disaster and that's saying something. It is chockablock full of plot conveniences, cliche's and stupidity. It's just awful.

BEWARE: RANT AHEAD. Proceed at your own risk.

I was so damn excited when NetGalley approved my request. Ethnic diversity? Awesome. Star crossed lovers? Great! Deep, dark secrets? EVEN BETTER. But now I regret it so bad.

What the hell are people thinking when they decide to write a book that has so much potential, but riddle it with stupid plot lines that fail in every way, shape and form to deliver? And what the hell are people thinking when they decide that a violent, arrogant asshole is the PERFECT love interest for the MC? And what the HELL are people thinking when they make the MC the most shallow, pathetic human being on the planet? I mean, really? REALLY?! 

Fuck this book.

Meet Faith. She's a shallow, boring, foolish eighteen year old who loves the smell of attention and exaggerates in every aspect of her life.

Meet Diego. He's a dickhead (but he's hot, so that makes it okay!), he's violent and an arrogant douchebag. But, you know, he's hot, so excuse me while I swoon!

Where do I even fucking begin?

I don't even know. This is the most ridiculous, badly written, pathetic piece of 'literature' I have ever had the displeasure of reading. It's the type of thing you would find on a writing site like Fictionpress or WattPad. It is NOT something you would want to publish, or even read. I don't understand where the ratings have come from, because this book is not what it's made out to be.

*Aly, breathe. Get a hold of yourself.* 

I'm going to list the things that got on my nerves.

- Diego and Faith have BIG SECRET DARK PASTS THAT THEY CAN'T EVER SPEAK OF BECAUSE FUCK YOU THAT'S WHY. Pasts that are revealed within the first 30% of the book. YAY, SUSPENSE. 

- Diego and Faith cannot ever be together because Diego is Cuban and Faith is white. Excuse me. I didn't know we were still stuck in the eighteenth century. Even if biracial relationships are a problem in some countries, I highly doubt, in America, that you'd get shot for it.

Oh yeah. You heard me.

And let me get something off my chest: I get it that 'coloured' people still aren't accepted in today's society and that in some places the racism is a huge deal. In this book though, what bothered me the most, was how Diego described white people. Fucking hell, excuse me, but racism goes both ways, okay? Don't you fucking dare call people 'white trash', 'white bitches' and 'white whores' and then get mad when people call YOU something nasty, Mr. I'm A Speshul Snowflake. I HATE racism in books, it gets on my nerves, but what I hate even more is hypocrisy. Moving on.

- Because Diego and Faith can NEVER EVER BE TOGETHER they obviously fall into instalove within the first two pages.

Uh huh. TWO PAGES. Two pages and Diego already imagines her naked and Faith wants to dump her boyfriend.

It is the shallowest, funniest, most ridiculous relationship I have ever seen in YA books so far. 

- Faith never SHUTS UP about how pathetic and lonely and 'restricted' she is. EVER. Every other page, she reminds us of her 'dark' past and how 'restricted' her life is because her father is a pastor. 

I find the outfit I'm looking for. A black knee-length pleated skirt, a loose-fitting white top, and two-inch wedge shoes. Looking good at school is a must. Not that I do it for me. It's for my dad's reputation. I have to play the part.

Susan, my stepmom, hands me a bagel even though I already declined breakfast. It's poppy seed. I'm allergic to poppy seed.


"Faith, I will find a way to break you out of your mold," she says.
I laugh, partially because of the determination in my friend's eyes, but mostly because of the absurdity of her statement. Everybody knows that girls like me never break free.

*rolls eyes*

By 2%, I mentally punched her so many times, she'd have a face as flat as a fucking pancake.

And do you want to know what bothered me the most? Her life isn't that bad. It's really not. She has a curfew, but she has a brand-spanking new car, a gorgeous little sister, a fantastic social life, her father loves her... I'm sorry if I can't see howrestricted you are, but open up a can of man the fuck up. 

She paints her father to be an absolute monster who gives her no freedom at all but in reality, he's the nicest dad you will ever meet, just a father who is worried for his daughter and wants the best.

Faith, you're an ungrateful little bitch and I hate you.

- Diego isn't any better. If anything, he's WORSE. He has a disgusting attitude towards women where everyone who has a vagina is either white trash, a slut, a bitch or a fake. HEY ASSHOLE, DO YOU KNOW THAT NOT EVERYONE IS LIKE THAT? THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? And the best part? He COMPLAINS when women avoid him. *head desk*

Lola is smiling. I wonder if she enjoys the attention. Probably. She fits the type.

A sweet smell hits my nostrils as I pass the fruit section. It reminds me my peer helper, and I'm reminded of my disgust for her. She thinks she knows me, but she knows nothing. She's a snob, trying to prove something. They're all the same.

*takes deep, calming breaths*

Fuck you, Diego.


I glance up at him, kind of like I do when I'm searching the moon in a sea of darkness.


When we were little, Melissa and I used to collect glass bottles. Whenever we accumulated twenty, we'd break them on the conrete. When the glass shattered, the slivered pieces made a breathtaking prism of light.
I cut myself on the glass by accident once. It was painful, but worth it. The beauty was worth it.


"Quite staring at me,"I say, glancing up at him. He laughs and strands of black hair fall into his eyes. I imagine it's a little like looking at the world through charred silk.

Oh my God.

Sitting is an indulgence for those who can afford to relax. I pretend for a moment that I'm one of them.


Rodolfo has a smile full of white teeth and a dimple on the left side of his cheek. What happened to the other dimple? It's as though God has an asymmetrical look in mind when He created him.

Come on. Please tell me you're joking.


I grab a water bottle and head back to the table with Javier. Do people here know that most of the world doesn't get water from a bottle, but from a stream or river or muddy ground?

It's a fucking water bottle. Drink up, shut up.

I wish I had no memories. But I need memories.They remind me.

Bravo! Have a gold star you idiot!

She has wavy blond hair and blue eyes as big as the sky.

Jesus Christ. 

And this is nothing compared to the amount of attention seeking, woe-is-me, feel-sorry-for-me-please crap that is hurled at you left, right and centre!

People expect it from her - crazy, wild Melissa. If I said it? Watch out.

Sure, I've read the Bible from beginning to end. And yeah, I know key verses. I even bow my head at the right moments for prayer. But on the inside, I'm different. I have secrets. A dark past.

For makeup I went with blush, gloss, and a smoky eye. To hide the circles. To hide the evidence of tears.

This book tries SO HARD to make you feel sorry for the characters, but it doesn't work. It makes them seem whiny and pathetic, which is a stupid way to write them if you want your audience to, you know, like them. 

Oh and OH the plot conveniences burn your eyes! This is a spoiler warning. Proceed at your own risk!

- Diego gets in trouble with a gang. But it's okay, cos he knows how to fight and has killed people! (Mmm, sexy!)

- Faith fancies Diego, but that's okay because Jason is an asshole who dumps her when 'she needs him most'! Barf.

- Diego dies! Oh my God! OH NO! THE TRAGEDY! THE PAIN! OH-- oh look! He's alive! Turns out he was working for the government! HAHAHA, isn't that funny?! Happy endings all around!

Fuck this book.

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