Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review: Before They Find Us

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Before They Find Us
Author: Michelle A. Hansen
Publisher: Priest Rapids Press
Pages: Paperback; 334
Release Date: November 2013
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Content Screening: Nothing of note

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy mystery novels, mixed with a little bit of romance.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
I’m going to make you wish you were dead.

Just a text. Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Hales tries not to worry. Probably a wrong number. Not really meant for her, and definitely not related to the crime she witnessed six years ago. Right?

Then two states away, a bomb goes off in her best friend's locker. Soon Ryan is labeled a terrorist and runs to the safest place he knows—Rebecca’s house in small-town Wyoming. It doesn’t take long for the FBI to show up asking questions. Rebecca lies, of course, and says she hasn’t seen him.

Now she's neck-deep in it with him, whatever "it" is. The only way out is to return to Vegas, where Ryan is a wanted man. The city of lies and illusion tests Rebecca’s wits as she struggles to find the person who framed Ryan and why.

Is Rebecca’s text linked to the bombing? And what does it have to do with a six year old murder? Rebecca needs to find out before she loses Ryan—and her own life.

If I had to describe Before They Find Us in just one word, I think I'd choose "okay". This wasn't a book that blew me away. It had a fair amount of cliches, and didn't really add anything new to the overall genre. It did, however, keep me engaged enough to keep on reading through to the end. I'll admit that I honestly wanted to know how things would wrap up. So while I wasn't overly impressed, I did ultimately enjoy this read.

What kept me reading was Rebecca, our main character. There's a backstory for her that is hinted at from the beginning, but only slowly uncovered. It peaked my interest. More than anything else, I wanted to know what that story was. I saw the cracks in Rebecca's well-rounded exterior. I saw the nightmares that plagued her as a glimpse into her mind. I'll be honest, I didn't really care so much if Ryan was guilty or not. I just wanted to see what had broken poor Rebecca so badly.

In fact, my lack of interest in Ryan's character is what made this a tough read for me. The focus on the story is on Ryan. Is he guilty of the school bombing? Rebecca doesn't thnk so. Then again, she might be a bit biased. Is Rebecca feeling something more for him than friendship? While I appreciated that there was a romance brewing under the surface, I felt confused about their relationship overall. I didn't know them well enough to feel excited about it. I love the "friends to couple" aspect, it just didn't feel real to me between these two.

Still, I'll admit that there were enough twists and turns to keep me reading on. There was a good build up of tension to the end. It was exciting that each time I thought I knew what would happen next, I was surprised with the outcome. I'd say that Before They Find Us is a fairly solid story. Unfortunately, it's just bogged down by trying to do too much, and rehashing YA cliches, to feel like anything new. If you enjoy YA reads that mesh romance and mystery though, you might want to give this one a shot.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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