Before I Fall by Jessica Scott
Publication Date: March 3rd 2015
Genres: New Adult
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
I thought I could do this. I thought I could leave the war behind.
I was wrong. I can’t do this. I can’t go to class and pretend like everything is normal. That I’m normal. I’m not. I’ve lost everything that matters to me. But I made a promise.
And if I’m going to keep that promise, I have to focus. I have to pretend that I belong on this southern campus that drips with old money.
And I have to pass stats. That’s where Beth comes in.
I’m terrified she’ll see through me. That the careful lies and easy smile won’t be enough to convince her that everything is fine.
That she’ll see how broken I really am.
But there’s something about her that draws me closer. A sadness in her eyes that am powerless to resist. I should walk away. Protect her from the broken, darkness in me.
Before we both fall into something neither of us can control...
Stay focused. Get a job. Save her father’s life.
Beth Lamont knows far too much about the harsh realities of life her gilded classmates have only read about in class. She’ll do whatever it takes to take care of her father, even if that means tutoring a guy like Noah - a guy who represents everything she hates about the war, soldiers and what the Army has done to her family.
Noah Warren doesn’t know how to be a student. All he knows is war. But he’s going to college now to fulfill a promise and he doesn’t break his promises. Except he doesn’t count on his tutor being drop dead gorgeous and distracting as hell. One look at Beth threatens to unravel the careful lies Noah has constructed around him.
A simple arrangement turns into something neither of them can deny. And a war that neither of them can forget could destroy them both.
It’s been a while since I read anything by Jessica Scott but I knew that I was going to like this one because she hasn’t ever let me down before..and I did. I really enjoyed this one.
This is the first book in the Falling series and the series follows three ex-Marines (I think Eli is an ex-Marine) try to make a life for themselves outside of the Marines. Learning how to live as civilians after being so used to living in the midst of war for so long.
First up, we have Noah Warren. Noah is enrolled in college and is trying to get his degree and make something of his life, to honor his Marine brothers that have fallen. In order to do that, he’s got to take and pass Statistics so his professor puts him into contact with Beth Lamont who is going to tutor him. He’s got a lot of things that he’s trying to deal with, the loss and pain from the war that he’s trying to cope with and he’s got a bit of a problem with pills. His PTSD is keeping him up at night so he takes pills to keep the monsters at bay but those pills are messing with his head and his life. He wasn’t expecting the chemistry with Beth and he certainly wasn’t expecting the amount of feelings for her that crept up. Her life is already filled to the brim with a soldier’s addiction to pills and staying healthy, she doesn’t need his baggage…but tell that to their hearts.
Beth has about all she can handle right now in her life but when her professor assigns her a tutoring project, she has no choice but to accept. She doesn’t have room in her life for the mess that comes with having feelings for Noah. Her father keeps her busy and the VA is trying their hardest to drive her insane but the more she gets to know Noah, the more she likes and when he offers her a shoulder to help carry her burden, she can’t help but lean on it.
Jessica Scott delivered another realistic romance with characters that wrapped me right up in their story. Noah’s story felt genuine and his issues were real. I wanted to hug him close at the same time that I wanted to shake some sense into him but Scott’s delivery of Noah’s mentality felt organic and I loved that Noah wasn’t perfect. That he had a lot of shit that he was shoveling day in and day out, trying to survive each passing day. It was very easy to connect with him and his battle, even if you’re not going through it yourself. I could totally see why Beth fell for him…even when it wasn’t smart for her to be with him, Noah was a great but troubled guy. He was worth a second look.
Beth’s story was interesting because you could feel the bitterness threatening to overtake her every single day and then to find out about Noah’s issues? It would have brought down the strongest of people to battle the same battle with two different people but Beth, she just kept getting right back up and fighting the good fight. There were times when I was overwhelmed with the amount of stress that Beth was under but my admiration for her was real. She was strong and she was hard working but she was also caring and loving. On top of the way that she was with both her father and Noah, she was a great friend to Abby.
Overall, this was a great introduction into a series that I really want to dig into. I loved the romance, the conflict, the characters…It was real, it was raw and a little gritty and I want more. I had some issues with the way that Noah’s issues were brought to light (the way he handled them, not the way that they were written or anything like that) and the way that Beth handled certain things but aside from that, I would definitely recommend this book.
Grade: 4 out of 5