Amber Hart / Contemporary / Contemporary Romance

Before You (Before and After, #1) by Amber Hart

before youTITLE: Before You
AUTHOR: Amber Hart
RELEASE DATE: 29 July 2014
PAPERBACK: 320 pages
GENRE: Contemporary Romance

SYNOPSIS:Some say love is deadly. Some say love is beautiful. I say it is both.

Faith Watters spent her junior year traveling the world, studying in exquisite places, before returning to Oviedo High School. From the outside her life is picture-perfect. Captain of the dance team. Popular. Happy. Too bad it’s all a lie.

It will haunt me. It will claim me. It will shatter me. And I don’t care.

Eighteen-year-old Diego Alvarez hates his new life in the States, but staying in Cuba is not an option. Covered in tattoos and scars, Diego doesn’t stand a chance of fitting in. Nor does he want to. His only concern is staying hidden from his past—a past, which if it were to surface, would cost him everything. Including his life.

At Oviedo High School, it seems that Faith Watters and Diego Alvarez do not belong together. But fate is as tricky as it is lovely. Freedom with no restraint is what they long for. What they get is something different entirely.

Love—it will ruin you and save you, both.
(Source: Goodreads)


Aww, this novel made me cry!


  • Love
  • Hope
  • Faith
  • Grace
  • Friendship
  • Family
  • Stereotypes
  • Prejudice
  • Sacrifice
  • Pain of the past

Faith WattersFaith seemed like an all right main character. I didn’t see anything really special or wrong about her. She’s cool and is a perfect match for Diego. Faith’s dad is a pastor so all of Faith’s life, she felt like she had to be perfect for everyone and because of that, Faith felt as if she was losing her true self. But that’s until Diego comes along…

Diego Alvarez→ I love Diego. He has been added to my book-boyfriend list. He’s Cuban, tough, and likes to tell it like it is. He doesn’t beat around the bush either; he gets straight to the point. Of course, Diego is the bad boy in the book and he has the bad boy image for sure: tatted up and rides a motorcycle.

Grace WattersFive year old Grace is Faith’s half-sister. In my opinion, Grace represents God’s grace that he shows us when we sin. Faith’s joy was always restored when she was playing with her little sister. She has a child’s heart and freedom. I really like this little girl’s character and the symbolism of her name.

Melissa→ Melissa is such a loyal friend. She is constantly looking out for her best friend Faith. But I feel like Faith sometimes take advantage of Melissa. Faith doesn’t ask Melissa how she is doing or anything. It’s like Melissa is more of a true friend than Faith.

I was nervous when the characters were nervous. Lol..Is that weird? Or is it just a normal fangirl thing?


This book takes place in Florida and senior year is just starting for the characters. I think Amber Hart tried too hard to make the dialogue of the Hispanics seem real, and instead it seemed unrealistic. At the beginning, I didn’t really like the writing style. Sometimes Hart’s writing would come off as poetic and other times her characters would seem emotionless. But as I got more into the story, her writing starting getting better.

The relationships between the characters and their personalities were well written and I enjoyed getting to know them. I was connected to almost every character and I wanted to know their back story. I read the second installment of this companion series and I am really liking where this series is headed.

Lesson Learned? You can fly on broken wings.


Book Cover: .1
Character Development/Plot: 2.8 out of 3
Interest: 1 out of 1
Imagery: .8 out of 1
Total: 4.7 stars

Favorite quotes:

  • “It means that you need to lighten up. You need that fire, Faith. You haven’t been passionate about anything in a long time. You’re too worried about what everyone else will think, and you’ve created such a squeaky-clean image that you feel the need to constantly polish it. It’s ridiculous. Let yourself enjoy Diego. If he burns you, so be it. At least then you’ll feel some sort of emotion. You’ll be living. Your life. Not theirs.”– Melissa to Faith, pp. 142
  • “I like it at Melissa’s. Her mom[‘s] sweetness and trust wrapped into one package. She lets Melissa make her own mistakes.-Faith POV, pp. 144
  • “Hopefully by now her father will allow his daughter to make decisions on her own. People need to fall sometimes to know how it feels to pick themselves up.”– Diego POV, pp. 267


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