Before Now

Before Now

A harrowing and heartbreaking teen romance expertly told with a reverse timeline, Before Now is another emotionally charged novel from suspense author Norah Olson about a young couple who runs headlong into tragedy while trying to escape their complicated pasts.The odds were against them, but somehow aspiring astronomer Atty and her troubled boyfriend, Cole, managed to esc...

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Title:Before Now
Author:Norah Olson
Rating:

Before Now Reviews

  • Sarah

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

    This was a contemporary story, told in a reverse timeline from the end to the beginning.

    Atty was quite a passionate character, and she felt things really deeply. I did feel sorry for her because she wasn’t allowed to be with Cole, and the situation she found herself in wasn’t really her fault.

    The storyline in this started from the end, with a semi-successful suicide attempt between Atty and Cole. The rest o

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

    This was a contemporary story, told in a reverse timeline from the end to the beginning.

    Atty was quite a passionate character, and she felt things really deeply. I did feel sorry for her because she wasn’t allowed to be with Cole, and the situation she found herself in wasn’t really her fault.

    The storyline in this started from the end, with a semi-successful suicide attempt between Atty and Cole. The rest of the story then went backwards from this point, one day before another, and explained how Atty and Cole met, and what led them to the decision to commit suicide together. I found this reverse timeline quite confusing though, and although I wanted to know what had happened, I still felt like the story would have been better with a normal forwards timeline.

    The ending to this wasn’t as shocking as the beginning, which was a bit of a let-down, and I almost felt like reading the book again from the back to the front.

    6.5 out of 10

  • Jennifer

    Before Now is a standalone Young Adult novel.

    The narrator is 17 year old Atabei/ Atty (girl). The story is told in 1st person POV. Atty lives in Minneapolis. Her dad is Haitian. Her boyfriend is Cole, who is white.

    The book features a reverse timeline.

    The book starts by discussing a very serious subject. The problem to me is that we do not know these characters. We should feel something. But unfortunately I did not feel much. The two main characters did grow on me a bit by the end. But while the

    Before Now is a standalone Young Adult novel.

    The narrator is 17 year old Atabei/ Atty (girl). The story is told in 1st person POV. Atty lives in Minneapolis. Her dad is Haitian. Her boyfriend is Cole, who is white.

    The book features a reverse timeline.

    The book starts by discussing a very serious subject. The problem to me is that we do not know these characters. We should feel something. But unfortunately I did not feel much. The two main characters did grow on me a bit by the end. But while the idea of a reverse timeline was interesting ... it really did not work for me like I think it was meant to.

    There are actually a lot of serious topics that are mentioned in this book. However they are mostly mentioned without going into detail. We find something out like it was mentioned before. But since the story is told from the end to the beginning by the time we see the scenario play out ... well we already knew about it so it just doesn't have the impact it should. Plus most of the chapters are so short. There were very few scenes that played out to my satisfaction.

    The first chapter was quite interesting. However because of the reverse timeline we never get to revisit what happened.

    The book was super short. The idea of a reverse timeline was interesting. I actually liked the middle and end of the book more than the beginning. Although I did find myself sometimes forgetting that it was in reverse order. So it was a bit confusing at times.

    I did like Atty and her friend Lisette. I liked Cole's friend Rita. I thought that the stuff with Daniel was interesting and quite relevant right now.

    The book ends when Atty and Cole met. But it was sort of an abrupt ending to me. Overall, this book was just okay for me.

    Thanks to edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for allowing me to read this book.

  • Hollis

    BEFORE NOW is a story with an interesting concept. Instead of a fluctuating timeline that jumps around from past to present and so on, the story begins with the end and then rewinds slowly day by day. The problem that came from that choice is that the beginning (the end) is.. drama. And dramatic. And feels very exaggerated with the vague mentions of things that have happened to send these two teens on the run. What makes this harder to handle is the fact that I couldn't connect to the characters

    BEFORE NOW is a story with an interesting concept. Instead of a fluctuating timeline that jumps around from past to present and so on, the story begins with the end and then rewinds slowly day by day. The problem that came from that choice is that the beginning (the end) is.. drama. And dramatic. And feels very exaggerated with the vague mentions of things that have happened to send these two teens on the run. What makes this harder to handle is the fact that I couldn't connect to the characters because all they were was reactions to events I didn't understand because of things I didn't yet know.

    Olson's leads did sorta grow on me by the end (beginning) but it was almost too little too late. Even though a lot is happening, there's also just a small scope to this story, and the situations that could have held weight and meaning were instead glossed over. It was snippets in time, tiny scenes, instead of something you're meant to immerse yourself into.

    I think this would've worked out really well if the plot had been something other than it was but luckily I did enjoy the author's writing so it wasn't a complete miss for me.

    ** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

  • Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)

    I was kindly sent a physical arc for review by the publishers!

    Lots of T/W: Abuse, Racism, Drugs, Suicide etc...

    Before Now was such a quick story, told in reverse with the ending starting things off and finishing with the earliest memory of the two main characters. Although I liked the premise and the main character Atty's love for astronomy and EDM music, the writing style just didn't work for me. I struggled to connect with Atty and Cole as characters. It was just not my cup of tea, having more

    I was kindly sent a physical arc for review by the publishers!

    Lots of T/W: Abuse, Racism, Drugs, Suicide etc...

    Before Now was such a quick story, told in reverse with the ending starting things off and finishing with the earliest memory of the two main characters. Although I liked the premise and the main character Atty's love for astronomy and EDM music, the writing style just didn't work for me. I struggled to connect with Atty and Cole as characters. It was just not my cup of tea, having more questions than answers by the time the story was over. At various stages, I was very close to DNF'ing but decided to finish as it was short in length and wanted to catch up on reviews.

  • rachel • typed truths

    Trigger warnings for suicide, sexual assault (including implied child molestation), substance abuse, parental neglect, and racism.

    • I loved the reverse plotline. It was confusing in the beginning but definitely grew on me. A unique way to tell the story.

    • Decent characters. I just didn't love them all that much.

    • Olson rushed over a lot of the sensitive topics she touched upon. I needed more emotion and depth in her portrayal of suicide. I also wish more attention had been focused on the sexua

    Trigger warnings for suicide, sexual assault (including implied child molestation), substance abuse, parental neglect, and racism.

    • I loved the reverse plotline. It was confusing in the beginning but definitely grew on me. A unique way to tell the story.

    • Decent characters. I just didn't love them all that much.

    • Olson rushed over a lot of the sensitive topics she touched upon. I needed more emotion and depth in her portrayal of suicide. I also wish more attention had been focused on the sexual assault component.

    • I did like that she tackled an interracial romance without glossing over the microaggressions and stigma which still exists today.

    • Olson’s writing was lyrical but also… well, didn’t do it for me (for whatever reason).

    • The ending was unsatisfying.

    • Idk. It was just not something that didn’t grab me about this story. Somewhat forgettable.

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