Paralyzed by the past and terrified of the future, Tabitha Kelly is broken.
After a public sex scandal at her college, Tabby moves to a new city with a new school, convinced she can start over. But she soon realizes the changes are not enough. Tabby must take action to help her heal and move on from the past.
And though it sounds crazy, she believes a one-night stand is the best way to take back what’s hers. If she can choose where, when, and most importantly, who … maybe she can regain control.
First, she needs a willing participant.
She finds more than that when she meets Noah Adler.
Unfortunately, she can’t go through with it. And when she tries to forget about the plan—and the guy—it becomes impossible.
Noah quickly weaves his way into her new life and her heart. But as he comes dangerously close to discovering her secret, Tabby’s at risk of losing it all.
*Id like to thank Clare James for supplying me with an ARC of Before You Go in return for an honest review*
Tabitha has been through a lot in the past couple of months. From being involved in a sex scandal at her old school, to her friends ditching her, to drowning in a deep depression, it’s a lot to try and overcome so when she goes to live with her dad, she figures she can at least try to get through the next two years.
In doing so, she decides that she just wants one night, one night with a guy in which after, it will help her gain control on her life and she can start over. But not everything is that simple.
Picking up a guy in her local bar, she meets Noah Adler and he’s more than willing to sleep with her. But when they both get to the final stages before having sex, Tabitha can’t go through with it, and she becomes paralyzed and fakes illness.
Tabitha tries to forget about Noah, but it seems impossible when he seems to be everywhere she turns at school. He quickly weaves his way into her life, and her heart and it scares Tabby but she kind of likes it. But shes so scared of him finding out her secret, that she doesn’t tell him. What happens what it all comes out though? Will Noah stand by her or leave her?
When Clare James emailed me and asked if I would like to receive a copy of this book, I read the synopsis and instantly knew I wanted to read it. And I’m so glad I did because I couldn’t put it down. I even took to reading it over my friend’s house last night while they all talked amongst themselves. So yes, I can honestly say I was hooked. I know there are many books about popular girls and sex scandals but really…this book was nothing like any of them. It was completely different and took a different spin on them all, into something that wasn’t just focused on the love aspect, it focused on the issue at hand – the sex scandal and how it affected Tabitha’s life, to how she needed to control her life and get it back on track without anyone finding out about her past.
We meet Tabitha in her local bar and get a glimpse into her past – the night that changed everything about her. Everything that was taken from her. She’s depressed, scared, frightened, emotionally scarred but all she really wants is to move on and take control of her life, thinking the only way to do so is to find a willing guy who will have a one night stand with her. She thinks by doing this, everything will at least, try to be back to normal.
Spotting a hot guy at the bar, Tabitha approaches him, asks him to play bingo with the locals and they engage in drinks and literature all night until they get back to her apartment. But before anything can really go any further, Tabby stops it, a feeling a dread soaring through her, but Noah doesn’t mind, he stays with her, making sure she is alright and playing nurse. Such the cutie, right?
Thinking she would never see him again, shes surprised when he’s in her class and he’s her ‘boss’ at her internship with the school’s newspaper. Noah never wanted her to be a one night stand but not wanting to pursue anything with him, at least that’s what she first says, he slowly worms his way into her life, makes her see that he’s not a bad guy and he really likes her and wants to help her through whatever is hurting her. She never knew that he was the guy she was looking for to help her and love her, loving him in return.
I fell for Noah the instant he appeared in the book. There was something about him that captivated not only me, but of course, Tabby. He was charming, he was sweet, but he also cared about Tabby, becoming persistent in being friends and wanting to pursue more with her. But he knew there was something deep down in Tabby that was still hurting her and I loved that he wanted to help her out, help her to stop being so scared of whatever it was, to help her overcome her need of being in control, both in her life and in the bedroom, in turn gaining her trust and not pushing her to tell him her secret, waiting until she was comfortable in telling him. He was literally the greatest boyfriend/friend that Tabby could have had, and to help her through everything, he was just perfect, even when he was hiding his own secrets.
I have to say; I enjoyed the scenes where Noah was helping Tabby overcome her need to control and her fear of being touched intimately. He knew just want to do to make her feel relaxed and let her, give him some of the control in turn, making her trust him and the ways he used to help her through this insecurity and dread. They were great scenes with Tabby slowly getting used to being touched by Noah and because of that, she let herself go, let Noah touch her, relax her and finally learn that sharing the control meant trusting one another, knowing they won’t push you into something you don’t want. It was great to see her journey throughout the book in gaining back pieces of herself.
I applaud Tabby’s strength. It took a lot of courage to let people in, even though she hadn’t told them about her past. Strength to let a guy in, to trust him and fall in love with him, to having a friend that she can lean on and a family that support her and love her. She pushed everything from her past away, including dancing, in which she loved. She didn’t want anything to do with the old her, but I loved that she just couldn’t stay away from her dancing. It was a big part of her, but also an escape but the more she danced, the more the old her was slowly seeping back. She found that strength to power through and try to overcome her past, and in doing so gained a best friend and a boyfriend who adores her and they both will do anything for Tabby, so when the scandal comes out, Noah does what any guy in love would do, hes there for Tabby. Like he would ever leave her. She has his heart for the taking.
The secondary characters from her Dad and stepmother, Amy to her friend Jules were big parts in Tabby’s story and life. They were constantly there for her, making sure she was okay, pushing her to achieve her potential and helping her overcome her past (even if Jules didn’t know what was wrong, she was there to comfort and assist in gaining that strength back).
Clare James has written a great debut novel, one that I think you should read. I love books that take characters on journeys, to be the best person they can be, and Before You Go is just that. It’s about a emotionally damaged girl who grows day by day in strength with the help of friends and family and who falls in love with the boy who stands by her throughout everything. It’s a perfect read and has the right amount of emotions for everyone. It’s a beautiful read and I definitely think you should add it to you TBR list and read it right now.