Saturday, March 7, 2015

Blog Tour: Before I Fall by Jessica Scott

Author: Jessica Scott
Publisher: Jessica Scott
Date of publication: March 2015

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.

BEFORE I FALL is Ms. Scott’s first foray into the New Adult genre.  I adored this book, so I think it is safe to say that she made a successful transition.    The story is a serious one as it deals with addiction and PTSD. But the love story is endearing and makes you believe love really can conquer anything!  Noah is back from the war and is attempting to finish out his business degree.  He has to pass Statistics and Beth is the best person for the job.  The problem is that Beth hates everything military.  Her father is a veteran and the government has not treated him well in terms of his injuries and recovery.

Having dealt with the VA system frequently for a family member, I could really sympathize with Beth.  Her struggle to navigate the system for her father is a reality that a lot of family members face today.  His pill and alcohol addiction puts them into an endless loop that she can’t see her way out of either financially or health wise.   Enter Noah who is dealing with his own demons resulting from his time overseas.  Noah’s social anxiety and addiction came across as very real. A lot of soldiers coming back find it hard to adjust to normal every day life.   I loved watching Beth and Noah fall for each other. He gives her a soft place to fall and she gives him an internal calm that he can’t find seem to find elsewhere.   I was really rooting for them and I applauded Noah’s and Beth’s decisions in the end.

I really liked how the author handled the subject of both addiction and PTSD.  I think that is important that themes like this are written for the New Adult crowd as they affect more and more young people today.  I have been an avid fan of Ms, Scott’s ever since I read her novel Because of You, (Coming Home #1).  This author’s background in military life gives depth to her stories and characters. I really believe that we, as readers, are getting a true glimpse into the ups and downs of being a soldier.  When I finish one of her books, I am always eagerly waiting for the next one to come out.  I can’t wait to see what comes next in this series.  I want to see how Noah and Beth are doing!

Note: This review was also published on March 3 at Romance at Random.  You can check it out here.

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she's a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

She's also written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of OIF/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice.

She's pursuing a graduate degree in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.

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