I was kindly sent an Advanced Reader Copy of Before Now by Norah Olson by Harper Collins. I have just finished reading this really quick and fast paced book and I wanted to share my thoughts on it before it hits the book stores.
** This novel has an expected publishing date of December 26th 2017. **
Firstly I just wanted to say that I have not personally read anything by this author before. Though I am aware of one other novel that she has written titled Twisted Fate, I am not overly familiar with Norah Olson or her writing. Therefore, I didn’t really have many expectations going into this. However, I can say that after reading this short book, I am considering reading some of Norah Olson’s other work as well.
Before Now is written as journal entries from the main character Atty. This is a very interesting novel as it has some very dark themes. The book is told from a sort of reverse timeline, where the most recent and current events are at the forefront, and then the reader gets the insights to how the characters ended up where they did in the beginning of the novel. I thought that this choice in the way the story was told really fit the context and kept the reader interested in learning more about these deep characters. their pasts, and what led to their devastating predicament in the book’s opening.
To give context to this kind of complex and deep plot line without giving away too many spoilers, this novel is primarily about a teen forbidden romance, where Atty’s father is a police officer and her mother is very religious. Her father being a police officer comes with its own set of tensions, as he has the inside information about Cole, her love interest. His mother Jennifer, struggles heavily with addiction issues and Atty’s father doesn’t want her to associate herself with a someone who comes from that kind of background. Therefore, her father overlooks the kind of person Cole is on the inside, and misjudges him completely.
I thought that the themes of this book were really deep and emotional because many people struggle with these types of issues, and it really highlights how relationships can be so strained with negative external factors surrounding them.
If I had to critique this book on anything, it would be that it was kind of short. I would have liked it to be slightly longer. Though I think that the author did a pretty good job of giving the reader a lot of context of the background of Atty and Cole and what they went through, it would have been better to get to know them just a little bit more. I felt like the only thing that I really knew about the both of them and why they loved each other was their common interest in science and EDM music. I would have liked a little bit more depth to their relationship which could have been more fully portrayed I think, if the novel was a bit longer.
Other than that, I really did like the book! I’ve actually been in a reading slump lately and it seems that every book I pick up I’ll read the first few pages and just set it down, but the one book that I continued to read and be intrigued by was this one. So for me right now to even finish this book says a lot about how good it is really is.
Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars! I recommend that you guys definitely look for it in stores and pick it up in December when it comes out!