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 escape their old lives in the rough neighborhoods of Minneapolis and the judgmental eyes of their parents, who couldn’t see that Atty and Cole were meant to be. But they don’t get away clean. Eventually the mistakes and betrayals from their pasts catch up to them. Atty is lying about why Cole is being hounded by the cops and Cole won’t go quietly to jail—or anywhere without Atty. Then the unthinkable becomes reality and the future is instantly unwritten.Through Atty’s journal, all the intimate details of her tragic romance with Cole unfold from finish to start, including the mystery of what brought them together—and tore them apart.

Before Now Details

TitleBefore Now
Author
ReleaseDec 26th, 2017
PublisherKatherine Tegen Books
ISBN-139780062347077
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Before Now Review

  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    (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
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  • Rachel Lightwood
    January 1, 1970
    • 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 did not 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 a • 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 did not 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 associated with that 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.Full review to come asap. Trigger warnings for suicide, sexual assault (including implied child molestation), substance abuse, parental neglect, mild racism.
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  • Annie (Diverse Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    • MC (Atty) is biracial, Haitian-American. • MC's father is Haitian. • Cole's mother is LBGT+ (implied bisexual) and has a drug addiction. • His mother's ex-girlfriend (Rita) is a lesbian.tw: suicide, sexual assault, substance abuse, neglect, mild racism.
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  • Zoë
    January 1, 1970
    One of the more unusual books I've read this year is definitely Before Now by Norah Olson, which is a Memento-style young adult novel about a Romeo and Juliet romance told in reverse. The issue is that stakes don't seem really high and instead of the main characters, Atty and Cole, just seem overly dramatic. I think part of that has to do with them being teenagers, which might be realistic, but part of it has to do with the fact that the book is so short (just over 200 pages) so there's not a lo One of the more unusual books I've read this year is definitely Before Now by Norah Olson, which is a Memento-style young adult novel about a Romeo and Juliet romance told in reverse. The issue is that stakes don't seem really high and instead of the main characters, Atty and Cole, just seem overly dramatic. I think part of that has to do with them being teenagers, which might be realistic, but part of it has to do with the fact that the book is so short (just over 200 pages) so there's not a lot of development or depth to the plot.Besides the reverse storytelling, which I loved in premise but meant that the book tended to get less interesting as it went on, the other unique aspect of Before Now is the electronic dance music (EDM) component, since I am not familiar with that scene and I have never seen it represented in a young adult novel before. There are also some nice descriptions by Olson, but my connection to the story and to Atty and Cole was lacking because they didn't have a chance to develop a real relationship in so few pages. While Before Now didn't blow me away, it was fun to try out the reverse story-telling and I'd love to read more books like that in the future. Let me know if you have a recommendation!
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    ***I read an ARC of this received at work*** Actual rating: 2.5? I guess?Before Now is a story told in reverse, because the beginning of the story (the further along you are in the book) makes things more interesting than the end of the story (the beginning of the book). This makes the story a little hard to get into at first, and I don't know if this plot line was the best fit for that style, but it still sort of works. Because of this, when reading, at first I saw Atty and Cole as dramatic in ***I read an ARC of this received at work*** Actual rating: 2.5? I guess?Before Now is a story told in reverse, because the beginning of the story (the further along you are in the book) makes things more interesting than the end of the story (the beginning of the book). This makes the story a little hard to get into at first, and I don't know if this plot line was the best fit for that style, but it still sort of works. Because of this, when reading, at first I saw Atty and Cole as dramatic in a teen-drama way; the further along I got, the less I thought so. Even considering the turnout of events, though, it still seems a bit far fetched compared to other running away/trip YA novels.Atty and Cole share a love of astronomy and the EDM scene. They're in a vaguely forbidden romance that doesn't really seem enforced enough to understand the dramatics, but then, we people feel things sometimes deeper than it looks from the outside of a situation. Atty has a policeman father and a religious mother; Cole's mother is addicted to heroin. Atty's dad doesn't like Cole because of his mother. He tells Atty not to hang around with him but it doesn't really seem to matter. At the very beginning of the book, you reach the end of their story, with the both of them attempting dual suicide after running away from Minneapolis to California. Atty wakes up three months later, and it's not really clear to me whether or not Cole died.This book's strong point is the author's prose and descriptions of settings, feelings, etc. She paints a very vivid picture.The book isn't bad, but it didn't particularly impress me. It's a pretty short and quick read. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I was more of an EDM fan, as its brought up several times in the book as a bonding experience between many of the characters.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for allowing me to read this book.
  • Arururu
    January 1, 1970
    Not to offend anyone here, but.The cover.GROAN.The blurb sounds interesting though.
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