With a new, incompetent and abusive boss, every day is the day from hell for Lydia Nelson. She’s sitting in her car at the pier, unwinding and trying to shake off the latest nonsense when she sees a woman put her phone on the ground and climb over the bridge’s railing.
Ryann Harris thought she had everything: a beautiful girlfriend and a thriving tattoo business. But when she catches her girlfriend in bed with another woman and learns that said girlfriend has taken out an overwhelming amount in business loans, Ryann doesn’t know how to keep her life together. The business is slipping through her fingers and she obviously can’t stay with that woman anymore. So, Ryann is ready to jump off the bridge until Lydia talks her out of it and invites Ryann to come home with her.
The women form a tentative friendship and it isn’t long before they develop an attraction. But can they reach for a relationship when they’re both going through so much?
It was a little hard to connect with Lydia and Ryann at times because they both express a lot of insecurity, which prevents them from getting out of their own way. Thankfully, they do a lot of growing over the course of the book, working through the issues that keep them apart.
If you’re a Tereze fan, you’ll already know who Ryann is, because a Goodreads review tells me Ryann shows up in the Another Love series. Ryann’s cousin Sam and Sam’s wife Luciana are a big part of Before You Go because they’re so close to Ryann and take care of her throughout the story. You can read Before You Go on its own, however, and be just fine.
The Writing Style
I like Tereze’s writing style. I found this book very easy to get into and it was hard to put down, even when I was frustrated with Lydia or Ryann. And while this book deals with some tough subject matter, it never felt overwhelming for me.
Almost everything worked for me. It didn’t hurt that I imagined Ryann as Ruby Rose 😍
As you should know by now from the synopsis above, this book deals directly with suicide. For the most part, it was handled sensitively. However, right at the end, Ryann says “climbing over those railings has be the single most stupid, pathetic thing I’ve ever done.” I found that jarring because it was totally incongruent with the rest of the compassion for Ryann throughout the rest of the book.
One other thing rubbed me the wrong way in a reference to Luciana’s past. She had been an escort and quit that career for Sam. When that came up in Ryann’s thoughts as context for why Luciana couldn’t understand something, it says “[…] she wasn’t just some tacky escort. No, it was high-end. Classy. Expensive.” It was just a moment, but it yanked me right out of the story because it’s judgy, as if there are levels of sex work that are acceptable and levels that aren’t.
Overall, I really enjoyed Before You Go. I’ve never read anything by Melissa Tereze before and this book makes me want to seek out more. If you want a book that’s on the angstier side, but not overwhelmingly so, I recommend checking it out.
Excerpt from Before You Go by Melissa Tereze
“Do you think maybe you should see someone, Ryann? Talk?”
Ryann frowned. “I’m talking to you.”
“I meant someone qualified. A professional. Perhaps the mental health team?”
“Because what you did before is worrying behaviour. I know it’s none of my business, but I don’t like the idea of you leaving here tonight without support.”
“No, you’re right. Just tell me to mind my own business. This, it’s a downfall. Helping people.”
“I wouldn’t say it was a downfall.” Ryann caught Lydia’s kind eyes again. Grey, and intriguing. As she sat at the breakfast bar, Ryann was surprisingly thankful. Tonight, at the river, Ryann felt as though it was the only way to end the trouble she was facing. But now, sitting in a warm home with a wonderful, caring person offering support, life didn’t seem so daunting. “There aren’t many people out there who would invite a total stranger into their home.”
“You don’t strike me as the kind who would tie me up in the cellar.”
“No.” Ryann smiled faintly, running her fingers through her brown hair. “Maybe I’ll have dinner with you but then I really should go.”
“Home,” Ryann lied.
“And you’ll be okay?” Lydia’s eyes held an apprehension. Worry. Understandable but unnecessary.
Ryann rubbed at her eyebrow; she couldn’t believe someone actually cared. She’d gone from depressed to disbelief for the same situation in a short space of time.
Ryann’s chest tingled. This was a stark contrast to how her day had begun.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9798629111610
- Publisher: Indie author
- Melissa Tereze Online
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