Monday, August 3, 2015

Before & After by Nazarea Andrews Blog Tour (Review + Giveaway)

Hey readers! Ethan here with an exciting post for you guys. A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of devouring my dear friend Nazarea Andrew's latest read, Before & After. I've never read any of her NA Contemporary works before so I was really excited to take the plunge. I'm so excited to share my thoughts with you all. Before we get to that, here's a but about Nazarea and the novel:

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college.

A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with a art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant.

They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn't work--and with their best friends, they made a life. Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after.

They, more than anyone, knows that life doesn't go according to plan.

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet's heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale.

But what happens when the fairy tale doesn't fall apart--but is forgotten?


Nazarea Andrews

Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog. She is the author of Girl Lost, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. 

My Thoughts:

Anyone who follows my ravings on the regular knows that I am one of Nazarea Andrews' self-proclaimed biggest fans. Let's pause and take a moment to think about our author. She's written more books than I can even count right now and she's seamlessly writes throughout genres. Contemporary Romance, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Dystopian. You need diversity? Let me introduce you to Nazarea Andrews. The best part, every one is amazing. Each of her novels has been acclaimed in some way, shape, or form. She's got fans on every side of the coin imaginable. But where do I come into this? I've never read a contemporary romance novel by Nazarea Andrews.


Yes, you read that right. No Branton, no romance, nothing. How can I call myself a fan, right?

When Nazarea and the team approached me about this one, I wasn't sure what to think. Sure, I love N, but how will I feel about her NA Romances? No zombies? No aliens? No fantastical worlds? It's not a Nazarea I was familiar with, but I knew in her hands, I wouldn't be disappointed. What I didn't expect was to have my mind absolutely blown. Before & After has been my favorite NA Contemporary novel of the summer!

Let's break this down.

The plot for Before & After wasn't something I am entirely unfamiliar with. I've read several novels on the topic of memory life, but none fo them had the unique twist that Andrews has added. Each chapter alternated between BEFORE the accident and AFTER the accident that claimed Peyton's memories (thus the title). In each chapter we learn a bit more about Rike and Peyton as each alternating chapter is also told from a different POV. It was remarkable to see how each of their lives changed so drastically as a result of the accident. The entire tone of the novel switches with each passing chapter. It was a remarkable literary device and a true testament to the talent of Nazarea Andrews.

The characters were great. I won't lie, I couldn't relate to them as much as I would have liked as they live... entirely different lives than myself. That's not a bad thing by any means, but it was definitely a form of culture shock for me to read some of the things that these characters do. The novel really centers around four close friends: Rike, Peyton, Scott, and Lindsay. While Rike and Peyton play the biggest roles, the characters of Scott and Lindsay play extremely important side characters. In fact, in some ways they guided the plot more so than Rike and Peyton. A lot of people are up in arms and really want a sequel or special story devoted to them. I'm a little different as I see their story in completion here with Before & After. The accident changed many lives, I believe Nazarea Andrews does a fantastic job of wrapping up this world in one singular story. It's a perfect standalone.

It's a quick read and Nazarea's great talent for flow ensures that it's a read that you'll breeze through, only pausing to catch the feels every now and then.

If you're looking for steam, this novel is full of it. I'm not used to 'love' scenes from Nazarea as all of the sex scenes I've read from her have been more... out of necessity than love. So this was a big change of pace, one that I ultimately enjoyed. Each scene furthers the plot and digs deep into the emotional psyche of her characters, rounding out the story in an even more perfect light.

As I mentioned before, this is an emotional read which may be a trigger for some people. Consider yourself warned, Andrews with twist your heart and grip your soul until the closing words of this story.

Like other novels I have read recently, Andrews makes use of poems, lyrics, and song to tell the story as well. As a musician, Rike helps aid the story with his writings. All I can say is that if Andrews ever decided to take a break from writing, I think she may have a job waiting for her in the music industry.

A beautiful written, unique, and well-crafted story, Andrews delivers a powerful emotional punch with Before & After. It's the perfect blend of delicate and gritty, sure to leave all readers reflecting on their own 'Before & After's.

This being said, it should come as no surprise that I am granting Before & After by Nazarea Andrews a well-earned 5-star review. I'll be holding this one close to my bookish heart and anxiously awaiting more like it from Andrews. I can only imagine what genre she'll blow me away with next. Historic? Westerns? Who knows! Here's to you Nazarea Andrews, a true literary mastermind of our time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Before & After by Nazarea Andrews. As you can see, I absolutely loved this latest release from her. Probably one of my absolute favorite novels she has ever released. Be sure to add this one to your TBR and be sure to enter the giveaway. Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time, Happy Reading!


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