Review: The Summer Before Forever (Before Forever #1) by Melissa Chambers

The Summer Before ForeverTitle: The Summer Before Forever
Author: Melissa Chambers
Series: Before Forever #1
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Blurb:
Some boys break your heart. Others teach you how to heal it.

Chloe Stone’s life is a hot mess. Determined to stop being so freaking skittish, she packs up her quasi-famous best friend and heads to Florida. The goal? Complete the summer bucket list to end all bucket lists. The problem? Her hot soon-to-be stepbrother, Landon Jacobs.

Landon’s mom will throttle him if he even looks at his future stepsister the wrong way. Problem is, Chloe is everything he didn’t know he wanted, and that’s…inconvenient. Watching her tear it up on a karaoke stage, stand up to his asshole friend, and rock her first string bikini destroys his sanity.

But there’s more than their future family on the line. Landon is hiding something—something he knows will change how she feels about him—and she’s hiding something from him, too. And when the secrets come out, there’s a good chance neither will look at the other the same way again…

My Review:
A sweet, uplifting, coming-of-age romance that will give you all the feels!

I seem to be addicted to forbidden romances at the moment, and I must admit it was what attracted me to request a review copy of The Summer Before Forever. However, to categorize this book as such would be doing it a massive injustice, because there is so much depth to this read and it is much more than just a story of two soon to be step-siblings who fall hard for each other.

This is a story about overcoming obstacles to follow your heart’s desire.

Chloe undergoes massive character development throughout this book, bolstered by support from both Landon and Jenna. Jenna was an absolute hoot – a minor celebrity thanks to a stint on a TV show/competition, she clearly loves the spotlight. She is the polar opposite of shy Chloe in that regard. However, Jenna was such a fantastic friend to her, encouraging her to come out of her shell, and to deal with the issues as a result of a horrible assault she had endured.

Landon had my heart from the first time he made an appearance on my Kindle. What a complete and utter sweetheart. It’s clear they are attracted to one another from the minute they meet but it takes a few weeks for them to act on it. I loved the build-up and getting to know both of them during that time. They really brought out the best in one another, and it epitomizes everything that is wonderful in a relationship when it’s truly meant to be.

I’ve heard of dyslexia but I hadn’t heard of dyscalculia until I read this book. Landon was following a different path in life rather than the one he desired because he felt the limitations of his disability. He never came across as weak even though he often felt like that on the inside. I loved the end of the book and how Chloe helped him face up to the challenges and move beyond them. Such a sweet, empowering, feel-good message.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style, and there was great emotional complexity and characterization. Voice was strong and distinguishable. It was a little slow the first 15% but that was a non-issue thereafter. The sexual assault was a little glossed over, and I felt that could’ve been explored a little more, however, it didn’t dent my enjoyment.

In summary, this was a fantastic read and I highly recommend to fans of well-written sweet contemporary YA romance.

Thanks to Entangled Teen for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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