Before Ever After

Thoughts   Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto, Crown Publisher New York 2011, an eBook so… not sure how many pages – goodreads says 260 which means I had the font a bit bigger because mine shows 312.

Book Club “The Bookies” Choice for December 29 Meeting

FIRST SENTENCE:  “Jasmine. It was not Max Gallus’s top choice for his last thought, but it would have to do.”


WHAT’s it ABOUT:  In this chicklit romance story about immortality but NOT vampires, Shelley is our hapless-but-adorable heroine who runs away from her life to take an offbeat tour of Europe, ultimately falling in love with Max, the tour guide. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they figure it out easy-peasy.

WHAT’s GOOD:  The travel pieces from the non-typical spots of Europe entwined with story bits of ancestors who lived through little-known historical events were entertaining, descriptive and informative.   Seeing how well this book is being received, I bet Sotto has a promising career ahead.  I hope her writing gets tighter and less embellished.  Pacing was good; I can say that.  The book does a lot of back and forth between NOW and THEN and it works well.

And since I have an interest in mosaics, I was pleased to see this mentioned in the story.


WHAT’s NOT so good:  OOoo boy. I didn’t fall into this like I hoped. I wanted to, but truthfully found it difficult to root for our poor Shelley and sympathize with her apprehensions about love. I never did get much sense of Max. Or his chickens. HOWEVER, if you want a light and sappy tale of resisting love and then saying ‘what the heck – go for it’, you might enjoy the humor and the silliness and get your heartstrings tugged despite the over-abundance of amber-colored eyes. And chickens.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  Overall, I enjoyed it but at times I had to squash my picky inner booksnob critic.  The author has charmed me –  she likely has a fun sense of humor.  Three slices of pie: QUICHE, of course!

“Yes. The good news is that we woke up,” Max said. “Today is a new day, and I, for one, have decided to live it. I strongly urge you to do the same.”

other REVIEWS:  S.Krishna, Amused, Fyrefly, and the entire list of results of Fyrefly’s Book Blog Search


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12 thoughts on “Before Ever After

  1. I think we had pretty similar reactions to this book; I liked the idea and the historical bits but never really fell for Max, and I agree that the prose could have used some tightening up. Also, your tags crack me up, and I love the idea about chick(en)-lit.🙂

    1. Ha! I had to go back and check if I had really said “ChickenLit”! I wrote this review weeks ago.

      I can let my tag creativity get carried away sometimes…

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