FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours.
Publisher: Priest Rapids Press (Self-Published) on November 24, 2013
Genre(s): Romantic Suspense (YA), Romantic Thriller (YA)
I’m going to make you wish you were dead.
Just a text. Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Hales tries not to worry. Probably a wrong number. Not really meant for her, and definitely not related to the crime she witnessed six years ago. Right?
Then two states away, a bomb goes off in her best friend's locker. Soon Ryan is labeled a terrorist and runs to the safest place he knows—Rebecca’s house in small-town Wyoming. It doesn’t take long for the FBI to show up asking questions. Rebecca lies, of course, and says she hasn’t seen him.
Now she's neck-deep in it with him, whatever "it" is. The only way out is to return to Vegas, where Ryan is a wanted man. The city of lies and illusion tests Rebecca’s wits as she struggles to find the person who framed Ryan and why.
Is Rebecca’s text linked to the bombing? And what does it have to do with a six year old murder? Rebecca needs to find out before she loses Ryan—and her own life.
The lone witness to a horrific crime when she was a child, Rebecca Hales struggles with the aftermath. It was her testimony that put a murderer behind bars and left her with nightmares that still keep her up at odd hours. Her best friend Ryan has always been her rock, but now he’s gone, leaving her in Wyoming while he finishes high school in Nevada. But all the distance in the world can’t sever their bond. Even when the whole world goes haywire.
One threatening text is easy to write off. A wrong number. A bad joke. A fit of drama on a digital screen. But then there’s the second text. And the third. And the creepy guy at the convenience store in the middle of the night. And when halfway across the country, a bomb in Ryan’s locker kills several students and puts the the FBI on his trail, two friends find themselves on the run, trying to keep ahead of the cops as they scramble to figure out what’s really happening and clear Ryan’s name.
Every now and then I find a book that plucks me right out of reality and places me in another place, another character’s shoes, another life so thoroughly that I forget dinner, forget about what I have to get done at work this week, and just about forget where I am. And to think I almost passed this one up.
When I first saw the cover of Before They Find Us on the tour announcement, I scrolled right past it. Shadows in an alley? Looks like a mystery or a crime or some other dark mess I’m not interested in. But then I noticed it a few more times, read the summary, and thought about it some more. It was probably going to be far-fetched and borderline ridiculous. Maybe I’d figure out who the killer was (assuming there was one) within the first couple of chapters and then have to force myself to finish reading it. The characters wouldn’t be believable, every plot twist would be predictable, or every stroke of luck would just be a little too convenient. Or maybe I’m just an idiot who doesn’t immediately jump at the chance to read something fantastic. Yep, that last one sounds pretty accurate just about now.
It’s rare that I enjoy a book so much that I’m still half in that other world hours after reading it, but that’s exactly what happened with this one. I fell in love with Beck and Ryan, with their friendship and their easy banter, with their loyalty and love and determination to see each other through hell, no matter what came at them. The detailed scenes, the secondary characters, the fumbling to find answers… It was perfectly plotted and paced, and there was no way I was putting the book down until I’d read through to the last page. Not once was I tempted to skim or skip or just cruise past details. I wanted every single word of it.
Before They Find Us perfectly folds young love, teen drama, and true friendship into an incredibly gripping tale of suspense and danger that simply blew me away. For once, I couldn’t connect the dots to unveil the mystery before the story did it for me, and while there are some intense scenes, it’s not too gritty for teen readers. I’m tempted to say I want more, but that would imply that something’s lacking, which is definitely not the case. Perhaps when I finally get my mind out of the story and back to my incredibly boring reality, I’ll be able to better explain what makes it such a great book, but for now I think it’s safe to say I’m on board for pretty much anything else Michelle Hansen writes.