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Before Now

2.69  ·  Rating details ·  48 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
A harrowing and heartbreaking teen romance expertly told with a reverse timeline, Before Now is another emotionally charged novel from suspense author Norah Olson about a young couple who runs headlong into tragedy while trying to escape their complicated pasts.

The odds were against them, but somehow aspiring astronomer Atty and her troubled boyfriend, Cole, managed to esc
...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published December 26th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Sarah
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

This was a contemporary story, told in a reverse timeline from the end to the beginning.

Atty was quite a passionate character, and she felt things really deeply. I did feel sorry for her because she wasn’t allowed to be with Cole, and the situation she found herself in wasn’t really her fault.

The storyline in this started from the end, with a semi-successful suicide attempt between Atty and Cole. The rest o
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Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
I was kindly sent a physical arc for review by the publishers!

Lots of T/W: Abuse, Racism, Drugs, Suicide etc...

Before Now was such a quick story, told in reverse with the ending starting things off and finishing with the earliest memory of the two main characters. Although I liked the premise and the main character Atty's love for astronomy and EDM music, the writing style just didn't work for me. I struggled to connect with Atty and Cole as characters. It was just not my cup of tea, having more
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rachel • typed truths
Trigger warnings for suicide, sexual assault (including implied child molestation), substance abuse, parental neglect, and racism.

• I loved the reverse plotline. It was confusing in the beginning but definitely grew on me. A unique way to tell the story.
• Decent characters. I just didn't love them all that much.
• Olson rushed over a lot of the sensitive topics she touched upon. I needed more emotion and depth in her portrayal of suicide. I also wish more attention had been focused on the sexua
...more
Hollis
BEFORE NOW is a story with an interesting concept. Instead of a fluctuating timeline that jumps around from past to present and so on, the story begins with the end and then rewinds slowly day by day. The problem that came from that choice is that the beginning (the end) is.. drama. And dramatic. And feels very exaggerated with the vague mentions of things that have happened to send these two teens on the run. What makes this harder to handle is the fact that I couldn't connect to the characters ...more
Jennifer
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
Before Now is a standalone Young Adult novel.

The narrator is 17 year old Atabei/ Atty (girl). The story is told in 1st person POV. Atty lives in Minneapolis. Her dad is Haitian. Her boyfriend is Cole, who is white.

The book features a reverse timeline.

The book starts by discussing a very serious subject. The problem to me is that we do not know these characters. We should feel something. But unfortunately I did not feel much. The two main characters did grow on me a bit by the end. But while the
...more
alice (arctic books)
You can find this review and others at arctic books

I'm very impressed by this novel. My emotions started from disbelief and shock to some of understanding and deep sadness over the course of these few months during which this novel spans. I was highly doubtful as to how this backwards chronological journal writing style was going to tell the story, but Olson does it surprisingly well.

These 200-some pages of this novel don't yield much for me to say, rather gives me a lot to think about. I urge
...more
Rhi Campbell
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I received an ARC from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review.

Actual rating: 2.5/5.

This story is told in reverse, which is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it probably kept me reading purely because I was vaguely curious to get to the events the MC referenced, but on the other hand, it felt somewhat like trying to join a conversation halfway through. In places, I had to go back a few pages because a new character had been mentioned suddenly and I thought I must have missed the
...more
Annie (Diverse Reads)


• MC (Atty) is biracial, Haitian-American.
• MC's father is Haitian.
• Cole's mother is queer and has a susbtance addiction.
• His mother's ex-girlfriend (Rita) is a lesbian.

tw: suicide, sexual assault, substance abuse, neglect, mild racism.
Vanessa
Feb 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya, dud, contemporary
I don't even know where to start with this mess...

I thought I'd give this book a try because it was short and I was super into the idea of a reverse timeline. This book did not feel short. And the reverse timeline while interesting really killed this book for me.

We're now going into spoiler territory. Yeah. I can't even talk about this book without everything being a spoiler...
Trigger warnings (which I never use but given how this book deals with these subjects...) for suicide, rape, molestati
...more
Alyssa Gil
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was pretty apprehensive going into this book because of its very low average rating. I didn't read any reviews, but honestly, anything below about a 3.5-star average rating makes me a little nervous. However, I often have unpopular opinions about books, so I tried to forget about the rating and go in with an open mind. And honestly, as I read the first chapter, I kept thinking, "why don't people like this book?" I thought the first chapter was very well-written and captivating. I started to th ...more
Bella
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Zoë Danielle
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, mystery
One of the more unusual books I've read this year is definitely Before Now by Norah Olson, which is a Memento-style young adult novel about a Romeo and Juliet romance told in reverse. The issue is that stakes don't seem really high and instead of the main characters, Atty and Cole, just seem overly dramatic. I think part of that has to do with them being teenagers, which might be realistic, but part of it has to do with the fact that the book is so short (just over 200 pages) so there's not a lo ...more
Tessa Yitu
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book should come with a big trigger warming at the beggining because I know some people might find it disturbing.

So this book is almost like an experiment you know first "the end" and then "the beggining" it didnt work for me like that, I promise I tried to read it but I couldnt so I started at the end and I followed the time line.

Is always interesting read a book that is writing almost like a diary, but that also can be a bad thing since you dont get to know more the characters. I have to
...more
Nickie
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Before Now by Norah Olson starts out with a double suicide attempt where only the boy dies and then goes backwards from there so we see why Atty and Cole make the choices they did. I liked the characters, but the time shifts were hard to follow and jarring. I kept having to ask myself… where are we now?

I wanted to be invested in the story, but found I just didn’t care all that much. There were some really intense scenes, but because of the backward motion characters died and I didn’t know or car
...more
Angela
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was good, but the reverse chronological order thing was sort of confusing...
Adelia
Dec 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting take on Romeo & Juliet

While the story is a well known plot, the author's approach on working backwards from the end was a quick, easy read set in modern times.
Rebecca Marchand
rated it it was ok
Nov 16, 2017
Joséphine Edge
rated it it was ok
May 02, 2018
Samantha
rated it liked it
Dec 12, 2017
Jennifer
rated it it was ok
Feb 08, 2018
Jhon Cedie
rated it it was ok
Dec 08, 2017
old account (rl)
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Trigger warnings for suicide, sexual assault (including implied child molestation), substance abuse, parental neglect, and racism.

• I loved the reverse plotline. It was confusing in the beginning but definitely grew on me. A unique way to tell the story.
• Decent characters. I just didn't love them all that much.
• Olson rushed over a lot of the sensitive topics she touched upon. I needed more emotion and depth in her portrayal of suicide. I also wish more attention had been focused on the sexua
...more
Katie
rated it liked it
Jan 09, 2018
Abbey M
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
The book was ok. I didn't really enjoy it.
ellie jayne
rated it it was ok
Feb 18, 2018
Kimberly
rated it it was ok
Dec 25, 2017
Andrew
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction

***I read an ARC of this received at work*** Actual rating: 2.5? I guess?


Before Now is a story told in reverse, because the beginning of the story (the further along you are in the book) makes things more interesting than the end of the story (the beginning of the book). This makes the story a little hard to get into at first, and I don't know if this plot line was the best fit for that style, but it still sort of works. Because of this, when reading, at first I saw Atty and Cole as dramatic in

...more
Jamie
rated it liked it
May 24, 2017
Emma
rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2018
Kathryn
rated it did not like it
Jan 05, 2018
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Norah Olson is a former journalist who covered criminal cases for a regional New York newspaper and received a prestigious fellowship for her work. She was educated in New England and lives in Manhattan. TWISTED FATE is her first novel for young adults.

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