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Before I Saw You

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Folks are dying fast as the ash trees in the southern Indiana town ravaged by the heroin epidemic, where Jaycee Givens lives with nothing more than a thread of hope and a quirky neighbor, Sudie, who rescues injured wildlife. After a tragedy leaves her mother in prison, Jaycee is carrying grief and an unplanned pregnancy she conceals because she trusts no one, including the ...more
Paperback, 379 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Tyndale House Publishers
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4.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  138 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Molly Jaber (Cover To Cover Cafe)
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
Wow! This is my first ever Amy K. Sorrells novel and it most definitely will not be my last one. This book, it's setting, it's characters, it's messages......all of it absolutely gripped me and took me on an emotional roller coaster ride. I was up, down, sideways, in and out while reading this novel, and it left me with a feeling I haven't had with a book in a long, long time.

As a former street drug abuser, I related with this book on so many levels, with it's work of opioid abuse weaved into th
Amanda Geaney
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes when I read a really impactful story, I make a note of the author and keep an eye out for any future publications. Amy K. Sorrells was added to this short list after I read her novel, Lead Me Home. Sorrells has a unique voice and I appreciate how she takes believers to task without getting preachy. This new story, Before I Saw You, takes place in a small town in Southern Indiana caught up in the hope-crushing, life-shattering grip of the opioid crisis. While grieving over the destructi ...more
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Seriously, how can this be my first ever Amy Sorrells book?! It boggles the mind when I think about all the literary goodness I've been missing! I'm dumbfounded over this egregious literary lapse! (hanging my head in shame as I vow to do penance.)

So, I was transfixed by Jaycee's story. Emotionally-gutted, heart-pummeled absorbed right to the very last word. And then I mooned around in a weepy stupor of mixed emotions as I tried to process it all.

The author has an uncanny grip on the raw reality
Marie Bungard
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes I read for the pure joy of immersing myself in a good story on a quiet afternoon.  At least, that's what I thought I was going to do when I picked up Before I Saw You by Amy K. Sorrells.  Guess what?  Not so!  The power of grace is so prevalent in these words that I was amazed at how easy it was to include it in a fiction story.

Life is hard!  God is good!  Life is about letting go and letting God.  Cliches? Yes (and no, they are not used in the book).

If anything, life is about choices.
Sandy Griffin
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Few books have ever truly touched my soul like "Before I Saw You" has. As a child of adoption, this book stirred thoughts and emotions I thought I'd long ago dealt with. But after reading this book, I've at last been able to forgive my birth mother, and have come to understand what a truly incredible gift she gave me.
The characters in this book were completely believeable and totally relevant to today's society. My family has been deeply touched by the opioid epidemic, and have watched vital, p
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Adoption is a topic that is very close to me. My grandmother was adopted. She was loved by two mothers, the one that gave birth to her, loved her and cared for her until she was six weeks, while keeping it a secret from everyone. The second one was the mother that adopted her, an amazing mother whom had nothing, but love for her daughter, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. She was incredible. Always laughing, and giving something of herself to others.

When I read this story of Jaycee,
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was quite heart-wrenching for me, yet it was a beautiful story about forgiveness and redemption. It touched on many sensitive subjects, but ended by leaving the characters and this reader filled with hope. I have read all of Amy's books, and she is one of my favorite contemporary authors.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been waiting anxiously for this book to come out! And I was not disappointed! Amy does not shy away from talking about some hard realities of life.
I could easily picture the area as we had just driven through that part of Indiana. And I really cared about the characters.
It’s a convicting book. And a wonderful story of God’s love for us. I highly recommend it!
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
"It's the folks who thought the Lord shouldn't love them that he made a point to love on the most."

"I just . . . I didn't know I could love - and at the same time be afraid of - someone so much who I've never even met."

Jaycee Givens is afraid, in fact she has been afraid for years now, following the kind of heartache and tragedy that no child, turned young woman, should have to bear. As if life hasn't her handed her enough grief, she now bears the responsibility for another, someone tiny and un
Heidi Chiavaroli
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An exquisite, emotional tale that gives a glimpse inside the hurt caused by the opioid epidemic and the impossible choices one young woman must make in the wake of its damage. Extremely relevant and lyrically told, this book did not leave me with dry eyes, but it did leave me with a renewed sense of the power of kindness and the beauty and tenacity of hope. Highly recommend! I look forward to reading more of Sorrells's books!
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cathy Cermele
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
It took awhile for me to gather my thoughts and get my emotions under control after finishing, Before I Saw You. I have to be honest and admit that I didn't think that I would become so attached to Jaycee, Sudie and some of the other characters in this book.

I think its' because the storyline is so timely given what's happening in society, the drug epidemic, the feeling of hopelessness but more than that, the lost innocence of our youth. Jacycee is a perfect example of that when she takes on the
Amy Koons
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first three-fourths of this book was decently good, but didn’t really hit me in the gut UNTIL the final chapters when the author portrayed a birth mom’s wrenching decision to give her baby up for adoption in such a real and poignant way. It was a subtle crescendo until it really grabbed me. Yes, adoption is such a wonderful and beautiful thing for the adoptive family and the child, and mostly I just see that side of it and share in the joy of the people I know whose lives have been made bett ...more
Kim Bakos
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
This is a great book that touches on so many of today's issues. Its primary issues are the opioid epidemic and domestic violence, things that are becoming all too common today and often remain hidden until they get too big to cover up any longer.
As a Christian reader, I love the various issues that come up in people of faith. This book's main theme is about how He cares for us through the trials we endure. He may not protect us for everything that is bad, put His hand is on us, sustaining us, up
Heartfelt . . . Endearing . . . Soulful . . . Softly-Candid . . . Bittersweet . . . Sentimental.

Overall, a good piece of Christian/Women's fiction exploring the complexity of rampant drug use in rural areas, along with unplanned motherhood, poverty, and redemption. I'm glad I purchased it and can send it out into the world into another reader's hands.

"[T]here's a girl that lingers within a woman, no matter how old she gets, that never gives up the hope of pleasing her mother."

A few aspects - suc
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book was incredible, so much feeling was packed into these pages bringing about such an intense emotional response from me the reader. Many tears were shed in reading this and my heart hurt for Jaycee’s struggles. Religion plays a huge part in this book and the way it intertwines with Jaycee’s life was amazing. It never comes off as a push on religion but a crucial aspect of the main character and her story while at the same time touching anyone with strong belief such as Jaycee’
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Before I Saw You is quite an emotional read for me. Jaycee Givens has been through so much throughout their lifetime. She experiences more as a child than anyone should ever have to their entire lifetime. I enjoyed watching her grow in the book. She has to learn how to love, forgive, and trust again. Then ending was so heart wrenching but yet encouraging.
I give Before I Saw You 4 1/2 stars. Such a powerful and inspiring story of faith and hope.
I received this book from the publisher. This revi
Becca-Rae Weidel
WARNING: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO READ WITHOUT KLEENEX! This book had my crying before I'd even hit page 50, and had me shedding crocodile tears at the end. This was one emotional roller-coaster of a ride. In many ways this was not an easy read--but was a necessary one. My husband (along with several of his siblings) are adopted children, so this story really hit close to home. I really don't want to give away too much in the story-line for this because it was all so powerful and each piece was perfect ...more
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful heart wrenching book. You will need tissues. I have read all of this author's books and have loved them all but this one is my favorite. A story of grace and fortitude and courage and selfless love. I highly recommend it and anything else Amy Sorrells has written.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: empty-shelf-2018
This book is a powerful, emotional roller coaster of a book. I have no experience or knowledge of street drug abuse other than what I've seen on the news so this book was a huge eye opener. I got immersed in the story immediately and I became invested in Jaycee, Sudie, and Gabe's story.

The story is timely with real characters who have lost hope, need grace, and feel lost. Readers who have no first hand knowledge of street drug addiction will be pulled into the story and on some level be able to
C.E. Hart
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite

“Listen for the Lord,” Sudie said. “Listen and you’ll know what to do when the time comes.”

I love to travel. I love to learn. And I love to be inspired.

Traveling exposes me to different opinions, tolerances, experiences, and standards. It helps me discover new ways of seeing things, doing things, and understanding the world around me.

Therefore, I love to read.

Reading is a form of travel—whether to far-away places or my own backyard (so-to-speak.) It’s a form of learning and gr
Jerrye Bell
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Before I Saw You by Amy K. Sorrells

Published by Tyndale House Publishers June 05, 2018

Genre: Drama, Christian

Pages: 400

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Publisher’s Description

Folks are dying fast as the ash trees in the southern Indiana town ravaged by the heroin epidemic, where Jaycee Givens lives with nothing more than a thread of hope and a quirky neighbor, Sudie, who rescues injured wildlife. After a tragedy l
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my third book by Amy K. Sorrels and it was everything I was expecting it to be and more. The characters in this book were well-drawn, and I'll admit I wish I could continue to fictionally live in Riverton, Indiana to find out what will happen in the future with Jaycee and Gabe, though the author does hint at it. This book doesn't have the HEA that I was hoping for. But it took a lot of guts to make the decision that Jaycee makes in the end, and that's why I give this book five stars. It ...more
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Do you like a well written emotional read? If you said YES, then this is your book. I was pulled in and before I knew it I had read the whole book in one sitting.
Great storyline and characters. Worthy of an afternoon sitting under a huge shade tree relaxing and reading.
Pick up this 4 star emotional read.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher. A favorable review was not required and all reviews expressed are our own.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gripping, heart wrenching, emotional, angry, happy, breathless...
Those were just a few descriptions of how you will feel when reading this book. Honestly this book took me on an emotional roller coaster.
This book came in the perfect year because things like drugs, abuse, poverty, etc., that is all here and now. Right in our day and age. I think readers will definitely be able to appreciate that this book describes very real life in some areas!
Drugs are a very real epidemic in the world today.
Emily P
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Before I Saw You" is a powerhouse of a book. The author, who is also a nurse, has seen the frontlines of America's opiod crisis, which she brings to life in a heartbreakingly beautiful way. You can't help but hope for the best for the characters involved, but like all things in the real world, you expect struggle.
And struggle, Jaycee does. From the beginning of the novel, the heroine finds herself facing a mother who is an addict and a dealer, a younger brother that suffers neglect from everyo
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Folks are dying fast as the ash trees in the southern Indiana town ravaged by the heroin epidemic, where Jaycee Givens lives with nothing more than a thread of hope and a quirky neighbor, Sudie, who rescues injured wildlife. After a tragedy leaves her mother in prison, Jaycee is carrying grief and an unplanned pregnancy she conceals because she trusts no one, including the kind and handsome Gabe, who is new to town and to the local diner where she works.

Dividing her time between the diner and Su
Beckie Burnham
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If reading two of Amy K. Sorrels’ novels (How Sweet The Sound and Lead Me Home) hadn’t already cemented her as a must-read author, her latest novel, Before I Saw You, certainly does. I don’t know how she does it. This author takes difficult subjects and portrays them realistically, but with a large measure of mercy and grace that leaves the reader feeling blessed at the last page. Before I Saw You was an emotional read for me. No, I have never experienced the troubles that the main characters fa ...more
I had never heard of Amy K. Sorrells before reading this book. However, this is an author and a book I won't soon forget. An emotional read that brought tears to my eyes by page thirty-three and by page fifty-nine had me considering calling into work the next day so I could stay home and read.

There is a lot going on in this book but it all ties together in a storyline that makes you sad, angry, and hopeful. The book shows a fictional although more realistic view than we would like to imagine of
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, realistic
I have been very impressed with the quality of books I have received from Tyndale (barring one or two.) Before I Saw You is poignant and relevant, handling difficult topics well and keeping up a tone that steeps it in Christian literature (as opposed to being a romance with references to Christianity). I was most impressed with Sorrells’ portrayal of teen pregnancy, something that tends to be unfortunately almost demonized in the Christian circle due to its connections with premarital sex. Yet, ...more
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A long time believer in the power of story to change lives, Amy got her start in journalism and medical writing. Her work has been featured in a wide array of publications including newspapers and medical journals. Her novels have been shortlisted for the 2014 Inspy awards, semi-finalists for the ACFW Genesis awards, and a winner of the 2011 Women of Faith writing contest.

An Indianapolis native an
“There’s always letting go to do here on earth, Jaycee. But the Lord, he never lets go. And because of him, we never have to either.” 1 likes
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