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Before I Saw You

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  165 reviews

Alice and Alfie are strangers. But they sleep next to each other every night.

Alfie Mack has been in hospital for months recovering from an accident. A new face on the ward is about as exciting as life gets for him right now, so when someone moves into the bed next to him he's eager to make friends. But it quickly becomes
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2021 by Bantam Press
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  218 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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Oct 09, 2020 rated it liked it

Alice Gunnersley has been badly injured in an office fire. She’s in the Moira Gladstone Ward at St Francis Hospital for rehabilitation. In the next bed is Alfie Mack who has had a leg amputated following a dreadful car crash. The story is told in alternating points of view which works really well.

I like the interesting and contrasting personalities between the outwardly chatty, cheerful and outgoing Alfie and the solitary, fiercely independent and career driven Alice. However, they are both
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, romance
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this advanced readers copy.

"Our scars are simply the marks of our stories. They show we've lived our life, and most of all that we have survived it. Don't hide your story away in the shadows"

If I am being honest this book is pretty slow.

After an fire in her building Alice, having suffered terrible burns finds herself in the hospital recovering, physically and mentally scarred from the events she finds herself not talking. In stark contrast to h
✨ A ✨
Alice and Alfie are strangers. But they sleep next to each other every night.

Aaaaaaaand I'm SOLD

• Release date: 4 February 2021 •
« eARC received via netgalley in exchange for an honest review »

Jul 19, 2020 marked it as to-read
can 2021 just come already. I'm tired of 2020 ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Wonderful characters, effective synopsis but unfortunately sudden and dissatisfying ending!

I always keen on reading bittersweet emotional stories take place at hospitals! Five feet apart was the greatest example and I enjoyed both movie and the book based on the movie script ( that was the first, normally it is other way around)

When I read intriguing blurb about two people’s deep connection at the hospital ward without seeing each other’s faces, I clicked, clicked and clicked again! That seem
Before I saw You is the first novel by British author, Emily Houghton. The woman behind the curtain isn’t talking. Alfie Mack has been in rehab on the Moira Gladstone ward of St Francis’s Hospital for some time since his amputation and, in between punishing physio sessions, focuses on entertaining the other patients: “People do say I’m like therapy, but better and free”. But he’s been warned that Alice Gunnersley is so traumatised by her injuries that she has stopped talking weeks ago: he’s
Fay Flude
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me this is just the kind of book that is easily worth 5 stars, and more, because of the sensitive and compassionate way a complex and traumatic subject matter is handled. And yet I am not a fan of real life survivor tales or harrowing memoirs. This is a work of fiction and it is the the minutely observed and acutely perceptive emotions and interplay between a cast of amazing characters that heralds the triumphant arrival of debut novel Before I Saw You.
Mainly set in the Moira Gladstone rehab
Vanessa Menezes
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
‘Our scars are simply the marks of our stories. They show we've lived our life, and most of all that we have survived it.' - this is one quote which I would love to remember from this book.

Alfie Mack has been in hospital for months recovering from an accident. So when a new patient is put in the bed beside him, he's eager for someone different to talk to. A new face on the ward is about as exciting as life gets for him right now.

Alice has been badly burned and can't bear to look at herself ye
Ali Kennedy
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Deciding on a star rating for this was difficult as I found the author's writing to be absolutely beautiful, and of a much higher standard than many debut novels. She was able to convey deep emotions and explore the human experience of trauma, recovery, love, and mental health in a very astute, and almost poetic, way.

That said, I enjoyed the plot but thought that more could have been made of it. Alfie and Alice are in adjoining beds in a rehabilitation ward at a hospital. Alfie lost a leg in a c
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
First of all, many thanks to the publishers and the author for providing an eARC of the book!

I am very glad that I read this book, and do recommend to read it to anyone) The main characters were developed very well, with different points of view. Some parts were sad, some were heartbreaking and others were warming))
Happy Reading Everyone and Stay Safe!
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mags Schofield
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am honestly amazed that this is a debut novel.
A very sensitive subject is tackled with humour and understanding and Emily has the happy knack of summing up feelings in a sentence. Other authors write paragraphs or whole pages of flowery prose and can't get it right. Emily's writing is, if anything, understated, but spot on.
We are happy observers as Alice and Alfie meet and develop in various directions. It's an added bonus that along the way, we get to meet a whole cast of wonderful character
Caroline Kerdouci
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Actual rating 3.5 stars

Love and friendship can blossom in the most unusual of circumstances and Before I Saw You questions whether it’s possible to fall in love without meeting face to face. Welcome to the rehabilitation ward at St Francis hospital where Alfie Mack is recuperating from a life changing injury, a cheeky upbeat chappie who has assumed the role of ward comedian, booster of morale and friend to the likes of elderly Mr Peterson. His favourite nurse, Nurse Angles believes he is just th
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2020, arc-read
3.5 ★

This book is predominantly set in a recovery ward of a hospital. Alice is healing from severe burns after being in a fire and Alfred (Alfie) has had his leg amputated after a car accident. They find themselves in beds next to each other and form a strong friendship and connection. There is a whole lot of characters in the large room and due to Alice's scars she isn't comfortable with anyone (esp. Alfie) seeing her.

For the most part, the themes are dark and depressing with the main characte
Sep 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I picked this book because of the interesting premise. Two patients in a hospital room where they cannot see each other but form an unlikely friendship. Or relationship or whatever was possible. The question I was asked in the book blurb was “can you fall in love with someone you’ve never seen”. I was very curious how this book would tackle that question. I was definitely invested in the plot and questioned myself was it possible to love someone that you cannot see?

Alice and Alfre had serious a
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Check out the full review on my website. CLICK HERE




DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, and Bantam Press for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Before I Saw You by Emily Houghton is one of the sweetest romance novels I have read in a while. I have been reading so many Historical Fiction lately that it has been tearing my heart out and leaving
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pigeonhole
Alfie and Alice are in adjacent hospital beds of a rehab ward following traumatic and life changing accidents. Alice is unable to bear the idea of anyone seeing her due to facial disfiguration, so remains behind her curtains for most of the book.

Alice is a fiercely independent "I don't need anyone" type, Alfie is a relentless people pleaser. Over time, Alice drops her ice queen facade enough for she and Alfie to have many Deep And Meaningful Conversations, in which we learn of the events in the
Gail Wylde
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pigeonhole
I can honestly say I’ve just finished my favourite read of 2021. I loved this book from the very first page to the last and really wished it was much longer. There is a great cast of characters, everyone of them I would love to know. I loved Emily’s writing, she says so much in less words than a lot of authors.
This book brought me to tears but also made me smile. I am really going to miss Alfie and Alice every day.
The only negative is that this is Emily’s debut novel so I have to wait for more
Dec 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
So this was frustrating. I was truly pulled in by this book from the very beginning. At the end of this book I just felt completely robbed. A ROMANCE BOOK WITHOUT A SINGLE KISS? REALLY? This book had so much potential to be great. The storyline was such a fantastic and unique idea but there should have been more when they both see each other for the first time. There was no big romantic moment to make all the build up worth it. NOTHING. It felt like the book ended mid sentence. Overall, I wouldn ...more
Amanda Holyoak
Alfie and Alice have both been in life changing accidents and now find themselves side by side in hospital as they recover. Alice is adamant that noone should see her but despite that Alfie's cheerful personality starts to draw Alice out of herself and they become friends. The author explores whether it is possible to know someone fully, and fall in love despite never seeing their face.

This was an enjoyable read, had some beautifully written passages, and the subject matter was addressed sensiti
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, arc, read-in-2020
I really enjoyed this book. Such a positive, life-affirming book that no matter what, life is always worth living and that people are fundamentally good and kind.

Alfie Mack has been on the rehab ward for a few months recovering from an accident. Life isn't that exciting on a hospital ward but when he is told that someone is moving into the bed next to his, he is keen to meet the new resident.

Alice has been badly burned in an accident at work and won't even look at herself. She keeps the curtai
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Before I Saw You is a book with much more depth than it first seems. It follows Alfie and Alice, both recovering from accidents which have changed the course of their lives. Alfie has lost a leg following a car crash, and Alice's office building caught fire leaving her with severe burns.

This book is marked as a romance, but there's much more than that in this book. While Alfie and Alice's relationship growing is lovely to see. It chronicles Alfie and Alice's rehabilitation, physical therapy afte
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I devoured this one in a day. This is such a heartwarming tale of how no matter what life throws at you, with the kindness of others and friendship you can get through anything.

Alfie and Alice are both going through life changing situations. The story is set mainly in a hospital ward, and is centred around the rehabilitation of the two main characters. Alfie has been on the ward longer and is slowly coming round to dealing with his new way of life. However, Alice has only been admitted and is f
Jan 16, 2021 rated it liked it
I was provided with a digital ARC of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishing house, Bantam Press (Random House UK, Transworld Publishers), in exchange for an honest review.

TW: PTSD, strained family relationships, death, death of a loved one, car accident, fire accident.

"Before I Saw You" is the story of Alfie and Alice, two people that for very different reasons find themselves in the same hospital ward. Alice, badly scarred due to a fire in her office, refuses to show herself to others
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book felt like a long, heart aching journey. But in a good way. I could feel all the way with Alfie‘s and Alice‘s pain, their laughter and anxiety. It’s a emotional rollercoaster that you don‘t want to miss.

Alice is very strong headed and stubborn but doesn‘t has a chance against Alfie‘s boyish charme and his witty behavior.
Alice and Alfie both deal with their own issues but try to get through the day.
I loved the deep conversations between them and how they both individually deal with di
First off, thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for the eARC!

This book centers around the POV of Alice, who was badly burned in an office fire, and Alfie, who lost a leg in a car accident. Both characters are going through their own recovery journey that includes some self reflection. If you are looking for an easy, slow burn, contemporary book then this is a really good option! Before I Saw You isn't the sort of contemporary that I'd normally read as I'm just gettin
Ellie (bookmadbarlow)
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well this may be a perfect Uplit book, it had ups and downs, sad bits and happy bits too.
Both Alice and Alfie have had accidents and have ended up in hospital. Alfie is upbeat and constantly helping other people on the recovery ward and then Alice is placed in the bed next to him.
Alice who is less than upbeat and is a bit of a loner and so begins the to and fro of conversation between the pair, never seeing each other, just the pleasant banter through the cubicle curtain.
I loved Alfie for his co
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Netgalley for this ARC.

Before I met you is a book that gave me palpitations & tachycardia and just when my heart rate started to normalize, it abruptly ended.

With 85% of this book set in a recovery ward at a hospital, two strangers whose beds were right beside each other formed a bond that had me shook. Each of them had no idea what the other person looked like but they bonded on the trauma and the will to be there for each other.

This was a beautiful story. Although, it felt dragged
Nicola Mackenzie-Smaller
This is a lovely, heartwarming and heartbreaking read. Alfie and Alice are in beds next to each other in a rehab ward of a hospital. Both have been in accidents with life- changing consequences and Alice doesn’t want anyone to see her. The question the book asks is, is it possible to fall in love with someone you have never seen?
In some ways this is a quite predictable romance, however it is set apart by the writer’s excellent ability to make you fall in love with the characters, and her great
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a debut novel by Emily Houghton and it's fantastic, a perfect balance of emotion and humour. The author has done a fantastic job in tackling some challenging subject matters including grief, PTSD, depression and anxiety. She has also managed to thread a unique love story through the book using beautiful, non flowery writing and created some great characters. I've left the book feeling that I actually know the cast of humourous characters.

The only reason I'm not giving 5 stars is because
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