BOOK REVIEW: BEFORE HADLEY BY J NATHAN





What's worse than a cocky new guy at school? A cocky new guy with a killer body and the attention of every female at school. Hadley can tell the minute she lays eyes on Caynan that he's someone to avoid. He may have looks and charm, but he's also got heartbreak written all over his pretty face.

Unfortunately for Hadley, Caynan has his sights set on her. She's the one girl who doesn't want him. The one girl who's turned off by his charm. The one girl who challenges him like no other. And, though she couldn't possibly know the truth about him, she seems to be the one girl who really sees him. 

But with Caynan, things aren't at all what they seem. His secrets have secrets and everything out of his mouth straddles the line between truth and fiction. He knows better than to get involved with anyone, especially with his time limited in the new town, but he just can't seem to get Hadley out of his mind. Too bad for him, secrets never remain secrets for long.




 slight spoilers but nothing that'll ruin the book.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review!





As New Adult books go, I think this is one of the good ones. A lot of the tropes in this genre aren't really in Before Hadley (thank god), and it had some refreshing changes which was quite enjoyable. The story revolved mostly around crime (and some parts abuse), so it was a very rich story, and I didn't feel like I was reading the same thing I've read before.
I've not been in the biggest mood for this genre lately, but I thought I'd change it up and I got a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

So, we start the story with Caynan, a british baseball player who moves to the area and becomes this charming and popular guy. Well, is this true? He's also a criminal. There's a lot of things he's not telling the truth about, but he can't blow his cover. He meets Hadley, the daughter of a cop who attends the same high school as him and, well, a thief fancying the daughter of a policeman is always going to end in disaster. They have a nice friendship, they bond over common interests and of course develop feelings for each other, but there's always that niggling thing in the back of Caynan's mind. Those secrets he can't tell.

Things actually go tits up a lot earlier in the book than I expected which was good, I hate waiting until about 80% for shit to actually kick off. Hadley finds out truths and secrets are revealed, and I like how realistic that was. Things weren't sugarcoated for the story, people did what they had to do, and characters grew and learnt through their mistakes. I'm glad.

Also, Caynan's dad is a massive shitbag. Had to be said.

Hadley was a good character for an NA book, she was quite feisty, she stood up and defended herself. So she should really, her dad is a policeman so I shouldn't be surprised. When Caynan was a dick, she put him straight and made him sweat it out. Good lass! Also, she'd had boyfriends before and wasn't this loner bookworm that we always read in these books. I grow tired of them and I wish people would get more original, so it's refreshing to read about someone else. She also stuck to her guns near the end of this book, and didn't give in to temptations too quickly. I like that. 


Caynan had an interesting past and family dynamic. His father is an emotional blackmailing douchebag, and I did wish he'd just stand up for himself more, not letting him get to him. His mother had a huge part in that, and it's sad that he let that control him.


I really liked the pacing, it wasn't too long and I felt there was enough story for it to be wrapped up nicely. It wasn't too cheesy, it didn't drag and there wasn't any unnecessary sex scenes thrown in all over the place. I hate it when authors do that! NA books tend to be sex scenes with a story written around it, but not this one. Thank goodness! I also like that not all the girls in this book were sluts. 

One thing I will fault is a bit of a spoiler, but you find out early in the book anyway, but Caynan isn't actually british. We find out that he's pretending due to his criminal lifestyle, and he was....too good at it? Being 100% american and having never visited England or even owning a TV, he seems to be incredibly good at keeping it up and never even messing up one word. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Doesn't seem too realistic, but that's just a silly thing that not a lot of people would be bothered by. For me, it was. 

Anyway, it was a good overall and if you're looking for a good NA book, give this one a try! It's quite enjoyable and fast and easy to get through. It's a story about forgiveness, second chances and first loves. 
I think if I were more into NA books than I were before, I would have rated this higher. Give the book a try if you're in the mood, you'll like it!





Many thanks to J. Nathan for sending me a copy of this book! 

So what are your thoughts? I know not a lot of our readers like NA but you never know! Its a new genre to try if you're new to it, and it's a little something different. I do tend to struggle with NA books, I'm usually quite nit-picky with them so I was pleasantly surprised at this one. I think the accent thing is a bit nit-picky but that's just coming from someone who loves to try and do accents!
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BOOK REVIEW: BEFORE HADLEY BY J NATHAN
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